I've been thinking a lot about the idea of Choice lately. Not so much any particular choice, but the whole idea itself and how it differentiates us from rocks and water and stuff like that.
It seems to me that one of the distinguishing features of 'life' verses 'non-life' things is that 'living' things get to choose what they do rather than just follow the 'laws of nature'. For example, rocks don't do much of anything except just sit where they are or roll down hill or get knocked someplace else by something else, but a bug can get up and go someplace else - even against gravity, if it wants to.
So what? Well, I've been wondering for a long time why we (that is us 'humans') do such stupid things and - even when we realize they are stupid and we are hurting ourselves - keep doing them. We even go so far as to tell ourselves - and everyone who will listen - how hard it is for us to not do them.
Take eating too much. When I eat too much for a while, I get fat and crabby. Then I feel sorry for myself because (I claim) it's oh, so hard to not eat too much. It sounds like there is an army of bad guys stuffing food into my mouth - but what's really happening is that I'm choosing to pig out. It takes real effort to keep eating when I'm full or when I'm not really hungry.
That one's simple and easy to see. And it's easy to see that if I'm fat, I made myself that way and I did it because I wanted to eat more than I wanted to feel good.
But it goes a lot further than just eating.
I think we've made up all kinds of religious garbage to excuse our disgusting behavior. We make up and believe in gods and devils and genetic forces and team loyalty and goals and success and all kinds of other junk to take the heat off of ourselves. 'The Devil tempted me - and I was weak',
'It's in my Genes - I can't help myself', 'We've got to do it for the Team', ' .. or the Company', '... or our Kids', '... or for Honor', '... or Because That's the Kind of Man/Woman I Am'. etc
It's all a smoke screen.
We do it because that's what we choose to do - just like those guys who strap bombs on themselves and kill a bunch of people.
It's a personal, misguided decision.
The hell of it is, it isn't hard to Stop. It doesn't take Effort to not do something. There really isn't any force making us do this stuff. Want proof? Just anethesize your mind somehow - and you won't be doing all that stuff you think is so hard to not do.
So let's get over it and stop kidding ourselves.
We muck things up, piss each other off, get mad about stuff, drill oil wells places where we can't plug leaks, kill people, destroy the whole bloody planet and everything on it because we choose to.
That's all there is to it.
And that's what makes us different from a nice, peaceful rock.