Straw Man Objector: “But what if my true self is evil?”
Evil gonna evil. Fighting evil is not evil’s job. I have no advice for the truly evil.
SMO: “Shouldn’t we program the evil to not be evil?”
You mean like moral instruction or some such?
Doesn’t work. Evil gonna evil.
SMO: “How about we tell them they’ll burn in hell forever if they do bad stuff?”
Scare them into not being evil?
That helps some. Not much, but some. There are drawbacks, however. It triggers a bad reaction in some people: militant atheism. Also, it makes good people neurotic. That’s because it paints God as a big mean bully in the sky. And organized religion is a category of predatory collective.
All in all, best not use God to control people. I don’t imagine God takes kindly to being co-opted for mortal agendas.
SMO: “How about something more drastic? The Ludovico treatment perhaps?”
Not sure that’s politically feasible. Although deterrent justice is a more subtle variant of that. Just punish wrongdoers and let Pavlovian conditioning “reform” them.
That doesn’t change their true nature, though. It’s just repression. True nature is immutable. Let up for a moment, and…
SMO: “But I sincerely want to be not evil!”
Good for you, if true. Because that means your true self isn’t evil.
SMO: “Oh. That makes sense. Wait… what if my true self is stupid?”
Then you’re screwed, no matter what. Sorry. I have no advice for the stupid. Some good news, though: the very worst stupid people never ask themselves if they might be stupid. The possibility doesn’t occur to them. So if you think you might be stupid, you’re not that stupid.
Now your bogus, programmed self may be dumb as dirt – and a little crazy too. If so, the cognitive frustration will clue you in. Cognitive frustration is the universe telling you you’re doing life wrong. Take the hint. Ditch the programmed self. He’s bad for you.
SMO: “Shouldn’t we program people for their own good?”
You think you know what’s best for others?
SMO: “I, uh… never mind. Wait… shouldn’t we program people for the good of society?”
That’s an abstraction. It’s also one of the names the larger predatory collectives hide behind.
SMO: “You’re saying society isn’t real?”
I’m saying the “good of society” is too vague to talk about intelligently, and too emotionally loaded to talk about dispassionately. Let’s stay clear of that kind of rabbit hole.
You know what’s real? Individual people. They’re what’s real.
SMO: “Society is individual people, taken as a whole.”
Taken as a what?
SMO: “A whole.”
A rabbit whole?
SMO: “Never mind.”