Wednesday, January 20, 2010

They Will Not Control Us

You are not the prisoners of context. You are not the prisoners of your own bodies. You don't have to be.

You can transcend this interaction. You can transcend stimulus-response. You can transcend your impulses and urges.

Set yourselves free. You have the key to your attitude. How will you confront the world? How will you defend yourself from the onslaught of circumstance?

You have the power to change. You have the power to stop. You have the power to start over. Will you allow yourselves the opportunity to become something greater than yourself?

Christians say that Jesus died for your sins. What exactly did Jesus change? Did he change the environment? Did he change the laws of genetics? Did he stop complexity arising from simplicity?

How did you and I get here? We evolved. To such great hands does the creator of the Universe entrust its creation! Our current state is the direct result of doing whatever we could to survive.

Fighting, fear and fate. These are the masters of billions of years of natural selection. We have been engineered to survive. You have been engineered to become amoral beings. To be or not to be.

That is the sole moral law of our universe. Every act you consider good is only designed to ensure a fair chance of survival. Every wrong you do is wrong because it hurts another survivor. What's the difference?

Everyone wants to survive. What's fair to me is what I could get in my position if I were you. It's easy to deny someone else. It's preferable to look out for number one. Let me repeat: to be or not to be is the moral law.

However, you are not the hostage of fortune. This is the good news. You can be better by cooperating. You can transcend your fortune. You can defy fate. You can master probability. Do you want to transcend your own mere survival?

We can create a better legacy. You do not have to be controlled by your environment. You do not have to be consumed by your urges and impulses. You each have the ability to question everything you do. Inquiry is the ultimate path to transcendence.


This post found inspiration in Muse's song "Uprising" and in The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins.

1 comment:

Teleprompter said...

What's partially funny about this post, looking back, is how much it sounds like Nietzsche! Of course, I had not read anything by him when I wrote this originally, but there are many similarities.

The will to power --> the will to exist.

Of course, there are many differences between our perspectives. For one, the interdependence of all living beings is for me a crucial focus. The struggle for power cannot possibly be autonomous. Religious traditions such as Jainism have noted this before.

Using Nietzsche's terminology, I assert that if our continued will to power is dependent on the well-being of other living objects, then it is advisable to regulate our relationships with them. Just as Nietzsche posits that it is advisable to regulate the internal soul in the name of external conquest, it is also advisable to regulate our relations with other human beings and with all plants and animals. These organisms are an integral part of our internal soul, insofar as they perpetually make us who we are and sustain our existence.