Tuesday 12 April 2022

Proper motivation must precede Good action

One of the most profound ways in which my understanding changed was when I realized that people did not want what-was-Good. 

For most of my adult life, I operated under the assumption that many or most people wanted what-was-Good but did not understand how to get it, or were too timid to put their desires into action. It was not until the first decade of the new millennium that I gradually realized that The Problem was much deeper and more serious - because it was the motivation for Good that was lacking. 

Before I became a Christian I was unclear about the nature of Good - and I was mostly concerned with material Goods - so the above insight came when I was advocating to defend pretty mainstream Goods; such as the honesty and integrity of medicine, teaching and scholarly researches against the corrupting effect of managerialism and bureaucracy. 

The first insight was that my motivation to defend such mainstream material Goods was actually based on transcendental values - values that went beyond the material. 

For instance, that my defence of science was rooted in a transcendental (not practical, material, everyday) believe in the value of Truth. Or that my defence of the conditions necessary for human creativity, or genuine education, were rooted in a conviction that this was a Good Thing in itself - not just as a means to some material end. 

The second insight was that my own idealistic identification with transcendental Goods implied that there must be a personal creator God, and I must actually 'believe-in' Him. Or else, if not, then the only rational course was to forget delusory notions of Truth and the like; and optimize my career and lifestyle - as nearly-all my acquaintance among doctors, teachers and scientists were doing. 

(In other words, unless there really-was a personal creator God; then my convictions were irrational - and instead the corruptest of my colleagues ought to be regarded as role models.)

What this amounted to was a recognition that extremely few people (extremely few) are significantly motivated towards Good action, towards a Good world - and this is why it doesn't happen, but instead the opposite. 

If this was not already obvious by the bureaucratic subversion and linkage of the world's major institutions/ corporations/ organizations in the decades preceding 2020 - it became so after the birdemic was used to excuse a worldwide totalitarian takeover. 

The fact that there was near-zero resistance to the birdemic-excused changes in human life from politics, the legal profession, the Christian churches, universities, the police and military etc etc - but instead eager compliance and advocacy of the gross lies used to justify psychological and social destruction - is consistent with the interpretation that what happened was what they wanted to happen

In sum: global totalitarian evil has been rolled-out rapidly, under the feeblest and most obviously incoherent and dishonest of pretexts - birdemic, peck, climate, antiracism, transagenda, and now the fight against the Fire Nation. This strategy has received enthusiastic support from almost every person and organization with power/ status/ influence. And this shows the real and most-dominant motivations of Men. 

The world is getting what the world is wanting - and although nearly-everybody will hate the consequences of what-they-want: there is no doubt that the world has overwhelmingly asked-for-evil, and overwhelmingly rejected any alternative Good understandings. 

No action will be taken to prevent or reverse world war, economic destruction with starvation, endemic violence, genuine-plague - or any other Apocalyptic crises that the demon-allied leadership chooses to inflict on the masses. 

No action will be taken - but Not because of the practical or logistical difficulties of taking action; but because there is no real motivation towards Good. 

Things will Not get better - things will not even cease to get worse... because people do not want that. 

The motivations of the masses are towards their own destruction - most obviously physical destruction, but ultimately and primarily their own spiritual destruction. 

Unless we can comprehend and acknowledge that fact, and allocate responsibility accordingly; we will fail to understand the world collapse and catastrophe that is being both engineered by leaders, and yearned-for by the led. 

What is required is change of motivation, which entails a change in ultimate aspirations and beliefs. The spiritual is primary - and the material catastrophe will not even be addressed (let alone improved) until after Men's motivations are reversed and redirected from their current affiliation with evil, towards alliance with Good (which is God). 


Iain M said...

John 3:19-20: ' ... men loved darkness rather than light ... for every one that doth evil hateth the light ...'.

Your post rightly notes that evil is ultimately sourced in our motivation. This then defines our allegiances.

What has horrified me these two years past is not simply the apparent revulsion of officialdom for truth (shocking enough), but the way in which its many servants have coordinated and heralded untruth. In turn, the masses have leapt into compliance with untruth.

We have seen some in medicine who, even having seen medical untruth for what is, still cannot comprehend how officialdom has chosen not act in defence of truth. Their complaints are still routed through the corrupted official channels. It is of course the failure to see the reality of evil which lies at the heart of all modernity and which lays it so open to manipulation.

Bruce Charlton said...

@IM - "the way in which its many servants have coordinated and heralded untruth"

Yes, that is indeed truly horrifying - because we are talking of some tens/ hundreds of thousands of people (mostly from among those highest in status, education and pay); who are expending vast effort and ingenuity on mass deception and manipulation - with ever flimsier and less coherent justification in terms of utility; yet sustained in their efforts by smug moralistic arrogance.

Bruce Charlton said...

lea has left a comment:

"The primary motivation is self-preservation. With no spiritual ground to stand on everything can become quicksand. While I still hold no particular affiliation or relation to Christian tradition, or any other, it is undeniable that he was an incarnation of the very highest order showing us how to live and how to be. We have been gifted several examples of the best that we can be, should be perhaps, and very little changed. Confucius argued that being a good person was simple and language complicated it, abdicating responsibility for our actions leading into every other evil act. The examined life was a given to him, not an option. Only the lesser man would languish in non-contemplation and just hanging around."

The primary motivation of Modern Man is Not self-preservation! Far from it, and further from it than ever before in human history.

But what should be obvious is invisible unless one is rooted in broadly correct metaphysical assumptions - without which historical ethical teachings, whether wise or merely expedient - have zero traction.

Karl said...

This post explores a topic I find more and more central to my understanding of politics, religion and much else: namely the fact that most people are indifferent to most things most of the time, bar their immediate physical needs and short-term financial and social worries. It is really amazing how little the topic of Indifference is treated in philosophy, political science or theology. Most people simply don't care about anything much. It is one of those truths that dare not speak its name.

Bruce Charlton said...

@K - A few years ago I did a series of posts about this phenomenon of demotivation


which I believe to be a characteristic of modern, post-religious/ spiritual societies.

Lucinda said...

When I first realized that people really didn't want Good for the most part, it was sort of depressing. But it's actually a very freeing realization. Maybe because I'm a mom, but I'd been carrying around a very collectivist weight of people who were choosing what was bad for them, that if only I could learn to communicate better, people would be spared the bad things that I thought they must surely not want.

Someone was talking about a certain American animator rolling over in his grave over the current state of his company, and I thought, "I'm not so sure about that." Nothing personal about him, but I don't believe anymore the idea that someone who is successful in a relatively more virtuous time would not do whatever it took to be successful in a less virtuous time, because virtue-signaling is not the same as really wanting virtue, and most people are simply signalers who lack any deeper desire for virtue.