Foibles and Follies

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Evolutionary psychology explains how obsolete genes and emotions continue to motivate human beings: From our indulgence in pets, to funerals and weddings, to fireplaces and barbeques. How many children are too many children?

 

Excerpt from Book: "How Life Really Works"

Book I: Man and the Universe

Chapter 06.00: Psychology: Human Emotions and Traits

Subchapter 06.25: Man's Foibles

 

Due to space limitations, sections in Red are accessible only in the Book or CD "How Life Really Works".

 

 

MAN'S FOIBLES: FROM PETS TO WEDDINGS

 

Overview

    01. Pets

    02. Funerals

    03. Weddings

    04. Last Wills

    05. Fireplaces

    06. Barbecues

    07. Gambling

    08. Children

    09. Religion

    10. Alternative Medicine

    11. Archaic Measurements

    12. Lawn Mowers

    13. Ecological Crusades

 

Overview

Man is the product of evolution. Whenever we try to discern why persons do whatever they may be doing, we will find the answer in the relatively new scientific field of Evolutionary Psychology. This science traces the origins of human emotions or behavior to those survival factors that imbedded behavior patterns in our genes.

If we wish to understand why human beings dream or why they cry when they are sad, we merely need to look for the survival benefits that embedded the ability to sleep, or to dream, or to cry, in our genetic heritage. Humans, who had the ability to sleep, dream or cry, unquestionably had a distinct survival advantage.Only humans thus endowed survived and passed on their genes.

Evolutionary Psychology also helps us understand why human beings still engage in behavior that represented survival factors eons ago although this behavior is now obsolete or even detrimental to our welfare.

Deep within the recesses of our mind, are the emotions and instincts that have embedded themselves in our genes. However, ever since human beings developed rationality, they also developed the ability to overrule emotional behavior that once had survival value but that is now obsolete.

Once we clearly understand the evolutionary reasons for some of our absurd, obsolete or counterproductive behavior, we have the power to eradicate such inappropriate conduct. Human beings, who can use their rational mind to override obsolete motivators, obviously have a distinct survival advantage.

With the passage of time, evolution will eradicate these unproductive traits, just as evolution is gradually eliminating the human appendix. Originally, the appendix was vital to our survival because it enabled humans to digest otherwise indigestible foodstuffs. However, people who have an obsolete and dysfunctional appendix are prone to develop appendicitis, a potentially life threatening condition.

It is inevitable that, during the next million years, the already obsolete appendix will disappear from the human anatomy. Other obsolete human emotions, such as the need to maintain pets, will inevitably follow the human appendix to the graveyard of inappropriate human attributes.

It is a rewarding challenge to determine, or at least to surmise, the evolutionary origin of incomprehensible human behavior. The widespread affinity of humans towards their pets provides interesting insights in the composition of the human psyche.

 

01. Pets

Cats and dogs are man's most common companions in the nature of pets. By definition, pets are domesticated animals that people maintain for companionship or enjoyment.

It is also difficult to deny that these lovable pets have unhygienic habits, that they usually perform their excretory function within our living quarters, and that they attract or harbor parasites, such as fleas, which often migrate to human hosts. Most pets are expensive to maintain, are frequently destructive to property and may require more attention than human offspring. Dogs, in particular, are a constant source of friction among neighbors due to their uncontrolled barking or yapping.

Pets depend on medical care provided by their owners and, when they no longer meet our needs, we have to dispose of them. We incur all this misery and expense in the elusive furtherance of our so-called need for companionship, with the implication that human beings cannot satisfy this need.

In their dependence on humans, pets reciprocate the affection bestowed on them within their extremely limited capabilities. They are clearly grateful when we maintain their dependency by feeding and nurturing them. In return, pets provide us with the unconditional love that is difficult to obtain from a human companion who has his own agenda and with whom we must exchange benefits based on reciprocation. Why are we attracted to pets in this irrational manner?

Why do people like, no, why do people love pets?

Around 10,000 BC, man abandoned his nomadic wanderings and settled down in small communities. Such communal living arrangements reflected man's tendency to seek safety, security and prosperity in numbers.

