Basic Orientation
Book1: R-E Living & "Homo Rationalis"
Book2: Humanianity
Book3: Mind-Body Problem
Book4: (Future Possible Development)
Child Rearing Issues
Philosophico-Religious Issues
Psycho-Socio-Cultural Issues
The Twelve Articles
01 Our Future
02 Difference of Opinion
03 Our Anger
04 Punishing Children
05 Child Rearing
06 Our Biggest Problem
07 Evils of Justice
08 Cultural Victimization
09 Rational-Ethical Religion
10 Rational-Ethical Government
11 Global Human Zoo
12 "Homo Rationalis" Wants YOU
Relevant Autobiography
 
"HOMO RATIONALIS" AND HUMANIANITY
 
HELPING TO PROMOTE OUR THIRD EXPONENTIAL CHANGE
 

3. OUR ANGER



In this third of 12 monthly articles, I continue to present my vision of our toddler species ultimately maturing to "Homo rationalis," when we will globally attain "the good life," meaning as much joy, contentment, and appreciation as possible, and as little pain, suffering, disability, and early death (PSDED) as possible. The vast majority of PSDED is human-induced, so the behavior of "Homo rationalis" will be drastically different from ours. As clarified in the last two articles (available with my free "textbook" at HomoRationalis.com), this behavioral change will have been related to our transitioning from our naturally occurring authoritarian ethics to our currently emerging rational ethics.


Sometimes what comes naturally produces PSDED. No better example can be given than anger and related phenomena. Humans, chimps, dogs, and tigers all do it, with enormous amounts of PSDED. But "Homo rationalis" will know that the good life is fostered by everyone living according to certain ethical principles that guide one to do better than what comes naturally. Every child will be reared in a culture that knows, and operates according to, an anger prevention paradigm that will be something like what follows.


Anger will refer only to the feeling inside (and the physiological processes underlying it). Hostile behavior, or hostility, will refer to any behavior motivated by anger that has the goal of causing pain, discomfort, or damage to the target of the anger. Hostility is different for different species, and humans engage in both primitive and sophisticated hostility, including induction of guilt.


When one animal develops anger toward another, it very likely engages in hostile behavior toward the other, producing anger in the other and therefore hostility back. This produces more anger in the first, and the process escalates, producing a "struggle for dominance" (who’s going to win?). There are four possible outcomes. One kills or disables the other, one runs away, one submits, or both leave the battlefield. For humans, one running away may be leaving the room, changing the subject, or tuning the other out. One submitting may be silence or "You’re right, whatever you say." Both leaving the battlefield may be their getting distance from each other, avoiding conversation, or not bringing the topic up again.


All four outcomes are bad, leaving an anger-containing memory in one or both. The buildup of anger-containing memories results in anger from the past being added to anger in the current situation ("overreaction") if the current situation seems similar to the past. Also, the anger-containing memories tend to cause mistakes in which the current situation is thought incorrectly to be a replay of the past, with consequent totally inappropriate anger. Thus, more intense and frequent episodes of anger and hostility occur, ultimately driving people apart. This relationship breakdown is a major contributor to PSDED.


So, to avoid struggles for dominance, "Homo rationalis" will teach, learn, and follow certain ethical principles whenever anger arises in self or other. They will inhibit hostile behavior. They will maintain within, and reassure the other that they have, the "open, listening attitude." They will neither interrupt nor talk too long. And they will not change the subject. ("What about what you did?" "You’re taking something out on me." "I don’t like your tone of voice.")


And they will work to "solve the problem," meaning agreeing upon which of the six possible reasons for the original appearance of anger is the correct one (the other was mean, I thought so incorrectly, the other failed to live up to my appropriate expectation, I thought so incorrectly, the other failed to live up to my inappropriate expectation, I thought so incorrectly). Upon solving the problem, resolution will occur, with one acknowledging what happened, reassuring the other of the wish to change, and requesting helpful feedback should the same thing happen again. Also, they will develop new "procedure" designed to reduce the likelihood of recurrence of the situation. Both will understand the other better and feel better understood, and the relationship will be strengthened.


Obviously, the above is too condensed for adequate understanding, but clearly "Homo rationalis" will behave drastically differently from us. Our struggles for dominance, whether between spouses, friends, parent/child, employer/employee, or nations, are our worst enemy. It is only we humans, using our language and more accurate knowledge about the world, who can rise above our basic animal nature.


But changing involves studying and practicing, which require time and effort. Who is it that should work toward such change, they or we?


To be continued….