Monday, November 19, 2007

The basest instincts of man.

Contributors at Blackfive are discussing PTSD and related re-integration/adjustment issues. (Do do DO read the post by Grim) The discussion is about those who have a distinct need for help, but also the normal adjustment that many people have to make. A commentor, Jordan, made this remark:

We can't medicalize and therapize this "gravitas" or sudden horrible insight into the basest instincts of man.

I made this comment:

A thought... is the problem of adjusting back again related to a cultural denial of the basest instincts of man?

Lest I go and get religious on us all, the concept of a corrupt human nature is something that doesn't get much play in our culture. People aren't *bad* naturally, they're good, and if they are bad it's because something made them that way. Probably society. I think this is back-*ssward, though. But it's necessary if people are going to go with "do what you feel" to teach and preach that "what you feel" is just fine and dandy. And that means explaining the "bad stuff", crime and abuse and hatred, as caused society instead of on human nature.

An unrelated (to wartime readjustment) example might be racism. Supposedly we learn racism rather than "fear of the other" being some instinctive survival reaction. Would we be able to deal with racism better if we admitted that distrust of those who look different or who are in a different tribe or speak a different language doesn't have to be *taught*... it's a selected-for instinct? As is *curiosity* and the desire to travel and see new things. BOTH contribute to survival. (Oh, and procreating with someone from a different gene pool... that TOO.)

But if we did that it would be interpreted as "this is natural, therefore you're saying that racism is a good thing."

Admitting the nature of man... that we are naturally predators (wolves)... that we are easily capable of vile things... that we hate and fear easily... that's what we put civilization on top of in order to control. Civilization doesn't cause the warping of our natural and innocent selves... because our natural selves aren't innocent.

So we've got society saying people are "good" and "do what you feel" and it's just wrong. Most people never hear (and wouldn't give a moment's thought to) the idea that we're all vile sinners and capable of the worst or that we need forgiveness and constant repentance and live a daily struggle to do what we should do and not to what we shouldn't.

Base human instinct makes us normal. Seeing the truth of it makes us wise. Choosing to live deliberately (not "do what you feel") makes us noble.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that to make a strong chain of society, with loyal and strong members, is to improve the strength of the weakest link. This cannot be done by simply forcing a command upon individuals, as the Left prefers. This must be done the Petraeus way. From the ground up. Person by person, chain by chain, blood by drop of blood.-Ymar

8:49 PM  

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