Vermin, such as rats and mice, constantly threatened the security and survival of early farmers. We can trace the domestication of animals, including cats and dogs, to this period in history.

Man found it highly advantageous to domesticate the wolf, the common ancestor of all dogs. The result was a creature, called a dog that was extremely helpful in tracking and hunting wild animals. The superior sense organs of the dog helped to protect man from predatory animals and marauding humans.

This symbiosis between the farmer/hunter and his dogs enhanced the survival of man. Farmers who did not train and cooperate with dogs reduced their chance of survival. By means of these survival factors, the symbiotic attraction between man and his dogs perpetuated itself in human genes.

Another common collaborator pet, the cat, had similar origins as a survival assistant to man. After man settled down on farms or in communities, he provided for his security by storing his farm products for future times of need, such as winter. His efforts to preserve his harvest were frustrated because mice and rats would decimate this food stores. Since human beings are not well adapted to chasing mice, the obvious solution to this danger was to domesticate animals like bobcats that were already equipped for hunting mice and rats for their own survival.

A farmer who domesticated and formed a symbiotic relationship with cats improved his chances for survival because vermin would not deprive him of the grain that was essential to his survival during lean times. Cats benefited from this arrangement because their master fed them household scraps and protected them from predators. Therefore, people who got along with cats, had an improved chance for survival and thus perpetuated the genes that contained an imbedded affinity towards cats.

In a broad sense, dogs appeal more to men than to women because the hunting activities of dogs established close symbiosis with the man of the household. The opposite holds true of cats because cats lived in close affinity to the woman as the caretaker of the household.

Subsequently man transferred his subconscious nurturing feelings for dogs and cats to other animals. If a cat or dog makes a nice pet, then a snake or a hamster serves the same hidden agenda. Cats and dogs are favorite pets but, by transference, other animals are acceptable as pets, too.

Horses take another place of distinction in the survival menagerie of man. The need for survival-oriented cooperation with horses has passed with the advent of the tractor, but horse-lovers still abound. The attraction for horses occurs in spite of the great expense of maintaining a horse as a pet and the increasing difficulty to find a place to ride the horse. For this reason, horses have become a status symbol, demonstrating considerable wealth.

A warm feeling for all such domesticated animals has embedded itself in human genes through the process of evolution. The feeling of emotional affinity or affection or even love towards pets and many other animals, has survived and manifests itself in a loving attitude towards pets.

These archaic emotions have survived in humans although the animals have lost all usefulness as assistants to human survival. After all, hunting dogs are of use only to sports-hunters and mousetraps have eliminated the survival-need to keep cats around the house.

What remains of the ancient survival connectivity to domesticated animals, is our instinctive warm feeling toward animals like cats and dogs, our pets. This feeling of affection towards our pets is obsolete but remains imbedded in our genes. It took many thousands of years to implant these emotions in our genes and it will take thousand of years of non-reliance on these pets to eliminate these genes. In future famines, man will not hesitate to eat his pets, if doing so is necessary to assure his own survival.

Some psychologists maintain that the need to surround ourselves with pets closely relates to a common human need for unconditional love. Our love of another person often involves conflict or adversity. In contrast, an affectionate relationship with a cat or dog is very rewarding because our pet is dependent on us, instinctively realizes this dependence and showers us with unconditional love. Our dog will continue to love us, even if we kick him. A human companion would not tolerate such behavior; he would stop loving the person who abused him and would absent himself.

 

02. Funerals

The underlying reason for funerals is, undoubtedly, the inability of the deceased to remove himself from our presence. Therefore, his survivors have to remove the body by some extraneous means in order to avoid unsanitary conditions.

Funerals date back to the days of the Neanderthals when humans started to bury dead relatives or friends, instead of just leaving them wherever they died. There were compelling reasons for removing bodies by a ceremonial process called a funeral. One of the most cogent reasons for a quick funeral is the unpleasant smell of the decomposing body. Furthermore, the carcass attracted potentially dangerous carrion-eaters, which created noisy disturbances and tended to scatter bones all over the cave.

