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The Universal Human Longing for Goodness...

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So there is something you need to know about your cute little Longing for Human Goodness Module. It's a fanatic. It's a complete raving maniac! It's an absolutist. What it wants is absolute complete fucking universal happiness and good stuff for every fucking human being on the planet all the time right now! Always. Every possible good thing for every possible human always - now! It's very insistent on this point. Everything! Everyone! Always! Now! Complete fucking happiness in every possible way for every fucking body forever and always, now, now, now.

It's an opinionated little sucker. You can see this in the vehemence of your own rant when your Human Goodness Module got its undies in a bunch. Boy, if it doesn't get its way - it gets really ticked. When it gets uptight and on a tear, it won't even acknowledge that the Selfishness Mechanism might on occasion be a useful thing and very possibly not the end of the fucking world. Noooooooo......not your Human Goodness Module. If it doesn't get its way in every little thing, it throws an absolutist tantrum, tosses aside all confidence in its own strength to endure and balance the Selfishness Mechanism as it has for thousands and thousands of years, and instead flops down on the floor, screaming and crying that all its efforts are FOR NOTHING! and that IT'S USELESS USELESS USELESS! and that SELFISHNESS ALWAYS WINS! and that NOBODY EVEN GIVES A FUCK! and that it's SURE TO DIE OUT IMMEDIATELY AND THERE WILL NEVER EVER EVER BE ANY GOODNESS ANY MORE PERIOD!!!!

Yeah, it's a dramatic little sucker. Fond of declaring its own imminent demise whenever it finds some badness it can't beat. Oh my fucking god, I didn't win! it says. Badness will rule forever, all goodness will cease and the Endless Millennium of Evil Darkness is already upon us. Shoot us all now that I may not be forced to look upon this abomination. And so on and so forth. Apocalyptic language is one of its favorite tricks.

Look at your own rant and you can see the Goodness Module throwing a tantrum. 'Why can't all human beings be happy and good all the fucking time always and forever right fucking now!' 'Why! Why! Why! Why can't I get exactly what I want all the time right now? Why, huh? Answer me that! Why? Why can't I get my way? Why do human beings have to be all unhappy and selfish and shit? I hate that. I want everyone to be happy all the time! Why can't they be? Why?'

Et cetera. It's very appropriate to tell your Goodness Neurons a bedtime story because frequently they have the patience, frustration tolerance and coping skills of a two year old. And so they jump up and down inside your head making you yourself very unhappy until they exhaust themselves and take a nap or sulk or figure a way out of their dilemma. This happens to everyone. Every single person has to deal with the badness of the world at some point. Some people are loud about it, some people barely make a peep. Some people have active and excitable Goodness Modules forever staring suspiciously out from behind their eyes at all the bad stuff in the world and getting peeved about it, and some people have very hesitant and shy Goodness Modules that tug gently at their sleeves, whispering um I think that's bad, that's bad stuff, um, I don't like bad.

You have a personality, so does your Goodness Module. The personality of your Goodness Module will in fact have a huge influence on the personality you end up carting around as your personal shield against the world. Because a person's Goodness Module is just one of many things people have to deal with in life, and deal with it they do.

But let's turn our attention to giving it a shot at finding a way out of its frustration. Because, strangely, a huge amount of the unhappiness and cruelty that humans inflict on each other arises from maniacal and frustrated Goodness Modules Gone Bad! They do this. Sometimes they do it in incredibly dramatic ways. Even Christian theology recognizes that Lucifer, the devil, was once the very best angel of all. But he couldn't get his way and he has been tempting people with the alternative of evil ever since. Your Human Goodness module has some pretty impressive mythic credentials!

So let's explain why it's so maniacal first, so you can understand where it's coming from. Your Human Goodness Module was implanted using the Accelerator and Brake Pedal Theory of Design. If you have ever been in a car you may have noticed that they generally have an accelerator pedal and they have a brake pedal too! This is very exciting because one pedal makes the car go and one pedal makes the car stop! You can do both! Amazingly, by manipulating these two pedals you can achieve a range of motion with the car that stretches from not going at all to going very very fast.

