Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Give Me the Electric Cocaine
Happiness is a drug that induces a high similar to cocaine, a comedown, addiction and withdrawal similar to cocaine and yet we encourage people and even children to seek out this illicit pleasure. The rats given the choice to do enough cocaine to die or stay alive choose the cocaine, and the same can be said for those seeking pleasure and happiness at a cost of their own wellbeing: the children who play video games instead of study, the people who shirk responsibility and disregard opportunities for self-improvement in order to watch television, and those that seek constant gratification of their desire for approval from their peers on social media. People seek out these activities because they feel good, and these pleasurable feelings are fare easier to attain than the feeling of success one can enjoy by doing something responsible or helpful or bettering one’s own life. This is a clear example of people’s own emotional susceptibility crippling their ability to perform simple critical thinking, and the high produced by these readily accessible pleasures creates a cycle that feeds into itself and reinforces itself indefinitely through both chemical and social means. These sorts of cycles are the same pleasure seeking behaviors exhibited by the drug addicted, and the results are the same: people are willing to exert enough effort to attain their high and continue the cycle, but seldom do these addicts summon the willpower to rise above the pleasure that controls them in order to attain a higher level of fulfillment.
Along with happiness and pleasure, other mind altering phenomena also have the ability to cloud judgement and contort our thought processes. Though a sense of compassion may have driven the feral humans to act upon such feelings and help an injured stranger and thus allow the species to thrive just a bit more, this emotional capacity can easily be manipulated by the vivid images humankind has been able to produce so skillfully such as text and video. While compassion may seem harmless, it can be used by public speakers and the media to persuade people to vote or hold and opinion through a very common fallacy, the appeal to emotion. This fallacy can easily sway those who consider their emotions as something pertinent to an argument, whether their emotions are fear, anger, guilt, compassion, or otherwise, the powerful feeling of emotion can mislead people into thinking that they have come to a logical decision because the decision is in line with their emotions.
Another sickening tactic of the public figures is an argument of personal appeal, this argument is appealing to a wide array of people, from the simpleminded to those engrossed in shameless narcissism. These arguments for socialism gain support because the voters feel that they will get things they want and never look into the actual implications of the methods of delivering things, the argument is simply “I will give you what you want” and this is enough to sway many people. They don’t care that the things they want are inefficient and impractical uses of money, they don’t care that it is being paid for with other people’s money and they don’t care that social services in question are largely unsustainable and destined to collapse on account of increasing population and stifled economic growth on account of the increased taxes. An allegory to describe these people would be “A man holds a piece of candy in his hand, and says to a child, if you take this candy I’m going to go home and beat my children, and of course the child takes the candy and the other children get beaten.” This shows how the shortsightedness and largely the self-centered mindsets of people create a population that does not actually understand what they are voting for, but rather a population that is swayed by fallacy to the point where winning an election has little to do with politics, policy, or capability to govern but rather how much a speaker can abuse logical fallacy to mislead the voting public.
These clear vulnerabilities to fallacy and hedonism are prime examples of why humankind as a whole should be loathed. To have the most important and impactful decisions in the world being made by the people who have mastered the art of fallacy rather than that of logic is shameless, and yet this is the type of government that a democracy promotes so long as the voting public is easily swayed by their emotions and lacks the critical thinking skills of a human that has devoted a good deal of time to studying logic and analyzing rhetoric. The democracy is consistently defended as the ideal because every person gets to vote, when in reality, few understand the issues at hand enough to make sound decisions and many are simply swayed by fallacy as opposed to sound reasoning. The inability to think critically and understand the issues at hand are reasons why children are not allowed to vote, yet once these people reach adulthood and still lack these skills, their opinions are suddenly valid and can easily decide the fate of a country. It is a sad bit of “equality” when the opinions of people who failed to graduate from high school determine the fate of an arsenal of nuclear weapons with the same amount of significance as climatologists, ecologists, physicists and people who are educated in International Relations. Oh humans, so easy to loathe already without any reference to human’s destructive parasitic relationship with planet Earth.