It has always been difficult for human beings to accept the fact that death, the cessation of life, is irrevocable and is the end of a personís existence. The human survival instinct is so prominent and so powerful that we try to assure our survival beyond our physical death. Therefore, witch doctors invented and gullible cave men adopted, the rather spurious idea that man has a soul and that his soul will live on eternally, long after his physical body has disappeared.

It is understandable that cave men wanted to know, what might happen to this mysterious soul after the death of a person. Of course, the friendly witch doctor came up with the proclamation that the future fortunes of the soul depend solely upon how well the deceased person lived while he was still alive. The definition of living-well was provided, too, by the witch doctor who only considered a life well lived, if it had supported and nourished the witch doctor in his time of need.

Due to the close emotional cohesion among family members, a natural desire exists to assure that the deceased personís soul has a pleasant trip after death, on the way to its final destination, wherever that might be. This impulse was not entirely altruistic. Implied reciprocity motivated the expectation to have oneís own soul equally bestowed with the adornments of fine living upon oneís own demise.

During the past 50,000 years, humans developed the tendency to bury cadavers in a ceremonial manner. An interment of the body was preferred because it was the most convenient method of disposing of a corpse. It is much more difficult, time consuming and wasteful of dry wood, to cremate a cadaver. The funeral ceremony, burying the corpse and cheering the soul on to a better life, proved very popular.

Funerals are not as sumptuous as weddings, although the propensity of providing mourners with food and libations sometimes eases the burden of the loss. Neanderthals may have found that few persons would share their grief and attend the funeral of a loved one if they did not provide food and drink for the mourners. On these occasions, all participants make an effort to speak of the dear departed only in the most effusive terms.

The emotional benefits provided by a ceremonious funeral accrue, of course, to the survivors, with the obvious intent to uplift their feelings. Such emotions may include some element of glee, sometimes surreptitiously, because it is the deceased, and not the mourner, who has succumbed to the ravages of life.

All these common human emotions make it very desirable to make the disposal of a human body a rather elaborate event. This tendency towards opulent funerals is especially important to persons who believe in a life after death.

However, we define death as the cessation of all life functions. There is no objective evidence whatsoever that people continue to live after they are dead. The mere concept of such a supposition appears rather outlandish, bizarre and completely irrational.

Modern science has rather firmly established that there is no life after death for one simple reason: Nobody has ever produced any evidence whatsoever of a person, or an ethereal part of a person, that continued to live after his death. Neither a body nor its soul has ever returned from a life after death. Therefore, the only rational reason for a funeral rests in the need to dispose of a dead body.

Modern technology has made it simple and efficient to cremate a corpse. No rational person can maintain that the resulting pile of ashes and other inert chemicals relate to the previously existing person. Clearly, there is no indication of a material or spiritual relationship between the previous person and the remaining pile of dust. The mere thought of connecting a living person to a pile of dust, would be an affront to the memory of the deceased.

What are we to do with a pile of ashes that does not signify the previous person in any way? Some people imbue the ashes with some imaginary connectivity to the dear departed and store or display them somewhere in their home. Others scatter the ashes in the ocean to reflect a symbolic return of the atoms of the body to the primeval sea from which all life sprang. This view seems rather ephemeral. It certainly makes no difference whatsoever to the deceased person how his remains are disposed of.

The cheapest and most ecologically sound disposal of the pile of dust can be made by placing it, reverently, into the garbage can. Thus, the soul will return to the primeval sea or nourish future trees in the golf course on top of the landfill.

Alternatively, one might just simply flush the ashes down the commode. If one assumes any spiritual connection between the ashes and the previous person, one might also assume that the spirit of the deceased person would enjoy the ultimate waterslide ride through the sewer system of the city.

To bemoan or to celebrate the death of a dear departed, in any kind of funeral ceremony, is a completely fruitless, archaic, empty and irrational gesture for the sole purpose of entertaining and deluding the survivor.

