Re: Why do we seek to transcend ourselves?

From: Gordon Worley (
Date: Wed Jul 24 2002 - 11:29:39 MDT

On Wednesday, July 24, 2002, at 08:59 AM, Dani Eder wrote:

>>>>> My hypothesis is that the modern human psyche
>> generically contains a
>>>>> certain lack, a feeling of emptiness.
>> Obviously this is far from an
>>>>> original idea! It's been called many things --
>> a feeling of
>>>>> aloneness, meaninglessness, purposelessness,
>> existential angst...
>>>> Obviously a great many people feel this way. But
>> why would the human
>>>> psyche generically contain it? Where does it come
>> from?
> Evolutionary psychology may have an answer.

This reminds me of something that I've had on my mind for the past few

As I posted earlier, evolutionary psychology can explain why people seek
to transcend (or, more accurately, provides a possible explanation that
I can only sort of prove and depends on evolutionary psychology being
correct) and since no one has objected I'll accept that my answer is
correct give our present state of knowledge. As I'm working on my book
on rationality, I've spent a lot of time writing notes about specific
behaviors present in humans that are irrational and, not to be
surprised, they are all the result of genetic programming (directly or
indirectly). While it does not follow that thinking that is the result
of genetic programming is necessarily irrational, it is a common trend
for which to watch. Given this tendency, for what reasons is
transcendence a good idea rather than another irrational thought that we
are having a hard time seeing around? Or to make the question
unweighted, why should we transcend or not transcend if we ignore the
genetic reasons to transcend?

Gordon Worley                     `When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty            said, `it means just what I choose                it to mean--neither more nor less.'
PGP:  0xBBD3B003                                  --Lewis Carroll

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