— You can access a sample of the first 20 or so explanatory, and first 20 or so inspirational WTM Emails (including this and your previous WTM Emails) at the end of this email.
— Wednesday’s explanatory emails and Friday’s inspirational emails are numbered in order of appearance, so one is odd and the other even numbered.
This is explanatory WTM Email 19
Are humans innately and unchangeably
competitive and aggressive?
In the explanatory WTM Emails 3 and 5, it was explained that we humans have been using the excuse that our human behaviour is no different to that seen in the animal kingdom — that we are competitive, aggressive and selfish because we are victims of savage animal instincts that compel us to fight and compete for food, shelter, territory and a mate; that we are at the mercy of a biological need to reproduce our genes.
It is important to revisit this topic because this excuse that we are victims of savage instincts has led to the belief that human nature is fundamentally unchangeable, that there will always be bad people, wars, murders, inequality, and so on, and that the meaning of life is just to try as best we can to manage those supposedly innate, unchangeable savage aspects of our make-up.
But this savage instincts excuse cannot be the real cause of our competitive and divisive behaviour because firstly, we humans have cooperative and loving moral instincts, the voice or expression of which within us is our conscience. As Charles Darwin recognised, ‘The moral sense perhaps affords the best and highest distinction between man and the lower animals’ (The Descent of Man, 1871, ch.4).
Secondly, descriptions of human behaviour, such as egocentric, arrogant, inspired, depressed, deluded, pessimistic, optimistic, artificial, hateful, mean, immoral, guilt-ridden, evil, psychotic, neurotic, alienated, etc, all recognise the involvement of our species’ unique fully conscious thinking mind — that there is a psychological dimension to our behaviour. Humans have suffered not from the genetic-opportunism-based, non-psychological animal condition, but the conscious-mind-based, PSYCHOLOGICALLY troubled HUMAN CONDITION.
And, most significantly, psychosis can be healed with understanding — which means human nature is not unchangeable or immutable!
So, we have needed to find understanding of the psychological origins of our competitive and aggressive condition, because that will allow the human race to be healed from its psychosis. And it’s precisely that psychosis-relieving understanding that Jeremy Griffith’s book FREEDOM presents. His human-race-redeeming-and-saving explanation of humans’ psychologically troubled condition can be viewed below.
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Of course, the question screaming out to be addressed is if Darwin was right about humans having altruistic, cooperative and loving moral instincts, then how on Earth did we manage to acquire them? A summary of the answer to this other great question in biology (which is a summary of the explanation in chapter 5 of FREEDOM) will be presented in next Wednesday’s explanatory WTM Email.
Discussion or comment on this email is welcomed — see below.
Please Note that a sample of the first 20 or so explanatory, and first 20 or so inspirational WTM Emails (including this and your previous WTM Emails) is available on our homepage at .
The WTM Emails that you are receiving are listed below (click on any to access directly). Note, as mentioned earlier, this order has been changed for new subscribers and on our website. To compare the old and new order, see .
These emails were composed during 2017 by Jeremy Griffith, Damon Isherwood,
Fiona Cullen-Ward & Brony FitzGerald at the Sydney WTM Centre.