Thursday, August 18, 2011

Human Nature

We’re best psychologically suited
For tribal life which was uprooted;
But resources lack,
When we devolve back
Extinction is now undisputed.

Environment’s contribution
Plus genetic attribution—
We’re due to those,
But nobody knows
Their relative distribution.

“The Primitive Law of Man”:
The alpha guy maintains the clan;
Religious coercion,
More forceful assertion--
But that's how societies ran.

It’s one of the things that you can:
Take a man from the jungle clan;
That’s a piece of cake,
But you cannot take
The jungle out of the man.

A group must limit impunity
By curbing a member’s immunity;
How much could be guided
By what they’ve provided
Of value to the community.

That folks come and go might seem strange,
But it’s part of environment change:
“You’re not one of us?
Get off of the bus.”
And that is why groups rearrange.

A small tribe needs zero execs,
To establish the order of pecks;
When societies rise
To a much larger size,
The hierarchy’s just more complex.

No morals from play, psalm, or song,
The jungle law ruled all along;
Some things we thought civil
Were insincere drivel—
It looks like we had it all wrong.

Human nature shows empathy’s curt,
Poor humans don’t get just dessert;
Non-elite on the street
Don’t have bread to eat,
Other humans say, “Let them eat  dirt!”

These stories just leave us fainthearted
As we sink into doom uncharted;
The horror perverse
Just keep getting worse,
And we know, we’ve only just started.

The end of the world’s coming, fine,
So, our standards of living decline;
The biggest annoyance:
This tasteless flamboyance
Of humans who act worse than swine.

But wait. Is that fair to the pig?
We know porkers can’t dance a jig,
They both misperceive,
Only humans deceive—
They’re basically different. Ya dig?

And yet, being somewhat distraught,
As crook after crook gets caught,
I’m afraid it’s a fact,
The way humans act
Is way different from what I thought.

“Life is suffering,” Buddha once taught,
Whereas some preach at sin and bad thought;
Our nature stays true
To what animals do,
Despite talk about “is” versus “ought.”

To think we’re now evil is odd,
As following Mammon we plod;
We acted no better
Adopting the letter
Of the Bible when we worshipped God.

Seek the ant, consider her ways,
Watch lion prides killing their preys,
We’re really like them;
Observe, don’t condemn.
Drop a line if that helps clear the haze.

Bad things happen when humans play God,
And live just to curry His nod;
It’s not who we are,
It’s too high a bar,
And it sometimes come off a bit odd.

A nihilist slant can be strong
When abuse effects last all life long;
That our doomer scene
Is not quite the mean,
Does not prove that worldview is wrong.

Humans have virtuous airs,
As if life weren’t musical chairs;
Proudly evil they ding
Like it’s a bad thing,
Not the natural state of affairs.

Research neuroscientist mentors
Say we’re pleasure-seeking inventors:
We’ll find some pretense—
And spare no expense—
To trigger our brains’ pleasure centers.

In life, we all struggle and strive;
It’s our nature to keep hope alive,
Even when there’s no sense,
And we drop all pretense
About whether we’re going to survive.

In the game of saving their skin,
Our forebears evolved how to win;
Now maintaining hope
Is what helps us to cope
And we all have that striving built in.

A process of transformations
Arising from many causations:
Life is just matter,
A chemical batter,
Rejoining in new combinations.

Our senses can make us feel grand,
While confusion’s beyond our command;
The problem is solved
When we see we’ve evolved
To survive, not to understand.

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