Notice however, that the accelerator pedal does not make the car stop. It is a go pedal only. By varying pressure on the go pedal you can vary the amount of go-ness employed. Amazingly, the brake pedal does not make the car go - it only makes it stop. It is a stop pedal only. By varying the pressure on this pedal, you can achieve varying amounts of stop-ness. One does one thing, the other does the opposite thing.

Evolution designs many parts of the human and other animals this way. One module does one thing and that's what it does until another module that does the opposite thing makes it stop. One enzyme makes a fetus grow until another comes along and makes it stop. If the enzymes get out of balance, the fetus won't stop growing and it will kill itself and the mother or alternatively it wil never grow at all. Evolution relies heavily on this system. It doesn't ask modules to regulate themselves, it relies instead on opposition and conflict to regulate the entire system. Sort of like democracy is supposed to be regulated by checks and balances. Or capitalist economies are supposed to be regulated by competition. Your body, contrary to what everyone would have you believe, is a not single entity with a unified agenda but a massive sprawling decentralized system of conflict and opposition, warring agendas and bitter rivalries, sentimental alliances and coalitions of expediency all struggling for their own survival and yours. There's a decent chance your kidneys are pissed at your liver even now, or that your hangover receptor cells are giving your alcohol is fun! module the dressing down of its life even as we speak.

In this system, your Human Goodness Module is a go system only. When placed under pressure, such as by witnessing some spectacular acts of badness, it will rip up to speed and start going with furious intensity until something makes it stop. So you can be watching a special on world hunger and suddenly feel extraordinarily motivated to Do Something About World Hunger until your Laziness Mechanism kicks in and reminds you that Doing Something About World Hunger might involve getting off the couch. Your Goodness Neurons spurt forward and then some other part of you puts on the brakes. This is just natural. This is how it's supposed to work. This is life. This is why people know the world is all fucked up but they do not devote their lives 24/7 to unfucking it up. They're not supposed to. Other mechanisms are supposed to kick in and make the Goodness Neurons stop. The Goodness Neurons are not supposed to make themselves stop. They are supposed to retain their original desire to Rid the World Of Hunger and Injustice. They are supposed to be fanatics. They are among the Designated Fanatics of the human body. Just as it would be silly for the accelerator pedal of your car to attempt to take up other interests besides acceleration in the hope of becoming a more well-rounded and reasonable pedal, it would be silly for your Goodness Neurons to advocate for anything other than Universal Goodness. That's their job.

And it's a good thing they're fanatics too. The pressures of survival and selfishness are so strong, the threats so great, that if your Goodness Module wasn't a complete fucking thorough-going no-holds-barred balls-out maniac on the point of Universal Goodness, humans wouldn't be able to cooperate at all. There are so many many many reasons why it's not a good idea to cooperate, why it's a much better idea to pursue only your own interests that nothing short of a Maniacally Irrational Fucking Desire For Goodness would be able to hold its own. Nothing is more irrational than the insane unquenchable unstoppable human desire for goodness - and thank god for that. The Desire for Goodness is a felt force - experienced physiologically - and powerful as a motherfucker - unswayed by logical argument, the lessons of experience, eons of disappointment, or an unmarred record of never completely getting its way.

The Universal Longing for Human Goodness kicks. It burns. It howls, it rages, and it never ever ever gives up. You can't kill it. You can't defeat it. You can't get rid of it. It's supported by only thing - its necessity for human survival - but it's more powerful than any other force in the human being, including that famous sex drive that gets all the media attention. There's only one thing you can really do with the Longing for Human Goodness, and that's deal with it. And that's what you're going to need to do with yours, my ranting friend, because it ain't going away.

