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Why do humans crave reason?

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posted on Dec, 29 2010 @ 12:48 AM
I know the title might be a little misleading, but what I'm trying to get at is that humans seemed to have evolved into some of the laziest, procrastinating, and lost creatures on Earth. And I'm not just referring to a stereotypical American who goes through a Taco Bell drive-through talking on a cellphone before he has goes home and avoid his family by watching TV.

We just lack motivation for absolutely everything...I can't be the only one who feels disconnected and constantly retreats into a content and uncaring state of mind when he's "bored" with his surroundings. It almost seems like we have exhausted our freedom and just look for easier and easier ways to get through our short life. Let me give you a good example:

A "friend" I knew back in high school was your typical high school nobody. He was about 5'3, short black hair and glasses, weighed 100 pounds soaking wet, barely passed his classes, never had a girlfriend or even a family, and probably couldn't do fifteen push-ups. Well after high school he joined the army, and some of my friends and I used to joke about how pathetic recruiting has become if he even makes in through basic training. But let me tell you, I saw this a few months back for the first time in a couple of years and this kid is a stud now. He grew about 5 inches, has pumped few weights, just got married to a cute blonde, and is heaps happier than I ever saw him in school.

It's just human nature that we crave direction and structure. Namely religion, bureaucracies, grade school, and to extent capitalism. If we are forced to do something it's no secret that it brings out the best in us in all areas of our lives. If a child is trapped under a car, then a mother can find the strength to lift it.
Whats the first thing you do when you add someone on facebook or look at a youtube video?
You look at how many friends they have, or how many views their getting. Because if a lot of people know them then obviously they have more influence and are more important than other people.

If an attractive girl is rather dumb or has no friends then there is obviously something wrong with her and we don't want want more than a one night stand. The same way if an average women is being pursued by thousands of men, than we will naturally go into a competitive state of mind and she will become amazingly attractive to us. We need a reason in order to put all of energy and love into something as priceless as a human being. Even the most primitive animals don't treat their own kind like this unless their immediate safety is being jeopardized.

I know how terrible it can be to not have any reason to even get out of bed. I went through a deep depression and anxiously ridden state of mind when I started college because my life suddenly lost purpose. Questions like, "What is the meaning to life", actually bothered me now when I used to be able to brush them off as a meaningless set of paradoxical linguistic symbols. It's just a conundrum to even ask that question. But then my Grandmother started to die, and I was immediately whisked from my depression. Out of something that should destroy you I came out a new man with a new state of mind. When you see somebody in pain and you love them, no matter how bad you feel you'll forget all about your well being and safety.

How many people do you know that work 8-10 hours a day, then come home and suddenly find themselves without something to do. So they just naturally shut off all of their negative thoughts and engross themselves into a TV before going to a bar, getting their temporary socially productive fix, and then going to bed before doing it all over again the next day, and the day after that.

So my question to you is, why can't we just do things without first having a reason. What is it so hard to work out when you feel fat? Obviously having a mentally fashioned reason is never good enough to get things done. A dog will run if you dangle a steak in front of it, are we so shallow that we need the same kind of instant gratification to get things done?

edit on 29-12-2010 by Nostradumbass because: Sorry for the long read, I'm just trying to a get the point accross so maybe someone can understand what I'm asking.

posted on Dec, 29 2010 @ 01:23 AM
reply to post by Nostradumbass

I understand exactly what you mean and are asking.

To answer your question, I think perhaps it is derived from sentience. To be free from the desire of a purpose for existence means reverting back to sole animal instincts. So although our sentience is seemingly a great privilege for us, it is not without it's "catch". Eg; you can be aware you exist, yet you now need a reason to do so. This transfers over to any individual action.

I don't really see anyone that I have met really caring for such a thing, they just ignore this question. I think it threatens the very foundations for their own made-up reasons for existence.

I mean, in my case, I have denounced religion and other purposes society hands you on a plate, and through the years i've grown from a cynical bastard to a nihilistic ass-hole. It is quite depressing, not in the sense that one is sad, but in the sense that there is no motivation. All I have found so far is the pursuit of knowledge and to spread my genes, but in the end, without an inherent purpose, what is the point?

It seems to me that the only way to be content with your meaningless life is to be ignorant, to stop asking questions about existence, and to just live a life of blissful ignorance. I'd just like to add, I can relate to your friend there. After highschool I too joined, but the purposes the military gives you were overriden by every experience and the questioning nature of me, so it did not satisfy me.

Seems like everyone is in a solid glass house and i'm staring at them from outside.
edit on 29-12-2010 by Somehumanbeing because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 29 2010 @ 02:35 AM
I think I see what your saying. It's just classic buddhism, eliminate desire and you eliminate the self.