We need to decide how we wish to deal with the inevitability of death. We can choose irrationality and ghosts, or rationality, science and knowledge. It is not conducive to human happiness if we try to deal with the loss of anything or anyone by the use of illusions, hocus-pocus and irrationality.

 

03. Weddings

A marriage is the formal, contractual arrangement between two persons of the opposite sex to live together as husband and wife. A wedding acknowledges this arrangement with regard to society. A marriage, as signified by a wedding ceremony, represents the compact between a man, a woman and the government to conduct their lives in accordance with the rules of the society they live in. An agency of the secular government, a clerical institution or both, may affirm the role of the government. A wedding signifies the initialization rites of a marriage.

A family, consisting of an adult male, an adult female and their children is the basic building block of human society. Persons, who are getting married, often do not fully appreciate the fact that the government, as signified by clerical or secular authorities, is a silent co-signatory participant in all marriages. However, not only do these authorities regulate the mutual obligations and rights arising from the marriage-agreement of husband and wife, but the formal consent of the silent partner is required before the marriage can be dissolved.

Society is extremely interested in the proper formation of a marriage, as signified by a formal wedding ceremony. Society is not interested in using public funds to support large numbers of illegitimate children and their mothers. A wedding puts other persons in the society on notice that a male and a female have formed a family unit.

After the wedding, not only is the husband responsible for the emotional well being of all members of the family unit, he is also responsible for financial transactions or torts involving family members. It is invariably the husband, on whom society places the onus to provide family members with the necessities of life or the liability for the payment of obligations incurred by the family.

This pervasive interest of society in the regulation of the family unit has imbued wedding ceremonies with great importance. A wedding was of immense significance during the primitive, tribal state of human society. It shifted major societal obligations from the father, as the head of an existing family, to the husband as the head of a newly formed family.

In primitive or in clergy-dominated societies, a religious wedding ceremony validated the formation of a new family and regulated the changing relationships of all parties involved. The primary role of a daughter changed to the primary role of a wife. The primary role of a son changed to the primary role of the husband. The role of the imperious father of the female changed to the role of an insignificant bystander. After all, he gave away his daughter and was now without a daughter.

The more primitive or religion-based a society is, the more importance is placed on the wedding because primitive societies cannot defer disputes to codified, written law. After human society evolved and matured, codified legal provisions replaced traditional or verbal laws. Written statutes governed the interaction between members of a family as well as interactions between the family and society.

During the rapid changes in societal structure in the twentieth century, codified legal provisions replaced the traditional wedding ceremony of primitive tribal eras. At the beginning of the third millennium, most civilized societies no longer accept as valid a marriage affirmed solely by a religious ceremony.

Instead of religious codes or tribal traditions, secular laws determine the laws governing married persons, their relatives and their offspring. Modern man is initiating a new phase of human evolution: From tribal societies, governed by witch doctors, to a more rational and enlightened view of societal relationships.

In the third millennium, religious weddings are irrelevant because society has codified the altered relationships resulting from a wedding. No longer does the father sell or transfer a woman to her husband as part of a religious or tribal ceremony. No longer does the father give away his daughter, with or without her consent, as was common during religious ceremonies.

The term "give away" implies the disposition of something that has little or no value. This type of religious ceremony is insulting and demeaning to an enlightened woman with a scintilla of self-esteem. Portentous, religious wedding ceremonies are still prevalent in lower-class environments where religion or spiritualism has smothered the rationality of participants.

A modern woman is no longer a chattel, a piece of property, conveyed by her father and a witch doctor to a husband. A modern woman chooses her own husband and marries him with or without the consent of other members of either family.

However, old religious and tribal customs die slowly. Among religious persons, a wedding reverts to archaic tribal customs, instead of being a simple legal contract between husband and wife and a government official. A religious wedding becomes a display of the real or pretended wealth of the parties involved.

A sumptuous wedding ceremony displays the ostentatious display of the wealth and the financial ability of the parents to provide such luxurious ceremony. The wedding frequently involves large numbers of remote family members and acquaintances, or even complete strangers.

