Human dissonances

It could be that the primary distinguishing feature of humans from other species is not the control of fire or the use of tools or the level of cognition, but is our propensity for cognitive dissonance.

  • The development of the human brain (especially the prefrontal cortex and the ability to make judgements) continues well past teenage years and is not complete till about 25 years of age. Yet the age for permitting voting and other decision making, where critical judgement is crucial, is being reduced and sometimes to as low as 16 years.
  • We consider children not to be the property of their parents but only their dependants and having their own rights. Yet we permit IVF, surrogacy, adoption and abortion primarily for the “benefit” of the parents. We “grant” single parents and gay couples the “right” to have children as if they were just property.
  • Many types of unacceptable, criminal behaviour are “treated” rather than punished (or punished leniently) on the grounds that the fault with the perpetrator is genetic, yet we permit such perpetrators to reproduce these same genetic faults.
  • Capital punishment is not considered justified except for the perpetrators of the most horrific and violent crimes (and sometimes not even for them). Yet the unrestricted, on-demand, abortion of human foetuses up to about 15 weeks before birth is considered a “human right” – of the mother. (see Note 1). Assisted suicide, however, is generally not allowed (with some exceptions),
  • Race and gender are realities of genetic ancestry and and yet we treat them as “social constructs” and try to introduce laws to deny or outlaw genetic differences.
  • “To each as he deserves” is opposed “to each as he needs” and is the classical confrontation between the “right” and the “left”. “To me as I need” and “to you as I judge you deserve” is the creed of the dictator.
  • To be able to discriminate is good but to discriminate is bad, except when we discriminate to correct discrimination, for that is good.
  • We are each considered uniquely individual and different, but the differences are denied when we are also all considered “equal”. “Male” and “female” and “transgender” are taken to express the span of genetic gender differences among humans, but the differences are denied when they are all then taken to be “equal”.
  • We take what is equal to be just, but then exercise inequality to dispense justice. (i.e to dispense justice we treat the plaintiff or the guilty or the victim differently to their opponents).
  • We support and protect failed species which cannot cope with their changing environments in the name of “conservation”and then consign them to a life of imprisonment in the same conditions in which they have failed. On the other hand, we hunt down and destroy species which have successfully adapted to the changes caused by humans as being pests.

Note 1: Births per year, globally, are about 130 million after about 40 million abortions (conception is thus around 170 million per year). Deaths per year globally are about 60 million and about two-thirds of these are due to age. Thus about 40 million die purely of age related causes, 4 million die as infants under 12 months old, 1.3 million in traffic accidents and 0.6 million by violence (including wars and terrorism).


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