The Purpose Journey (36)©

“And the metaphor of being infected by Evil is a good one, as any physician will tell you,” Gabriel continued. “Clearly, the normative human machine is capable of much violence, though less in females than males generally. Conversely, the normative human machine is capable of acts of self-sacrifice and altruism in times of great calamities as earthquakes, Tsunami, volcanos, and even pestilence. However, I must stress that psychological movement within the human behavioral sphere is essentially automatic and instinctual, with violence being much more easily provoked than altruism. The only individuals possessing a modicum of conscious intent, as to how to ‘tip the emotional balance’ of the populace to do their bidding, are the manipulators. And much more often than not, manipulation is primarily for their benefit, but leaving enough to satisfy the participants.

How such manipulation came to be is what I want to discuss next. As everyone learnt in school, except maybe Morgana and Merlin, some six million years ago the cladogram of primates branched so to initiate two distinct evolutionary lineages leading to the two modern chimpanzee species and the humans. Of the three primate species, P troglodytes and H sapiens are very similar in temperament and social structure. Both species are dimorphic (males larger than females); male-dominated social hierarchy based upon physical prowess, violence, and alliances; males can be extremely violent when one family group meets a lone competitor; have some degree of intentional awareness; capacity to connive for personal benefit; kill prior alpha’s new born if not opposed; concern for the well fare of injured and sick mates; seek friendship and peaceful relations when the power hierarchy is stable; and so one.

What I am conveying is that psychological structure of an individual human is not significantly different from that of an individual chimpanzee. Moreover, many of the violent group behaviors of human groups are mirrored within the chimpanzee. Subsequently, from a neurobiological stance it is reasonable to presume that our immediate common ancestor possessed a similar tendency for domination, intragroup violence to be dominant, and intergroup violence/. This inborn tendency to ‘flow with the crowd’ and be violent is the source of all those behaviors most societies call Evil.

Fortunately, for human all may not be lost as there is difference in the sizes of the central nervous system, 400 cc in chimps and 1300 cc in humans. Much of this increase being seen in the human prefrontal cortex (relative to the rest of the brain) and provides hope for the undoing of our neurobiologically aggressive and violent natures when connected to other more recent brain centers. In other words, I doubt that chimpanzees and some of our first forebears had a significantly developed brain to be able to understand why violence is not a beneficial quality in a civilized world. Modern humans possess the capacity for displaying a conscience so to feel the difference between taking and bestowing, a sense of justice and fairness, an intentional desire to be altruistic. And this ability to ‘know right from wrong’ is what distinguishes humans from all other species.

So in conclusion, all of us are inherently violent, aggressive, and self-centered neurobiologically speaking. These tendencies must be opposed and minimized for the human species to survive. We are like the world after Pandora opened her box letting all sorts of evil loose upon the world–a metaphor for our evolutionary neurobiology. But, she opened the box a second time to allow Hope to escape–a metaphor for our innate sense of right and wrong, fair and unfair, our desire to be altruistic by intention, our conscience. For it is our ‘capacity for conscience’ that makes us potentially interesting in the ongoing emergence of life and mind in the physical universe.

Any questions about the neurobiology of the nature human when he or she lives in large groups controlled by sociopaths?”

Leave a Reply