Among persons participating in such charades, it has become a matter of prestige to wear fancy dresses and obsolete costumes, mostly rented. Outmoded tuxedos and expensive medieval wedding gowns demonstrate oneís wealth and indicate the purported ability to pay large sums of money for the entertainment of completely irrelevant persons.

Elaborate weddings merely serve to enhance the self-esteem of the persons who are arranging and paying for such obsolete and extravagant festivities.

An elaborate wedding provides no more insurance against a subsequent divorce, than a simple, basic wedding without extravagance. A pompous wedding does not relate to lasting happiness or to a happy family environment.

Religious weddings reflect obsolete tribal rites and are demeaning to modern man and rationality. Women are not chattels that family members give away. Women are full-fledged members of the human race, unless they demean themselves by participating in archaic or extravagant wedding ceremonies.

For persons with deficient or misdirected self-esteem, elaborate weddings are an emotional crutch. They are a great waste of financial resources. On the other hand, wedding gifts can become a major source of revenue for the bride and groom. The more guests they invite, the more gifts they receive, regardless of the fact that most of these gifts are worthless. Elaborate weddings have become an anachronism and a waste of resources.

The legal aspects of weddings are important because they evidence the lawful and contractual formation of a new family unit. They will continue to be fundamental to society and the direct participants in weddings. Medieval aspects of weddings, as evidenced by conspicuous displays and absurd religious rites, belong in the dark ages of humanity.

04. Last Wills

05. Fireplaces

Manís existence is a constant struggle against nature.

In order to survive in non-tropical climates, man has accomplished what no other animal could aspire to do. He learned to improve his environment by controlling fire and providing heat for his caves.

The ability to employ heat on demand represented a major survival factor for man. Humanoids who utilized fire had a greatly enhanced chance for survival than those who did not have access to fire.

The need for extraneous warmth, for fire, imbedded itself deeply in human genes. Lacking advanced technology, early cave dwellers simply built and maintained a fire in the middle of their cave. Even life in a smoky cave was preferable to freezing to death.

As eons passed, man refined his ability to provide heat on demand. Modern man has eliminated open fires in his living quarters and confined fires to ovens and furnaces. However, the good feelings derived from the heat given off by an open fire in a cave remain deeply imbedded in manís genes.

These survival-oriented genes are very slow in adapting to changed human living conditions. Therefore, man remains motivated by obsolete survival genes such as the so-called fight or flight syndrome, as well as our delight in watching an open fire in our cave, in our living room.

Our high-technology furnace and our electronic thermostat may assure the comfort of our home but our genes compel us to start a roaring fire in our fireplace. This conditioning flies in the face of the fact that an open fire in our living room represents a potential fire hazard. Furthermore, a fireplace removes ambient heat from the house by means of the draft in the fireplace chimney, obviously a self-defeating proposition. We are roasting in the living room while the rest of our house gets cold.

After we have satisfied our genes by enjoying an open fire in our fireplace, we then face a large pile of dusty ashes in the living room and have to waste time and effort cleaning up the mess.

Such irrational but emotionally satisfying behavior is evident in most modern American homes. A house without a fireplace would be severely disadvantaged in the housing market; it may not sell at all. Every American insists on having an archaic, obsolete and dust-producing fireplace in his living room.

It requires a high degree of human rationality to override the anachronistic, genetic need for fireplaces and open fires in our modern living areas. However, as long as emotion instead of rationality drives human beings, fireplaces and open fires will not disappear until updated genes have superseded obsolete genes. Fireplaces were appropriate for cave dwellers but they represent an anachronistic oddity in the life of modern man.

What is the connectivity between fireplaces and human happiness? A realistic understanding of the reasons for the existence of fireplaces will prevent us from succumbing to primitive, obsolete emotions. Since our genes carry this obsolete need, there is no point in fighting it. Rational persons may have no choice but to pay for fireplaces. They may even admire their appearance, but they do not use them.

 

06. Barbecues

Every summer, hundreds of millions of Americans return to the fire in front of their cave and burn large chunks of raw meat over roaring flames.

