Conscience, Judgment, and Value Systems
A while back, I said this blog was for expressing personal opinions, especially mine; this series on conscience is no exception. Although HealingMindN is based in psychic human potential, that human potential is only as stable as the conscience which supports it.
Conscience is the guiding recognition of right and wrong in regards to our actions and motives. Although this may seem to be a global definition of conscience for every human being, let’s have a look at a popular quote by Thomas Hobbes from Leviathan, part 2, chapter 29:
“A man’s conscience and his judgement is the same thing, and as the judgement, so also the conscience, may be erroneous.”
For a moment, let’s focus on what might make us erroneous. As individuals, we are all brought up with different values. For me, that’s OK. I respect different cultures with their different value systems – as long as they’re life-positive.
Problems happen when people with different value systems project undesirable attributes upon each other. Bless the Beasts and the Children who innocently project positive qualities to others, but let’s talk about people who project negative qualities onto others for a moment.
At the crux of psychological projection, people want freedom. They want freedom of freedom of mind; this includes a clear conscience. In order to maintain that freedom, or, at least, the illusion of it, we may use defense mechanisms such as denial and projection. Although, we have different value systems, globally, we all know what is life-positive and what is life-negative. Projection is a way for us to free our conscience of our own undesirable, life-negative behavior as we point our fingers to blame others of the same. For your reference:
- Protects and supports life
- Controls and weakens life
Denial and Projection
For example, religious zealots among Christians, Jews, and Muslims like to judge each other. They blame each other for a bloody history that caused great pain and suffering. They blame each other for being war criminals and terrorists because of that history, thus ignoring their own bloody history. Can we agree that problems happen when these zealots rise to power?
That reference on psychological projection also speaks of denial, a well proliferated defense mechanism. An example is big pharma and their lackeys. No matter how many life-negative side effects they acknowledge to prescribed drugs, they deny that their drugs cause over 100,000 deaths a year. Instead, they project the problem onto their patients: They prefer to say, “The patient didn’t respond well to treatment (therefore, the patient is at fault)” – “BTW, we are exonerated of any fault by the supreme courts and the patient signed a waiver exonerating us of any fault… so there.”
Most people in law enforcement grew up ascribing negative attributes onto others because of their own experience, family values, feelings of guilt for something they did, etc. On the surface, they may say, “Protect the people, serve the law.” But When they abuse their authority and treat the people they are supposed to be serving as beneath them, inside, what they really say is “Protect my ego, serve me.” Their conscience is clear as long as they wear that badge and catch the “bad guys” who are really guilty. BTW: What made these farmed pigs criminals in the eyes of law enforcement in that they had to be killed?
Every walk of life has people in authority positions who project their undesirable thoughts, motivations, desires, and feelings onto people beneath them. Obviously, you’re not one of them because you’re still here reading this. Think of this as a guide to the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Dictatorships, kingships, and tyrannys have all gone through the same trials throughout the millenia wherein authority figures treated their subjects as cattle. Time after time, I’ve heard the same words: “I’ll give you the leadership you deserve…”
They all fell by the hands of the people who knew the difference between right and wrong. They knew the difference between life-positive and life-negative.
But there is a difference now. Like any “high” achiever who tries and fails, the dictators, kings, and tyrants have been tweaking and perfecting their methods throughout time. As long as their successors figured it out, they didn’t care how long it took to succeed. For a “high achiever,” each failure is one step closer to success; it doesn’t matter if the goals are good or evil.
In earlier posts, I have referred to them as the people of Psalm 73, so I’ll do it again. The people of Psalm 73 have figured out a way to control human beings: Sedate them and breed fear into them.
When human beings are sedated, they are out of touch with their own feelings, their own instincts and intuition about right and wrong. When they are bred with beliefs based in fear rather than love, then they resonate more with life-negative dictators, kings, and tyrants rather than life-positive human spirit. Such a people are more self-involved and self-centered rather than caring about the future of the human race.
In essence, the people of Psalm 73 desire to make their citizens underneath them in their own image. Therefore, their projection of undesirable attributes onto others becomes justified.
You don’t believe me. OK, let’s look at a few social studies that are part of mainstream academic psychology.
Social Studies Projection
The famous Milgram Experiments done a few decades ago seem to prove that ANYONE will give into authoritarian commands to do harm to another human being. I’ll leave it to you to examine the shocking details of the Milgram Experiments.
A recent study from UC Berkeley implies, given the impetus, that anyone can and will give into greed. BUT upper classmen, mainly people who become authoritarian figures, are raised to be greedy.
The above experiments are based in the notion that anyone and everyone gives into human frailty, given the impetus, to behave unethically. As you see, the objective of these experiments is to project or ascribe undesirable attributes to all humans. Then they “clutch at every straw” by reaching for every piece of data that might prove their theory – while discarding all other data as anamolous; the researchers, in the guise of “postulating their theories,” are also guilty of projecting their own unethical behavior upon their experimental subjects.
Are you beginning to understand how mainstream science works?
Like all the other grade school kids, when I was presented with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I also believed that any person will sacrifice morality, ego, personal safety, and more, when deprived of the most basic needs such as food, water, and sleep. I still recall the example that one college health teacher provided on how a man will crawl through manure, mud, and dead bodies to fulfill their basic needs.
These same teachers failed to cite examples through out history/herstory that seem to suggest an inversion of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. What about Indian Yogis and Shaolin Monks who sacrifice their basic needs for self actualization? Like Mahatma Ghandi? Dalai Llama? St. Francis of Assisi? David Blaine? Not that he’s a holy man, but was David Blaine looking for fame or was he just plain nuts looking for self actualization when he suspended himself high on a perch or a big plastic box for days at a time – depriving himself of food, sleep, and excretion?
What about the personal sacrifices of musicians who deprive themselves of food, sleep, and safety for their art? Our favorite recording artists sacrificed regular meals and, sometimes, a roof over their heads to finally get that big break and record their music and play their dream venues. These are people who have placed self actualization as their most basic need.
What about scientists who personally sacrificed their safety and security for their beliefs like Nikola Tesla, Wilhelm Reich, Royal Raymond Rife, and Ruth Drown? These are people who placed self actualization of the human race as their most basic need.
Are there exceptions to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? Are they anamolies to true human nature? Or are these people just a few samples of true human nature?
My next post in this series covers “Upper Class Cheating” in a little more detail. In the mean time, Stay Free – I mean in a good way.