You might ask, if it's so fucking powerful and universal, how come the world isn't a better place? In fact, I think you did ask, in a roundabout way, why the world isn't a better place. Why doesn't goodness rule and Utopia reign? Why aren't we in fucking paradise? Well, since you asked, there are a couple of good fucking reasons. 1) It's not supposed to rule. It's supposed to be part of the system, not almighty despot. And 2) powerful force does not mean all-powerful. Remember that the Selfishness Mechanism still exists - and being that it is pretty fucking necessary for survival as well, it's a formidable set of brakes to the go-happy accelerator of Goodness.

And we are all glad that it doesn't rule - because when the Selfishness Mechanism takes a beating and can't hold its own with the Goodness Module - absolute fucking mayhem and the furthest reaches of bizarre benevolent cruelty kick in. It can get really fucking ugly when the Goodness Module takes the reins.

Let's take a simple example. Quakers. Advocates for Universal Human Goodness for some time now. Quakerism by its nature, like a large number of religions, is in fact, an attempt to install and impose Goodness on the world. The Goodness Neurons attempt to express their nature, and in doing so they naturally get greedy and try to take everything over since that's what fanatical maniacs do. The Goodness Module is grandiose and egocentric and has a strong streak of the dictator and it will frequently do its best to force Universal Happiness on everyone whether they want it or not. That's its job. Quakers, by and large, do a pretty good job of hanging with their greedy dictatorial Human Goodness Neurons, playing it cool and not getting overly excited about taking over the world with their particular form of Goodness. But every once in a while, they'll stumble into power, and the Goodness Neurons will whoop it up in a frenzy of trying to finally get their way.

This happened when Quakers were given a chance to run prisons in the 1800s in their own hometowns. Their Goodness Neurons promptly convinced them that what prisoners truly wanted was to Be Good, and that Being Good could be achieved by a 24/7 diet of communing solely with God in absolute isolation from all other humans so that the prisoners could more thoroughly enjoy immersion in their own Goodness Modules unfettered by unrewarding contact with Other People.

They were wrong. They kept the prisoners isolated, put their heads in black bags, kept them from contact with anything but their own minds, all of which promptly melted in a truly spectacular display of encroaching screaming madness, loud disoriented suffering, complete psychotic breakdowns, and loss of any ability to function at all. They had to shut the prisons down and pronto because loud agonized screaming chaotic loss of all functionality turns out to be difficult to manage, particularly when visiting dignitaries are trying to take a tour of your model prison.

People don't want to be Good 24 fucking 7, they want to be human. Being Good 24/7 is not good for human beings. It doesn't work. It fucks things up. It makes people suffer. It makes them crazy. The ideal of universal all the time everlasting human fucking goodness is not only impractical and ill-advised, it's insanely fucking stupid. The Goodness Module doesn't want to recognize this. It wants to think humans can survive on goodness alone. It's a fanatic. And it will push and shove its fanatic way to the front of human behavior every chance it gets and try to impose Goodness on human populations until they fall the fuck over from sheer misery or the genocidal impulses of the Facist Goodmongers.

Communism. Eugenics. Psychoanalytic theory. Religious fanaticism. Social propriety. Witch-burning. Executions. The bombing of abortion clinics. Slavery. Skinner boxes. Colonialism. The Spanish Inquisition. Lobotomies. And many many more! Human beings have spent their entire recorded history being extremely busy making other human beings extremely fucking miserable by trying to force some sort of Improved Goodness onto Human Nature. The range of cruelties that people will inflict on each other, trivial and vast, 'for their own good', in the service of Goodness, or in pursuit of the utopia the Human Goodness Module longs for - are simply unending. Thank god your own Goodness Module is all knotted up and stewing ineffectually at its computer or god knows what horrific vision of peace and justice you'd be attempting to infict on us all.