The barbarian tradition of barbecues bears close resemblance to anachronistic fireplaces. Similar to fireplaces, barbeques predominate in North America. Barbecuing consists of cooking parts of an animal carcass over an open fire. Undoubtedly, similar to the days of the Neanderthal, the barbeque is the center of outdoor social gatherings where people pretend to enjoy eating charred meat, oozing with unhealthy fat.

This activity is rather popular because it appeals to ancient human instincts buried in the mists of time. After man was able to preserve fire as an ongoing household utility, members of a family would undoubtedly sit around the open fire in front of their cave, roasting chunks of meat on wooden sticks.

This scene repeated so many times for tens of thousands of years that it became a survival factor. People who cooked their meat benefited nutritionally from the breakdown of protein fibers under the influence of heat. People who barbequed their meat, lived longer and survived better than people who did not cook their meat.

During the last 50,000 years, man has developed the technology to cook indoors, on temperature-controlled stoves. However, for special occasions man reverts to his obsolete survival instincts and cooks his meat outdoors, over an open fire. Attempts to bring the fire and the grill indoors have not been very successful because the meat tastes best when cooked over searing heat. Gas grills and electric grills cannot achieve the 3000-degree heat of a charcoal fire.

The attempt to cook outdoors, using great heat and throwing big slabs of raw meat on the grill, does not always make for happy results. Barbecuing often causes the meat to char and form carcinogenic compounds. Burning fat creates spectacular fires and the results are rarely what was attempted or expected.

Due to the high degree of food spoilage and the expense of acquiring the barbecue equipment, this form of outdoor cooking can become rather expensive when compared with modern indoor cooking methods. The cost of buying BBQ equipment can range from a rather nominal amount for a hibachi, to a major investment in an elaborate outdoor barbecue grill with complete kitchen facilities.

Barbecuing is a harmless diversion of man but it is interesting to trace its origins to manís survival in prehistoric periods. An outdoor BBQ party is not so much a way of cooking, but a form of entertainment involving the hilarious and exciting aspects of this form of food preparation.

 

07. Gambling

 

08. Children

Manís need to reproduce by creating children has become obsolete and counterproductive to human happiness. Why do we have children? We have children because our genes force us to have children.

To have children used to be a very important survival trait. Humans who failed to have children could not pass this survival trait on to the children they did not have. As a result, human beings are in emotional pain, they are very unhappy, if they cannot have children.

Our genes make us very unhappy if we do not have children. Therefore, most human beings have children. There is nothing glamorous or heroic about having children. Humans produce large crops of children because nature has made it very easy and very enjoyable to make children.

The sex drive is one of the most powerful human drives, secondary only to the instinct for immediate survival. Without a very strong sex drive on the part of its members, the human race would never have come into existence. Only those human beings, both male and female, who exhibit a strong sex drive, will propagate their genes by creating children.

Some parents plan their children. Many other children come into being accidentally or randomly, merely as by-products of sexual activities. Beyond the random creation of children, people have rationalized the creation of children for a variety of reasons.

People frequently create children with the specific objective of creating future adults who will take care of their parents when they are old and decrepit. Especially in primitive societies, people often create children because parents depend on children as unpaid help on the family farm, as slave labor.

One of the many other reasons contributing to the creation of children revolves around innate human urges toward cuddling small animals and thus filling an otherwise empty life with happiness.

It is also common for people to create children in order to gain a feeling of immortality. They feel that their own genes will perpetuate themselves indefinitely in their children and their childrenís children, ad infinitum.

The unconscious drive to create offspring rests deeply in the genes of our ancient brain, our brainstem, because our genes adjust very slowly to changes in our living conditions. In recent centuries, the genes activating our sex drive have become obsolete because the underlying need for offspring has diminished. Our sex genes have failed to keep up with rationality, with powerful currents in science, sociology and technology.

The creation of large numbers of children is no longer necessary or desirable for the survival of a family. Mortality rates of children have declined drastically, leading to a replacement rate that is higher than the death rate of a population group. The availability of modern contraceptives has further reduced the reproductive rate.

