Through a Youtube advertisement I came to the site of biologist Jeremy Griffith, who claims to have found the understanding that ends all the conflict and suffering in human life at its source. He gives away his complete book for free (without asking for an e-mail address) so it doesn’t seem to be a rick to earn money.
I will try to sum up his understanding in a few sentences. Evil that people do is not the result of our animalistic instincts (since animals in general are not cruel and we are related to one of the most co-operative species, the bonobo). It is also not the direct result of our capacity for conscious thought. It is a reaction to the “internal criticism” of the instinct toward his conscious self. Here the author explains what is happening with a fictional Stork called Adam that has the capacity for conscious thought.
“…tragically, while searching for understanding, we can see that three things are unavoidably going to happen. Adam is going to defensively retaliate against the implied
criticism from his instincts; he is going to desperately seek out any reinforcement he can find to relieve himself of the negative feelings; and he is going to try to deny the criticism
and block it out of his mind. He has become angry, egocentric and alienated…” “And ‘upset’ is the right word for our condition because while we are not ‘evil’ or ‘bad’, we are definitely
psychologically upset from having to participate in humanity’s heroic search for knowledge.” “So Adam’s intellect or ‘ego’ (ego being just another word for the intellect since the
Concise Oxford Dictionary defines ‘ego’ as ‘the conscious thinking self’ (5th edn, 1964)) became ‘centred’ or focused on the need to justify itself—Adam became ego-centric, selfishly
preoccupied aggressively competing for opportunities to prove he is good and not bad, to validate his worth, to get a ‘win’; to essentially eke out any positive reinforcement that
would bring him some relief from his criticising instincts. He unavoidably became selfpreoccupied or selfish, and aggressive and competitive.”
The solution to this according to Griffith and his followers is to understand “that the gene-based, natural selection process only gives species instinctive orientations to the world, whereas his nerve-based, conscious mind, which is able to make sense of cause and effect, needs understanding of the world to operate.”
Maybe I am missing something here but I am not really impressed by this understanding. I would think the knowledge of our own mortality could have the same effect. I am posting this here in the hope to find out why this simple idea that is only 4 years old seems to get such a big reception (10,7K subscribers on youtube, 112K likes on Facebook). A hypothesis is that it helps in the transition from an amber worldview to an orange worldview.
Here is the link https://www.humancondition.com