A good dose of the Selfishness Mechanism would have kept those Quakers on the straight and narrow and prevented them from driving fellow human beings slowly and excruciatingly insane for the kind of trivial crimes that landed them in a model prison That Would Greatly Improve Them. If the Quakers had listened to their own Selfishness Mechanisms they would heard the SM's saying- fuck no! I'd rather fucking die than go around with a black bag on my head all the time. For Christ's fucking sake, that's awful! Their Selfishness Mechanisms would have watched the prisoners melting and started screaming 'Make it stop! These people are going nuts; it's horrible to watch! Stop this. Oh for christ's sake, take the fucking bags of their heads and let them live a little. Oh christ, I can't take this. This is just too fucking much.' The Selfishness Mechanism would have spoken up because the Selfishness Module has good common fucking sense! That's part of its job. It knows people need Selfishness to survive. It knows a steady diet of goodness maketh the heart sick. It knows how it would feel if it had to sit with a bag over its head.

But no, the greedy tyrannical, power-mad Goodness Modules had deceitfully convinced the Quakers not to listen to their Selfishness, that such a thing was bad - and a caving in to the evil selfish desires of humanity. The Goodness Modules danced on the grave of their fallen enemy Selfishness - and promptly fucked up everything they could.

And so it goes. Right at the core of all the evil and cruelty in the world is - The Longing for Goodness. All fucked up and out of whack - Goodness. Hitler. Serial Killers. The Terrorists Responsible for 9/11. Evildoers always secretly or not so secretly believe they are striking a blow for justice and rightness in the world. It's right there at the core of their beating little evil hearts - the desire for Goodness. Goodness frustrated, goodness twisted and mangled beyond all recognition, scarred over and black with pus, oozing poison but beating nonetheless, beating relentlessly, spewing its hatred of a bad world, ticking like some mysterious black box at the core of universe. And it never stops.

To put it more philosophically, man's capacity for evil is a direct measure of his capacity for goodness. Paradoxical, and not all that delightfully so, but there you fucking have it. They go together. You can't get away from it even when you are really really in the mood to do so.

But no cause for despair! Because the bedtime story is not over yet! No - this is just a Terrifying Plot Twist. Good bedtime stories often have a Terrifying Plot Twist. It's not all that uncommon for Questing Heroes to face obstacles and fall prey to confusion and deception and arrogance and misguidedness. It wouldn't be very exciting if questing heroes did everything right the first time! No, no, your Goodness Neurons have just taken a peek into the scary woods where evil lurks when they try to rule the world all by themselves. Torture and facism and oppression and dark cruelty lie there. They want to stay away from that! That's scary.

That makes the next chapter even better, the one where the Goodness Module grows up and becomes very very wise and takes his rightful place in the world. What a relief!

Now, before the Goodness Neurons settle in the for the Climatic Finale, have them perform this very Grown-Up Exercise so they will feel very impressed with themselves. Take a look around at the world and peer closely at badness to find the hidden heart of Longing for Goodness inside it. Look at your whatever it was, greedy corporations despoiling the earth or something, shortsighted narrowminded leaders, insanely misguided Mean People, and so on, and find that whimpering, craven, frightened little Longing for Goodness Module cowering inside them. You may not find it at first, you may swear on a stack of Bibles it doesn't exist, but look. You despise these people for their moral weakness, so look at that very moral weakness and discover that the people who house it, incredibly improbably and against all logic, just want everyone to be happy. And are all grumpy because everyone isn't. Just like you.

If you want to be very very philosophical and spiritually-stretchy and so on, you can call this Embracing the Evil Within by Displaying Compassion and Empathy for WrongDoers. It sounds very very impressive when you call it this and it sounds like something Mother Teresa or Gandhi or some hot shit spiritual leader like the Dalai Lama would do, living out the ideal of forgivness and understanding and blah, blah, blah. So if you'd like to impress yourself, think of it this way. On the other hand, if you are in no mood whatsoever to identify with the Dalai Lama or Gandhi or what have you, then skip the Impressive Exercise Title completely and skip straight to being disturbed, disgruntled, and rather annoyed at the suggestion that you're not all that different from the evil scum-sucking power pigs of the human race. That should be fun!

When you're good and annoyed, turn the page to find out how you can rule the world once again...

Wherein the Human Goodness Module triumphs over its own idiotic desire to put people's heads in bags For Their Own Good!.....

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