Furthermore, there is no longer any need to create large numbers of children as caretakers for their parents in their old age. Social programs and individual retirement vehicles have obviated this need.

Man, especially the female of the species, is no longer an automatic child production machine, at the mercy of random fertility events. Rational people need to consider the benefits and disadvantages of having children.

Nature has programmed us so that children provide many emotionally satisfying responses. Children are also very expensive and irrevocable investments in our future happiness. Adults who decide to have children lock themselves into a twenty-year investment, involving the expenditure of prodigious amounts of time and money.

In historic developmental stages of man, families lived in the same location for generations. Modern families are highly mobile and children frequently disperse over vast distances, all but eliminating the opportunity for the support of their parents in their old age.

Furthermore, there is no guaranty that children will be sources of great joy to their parents. It is very common for parents to be deeply distressed about the conduct of their children. An old Chinese proverb bemoans the fact that one man can bring up ten children but ten children cannot support one elderly parent. Children often die, crating great agony for the surviving parent. Children often end up in jail or kill other people to the great disappointment and distress of their parents.

Another risk in creating children is the distinct possibility that the child may be physically or mentally defective. This calamity would result in horrendous mental anguish for both child and parents, and would create devastating financial hardships for the parents or for society.

On the other hand, adults without children, or parents who severely restrict the number of children, gain the ability to spend all of their financial resources on purely enjoyable activities. They can take advantage of rewarding opportunities for travel, luxurious living, education, the arts, entertainment and many other arenas important to man in modern society.

Man is no longer the slave of his sex drive. In order to achieve maximum happiness, he needs to free himself from the anachronistic presumption that it is desirable or necessary to create children. The need to have children has become a genetically outdated proposition.

Neither is there any need to be concerned about the survival of the human race because there will always be people who will create enough children to prevent the demise of the human race. It is not our objective in life to enslave ourselves for the future of the human race. Our only objective in life is to achieve as much happiness as humanly possible.

There will always be an abundance of children, but they need not be yours. Be selfish; do not worry about the future of the human race. Give yourself the gift to live your own life to its fullest. In the furtherance of your happiness, seriously consider the choice of not having children at all, or maybe only one child.

09. Religion

10. Alternative Medicine

11. Archaic Measurements

12. Lawn Mowers

It is hilarious to consider that every weekend hundreds of millions of men venture forth into their yard. It would be understandable if they would go there to relax in a hammock, sipping a cool drink. Instead, they spend truly prodigious amounts of money to water their lawn, to fertilize it, to weed it.

They then proceed to move their lawn and to harvest mountains of hay and potential silage. Since they have no use for all these valuable farm products, they have to pay to have it hauled away to the city dump.

Why do mature adults engage in such apparently futile behavior? As evidenced by all human behavior, men do these foolish things because they are automatons, driven by their genes. Their genes inform them that it is desirable to have lush, green vegetation around their abode.

Obviously, this behavior was a potent survival factor a million years ago when a lush green environment was an indicator of superior fecundity and prosperity. Only those early persons survived and perpetuated their genes who consistently considered a lush, green environment as essential to their well-being. People who preferred an environment that was brown because it could not bear vegetation, perished.

A million years later, genes still compel their human hosts to prefer the color green over the color brown and, therefore, they grow a lawn in front of their homes. Persons with a higher degree of rationality perceive the utter futility of maintaining, harvesting and destroying green vegetation.

Instead of pushing a lawn mover, why can we not turn our lawn into an artistically pleasing rock garden? With a little waterfall, maybe, to appease the genes that compel us to like water in all its manifestations. Does anyone still insist on organic materials? Tree-bark will solve this problem handsomely.

All of our likes and dislikes embedded themselves into our genes eons ago. We are our genes and we are the slaves of our genes unless we allow our rationality to prevail over obsolete genes.

13. Ecological Crusades: Save the Whales! Save the Dinosaurs!

 

Due to space limitations, sections in Red are accessible only in the Book or CD "How Life Really Works".

 

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