Skip to main content

The Egocentric Instinct

The brain (and the mind, which is an effect of the brain) is an organ dedicated to the preservation of the life of the individual. It therefore is naturally predisposed to thinking mainly of how to make that individual ("myself") safe, and to make a situation as advantageous as possible for that individual. These goals are pursued both consciously and unconsciously.

A side effect of the mind is the ability to change one's behaviour through conscious effort (thinking). We are irrational, selfish, egocentric creatures by nature, with the ability (when we want it) to be rational, altruistic, and community-minded. This is a superior way to live, in my opinion. To be able to control one's thoughts, goals, and actions; to plan for a better future for all, to see things as they really are, not as we imagine or hope them to be, and make rational decisions in accordance with reality, is wonderful.

Most of us, even those who consider themselves to be very realistic and rational, constantly fall back into our natural, egocentric ways of thinking. Like losing weight and keeping it off, it requires constant effort and concentration.

We may conquer irrationality in one aspect of our thinking, while being completely irrational in others. The goal, in becoming fully human, is to make ourselves completely rational. It is a lifetime process.


Popular posts from this blog

St. Augustine on Curiosity ***

There is another form of temptation, even more fraught with danger. This is the disease of curiosity... It is this which drives us to try and discover the secrets of nature, those secrets which are beyond our understanding, which can avail us nothing and which man should not wish to learn.

- St. Augustine

***10/5/2013 - Note: this is probably a misquote, for the purpose of defaming St. Augustine.  I published it without any research as to its veracity, and I regret it.  He is a revered figure in Christianity and western culture, and whether we subscribe to his philosophy and views or not, everyone deserves at least to be described accurately. - James Carr.

Lieberman Agrees: Democrat Politicians are Paranoid Assholes

"But there is something profoundly wrong—something that should trouble all of us—when we have elected Democratic officials who seem more worried about how the Bush administration might respond to Iran’s murder of our troops, than about the fact that Iran is murdering our troops. "
- Senator Joe Lieberman, Nov 9, 2007

November 9, 2007
Contact: Marshall Wittmann

Lieberman Delivers Major Address on "The Politics of National Security"

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, November 8, 2007, Senator Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) addressed a Center for Politics and Foreign Relations/Financial Times breakfast at The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. The subject of Senator Lieberman’s talk was “The Politics of National Security,” in which he spoke about the future of the Democratic Party and its response to the threat of Iran.

In the address, Senator Lieberman stated, “Since retaking Congress in November 2006, the top foreig…