Monks, shamans, etc who are so at peace and so "happy" are the ones who completely forget about themselves. They get lost in their surroundings as a result of extreme meditation or drugs that zoink them out of their mind. They regain that child-like since of wonder that we all crave.
If you choose to like a monk way of life, then you are literally free from thinking. Therefore the entire notion of sadness, depression, suicide is completely ridiculous because death could not be any better than their current balanced state of mind.

Or if we choose to live and play the game of society, where we are constantly evolving and changing then we must be productive at all times. Even if we get lose in our own imagination, it feels amazingly productive.
I find myself at my lowest levels when I question my current place.
"I could be working out instead of laying here"
"I could be out with my friends instead of watching TV"
"I could be finding meaning of my life instead of constantly questioning what meaning life has"

Here is the downside to reason. All statements come from an equation, and from that questions are born. Like when I say the sky is blue.
"Why is it blue?"
"What makes it blue?"
"What is blue?"

Here consider this statement: "In order to be happy you must help others".
Now I want you to form as many questions from that statement as possible.
"Why do I need to be happy?"
"Why does helping others make you happy?"
And as your doing this...observe your state of mind and what you feel. It's almost like a lost/vacant feeling when you come up with questions.

And now try to answer those questions and rationalize them the best you can.
"Because there is no greater desire"
"Because it's a type of pleasure you can never get bored of"
And again why you are searching for those answers in your head, notice your state of mind and how much more content and focused it is. It's crazy how language plays with and runs your mind.

In the end you have to ask yourself, whats more you perceive the world, or how well you can rationalize it's reason for being. Definitely a profound thought.

I guess that's why I'm 19 years old and seem so smart to others...because I think about crap like this. I've literally exhausted my brain to the point where I can recall questions from a test like they are right in front of my face. Whereas monks probably couldn't, but they are light-years ahead of me "spiritually". But I definitely see what your saying about the depressing thought of reproducing only to know that humanity/the Earth will die out eventually. That's what led me down such a dark depression.

One last thing to add: As for the military, you notice that the forced physical activity does occupy your questioning nature for the time being. However I got to imagine laying in the barracks is terrible, though luckily, you get a break in the form crawling in dirt and fearing for your life. That's why if I ever hit depression again I have vowed to hitchike America. It's hard to be depressed when you have to watch out for your safety at all times...just something to think about.

posted on Dec, 29 2010 @ 03:15 AM
reply to post by Nostradumbass

You're comparisons remind me of the "# happens" meme. If you train yourself to actually believe it, over-time you are more relaxed if negative things affect you. Seems like if you just accept that certain things occur, the more relaxed you are, not necessarily "happy" but more relaxed.

Things really come down to two simple questions though it seems: Will I live with a child-like ignorance to be "happy" or will I question everything and learn yet not be "happy". Perhaps a middle-ground exists? But then you lose the benefits of full-fledged curiousity.

I am 20 years old by the way, and I received the same sort of "perceptions" from others as you have. I also noticed everyone that was frequently "happy" and "energetic" were the ones who weren't so curious in nature. They just enjoyed the simple things, though that necessarily does not mean they were not educated.

Perhaps clinical depression leads to this form of thinking? Or maybe it's the other way around. Just putting that out there. It would be a good idea to travel though as you say, I too have contemplated that. Empty lands like Patagonia, the great steppes, or far-northern america attract me more though. Seems very relaxing to just "f off"

As for the military, that is true. During training they keep you on your toes most of the time, never have down-time, so you never really have time to think. Rarely will you slip onto a curious thought even when on piquet. It's not that "bad" though, it was bliss, in a sense.

Perhaps this manner of thinking is a recent construct because long ago people had not enough "spare" time to indulge in their curious pursuits? For example, recent philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche wrote much of what we are discussing now, yet further back they focused on God and Self-Control such as Stoicism.

edit on 29-12-2010 by Somehumanbeing because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 29 2010 @ 09:24 AM
I am sort of an old woman so don't take this the wrong way. You sound young. It is difficult to be young. Most of our culture worships the young. But until you are 24 your brain is still developing as are the brains of most of your peers. I was miserable at this stage in my life with the superficiality of it all which sort of hangs on that whole decade of your 20s now a days - it was way worse for me because I went through this stage in the 80s, just rent a cliched 80s film you'll see what I mean, it was all porches and Miami Vice. I should have been a hippy but they were really OUT in the 80s. This is a more enlightened time now so you are fortunate in that respect and there are so many sources to expand your growth and development as a human being just a key stroke away. People talk about how bad things are now, but I believe there has been a constant stream of improvement for those who quest. Still there is soothing comfort in really old works which you can easily find online. Keep moving, keep questing, it gets better for those who do. For those around you who don't, who might appear on the surface more successful, who sort of wonder what's up with you - you will watch the facades crack with time. You are going to do well. Step back a little and strive for a little less attachment, take time to just observe. Life is the most facinating thing going on and you seem well on your way to figuring that out. Peace.

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