“Most ignorance is vincible ignorance. We don't know because we don't want to know.” – Aldous Huxley
The dopaminergic reward system that successfully delivered our species into the 21st century is:
- Destroying our species’ chances of making it into the 22nd century.
- Keeping even the smartest of the most (potentially) sentient species on the planet from figuring out, or wanting to know, that a brain chemical is responsible for the self-destructive behaviors undermining our chances of survival.
How? By reducing all choices down to dopamine appeal and repel.
Dopamine appeal and repel continues to keep dumb creatures in natural environments alive. Chimpanzees don’t know, or have to know, that salt is an essential electrolyte or that rancid foods are life-threatening. That's because life-sustaining salt has dopamine appeal and life-threatening toxins have dopamine repel.
Dopamine appeal and repel are the reason primates spend their waking hours acquiring power, seeking approval, elevating status, and avoiding pain — behaviors that increase their chances of surviving and achieving orgasms = ultimate dopamine appeal.
Our ancestors found dopamine so appealing they figured out how to trigger gratuitous dopamine by acquiring power, winning acceptance, elevating status, and smoking, ingesting, and injecting drugs. Along the way, they added addictions to money, gambling, and belief systems, then passed down their habits, self-deceptions, denials, and insatiable dopamine cravings required to end withdrawal pains that come with all addictions. In turn, their offspring developed a taste for enjoyable (and often frivolous) activities and esteem-elevating deceptions = high dopamine appeal, along with powerful aversions to fear inducing / esteem reducing inquiries and facts = dopamine repel.
More importantly, our species is racing towards self-annihilation because the vast majority happily swallow sugar coated but harmful deceptions (with high dopamine appeal) but gag on unpleasant but important information (with dopamine repel).
Examples of harmful deceptions that owe their popularity to high dopamine appeal:
- The existence of free will.
- Hereafters filled with eternal rewards and punishments.
- It’s normal, logical, and even admirable to obsess over power (fear/safety), peer approval (attention), esteem (status), money, and/or religion.
- War, corruption, greed, pollution, bigotry, racism, famine, economic bubbles, addictions of all kinds, and aberrant behaviors are unavoidable consequences that can be blamed on “the human condition.”
- Our species will make it through the next decade(s).
- Individuals who speak out against environmental destruction, war, corporate malfeasance, greed, animal cruelty, or other depressing topics tend to be misguided, hopeless do-gooders, kooks, cranks, malcontents, and/or annoying pessimists.
Examples of easy to dismiss / ignore information that few find “interesting” enough to think about (and even fewer understand / believe) because of dopamine repel:
- Dopamine repel makes it difficult / impossible for humans to understand that, why, and how dopamine appeal and repel usurp free will.
- There is only one addiction and it’s to dopamine — power (fear/safety), peer-approval (attention), esteem (status), money, and religion addictions exist and are more common and destructive than all of the acknowledged addictions combined.
- Power (fear/safety), peer-approval (attention), esteem (status), money, and religion addictions aren’t considered addictions because power, peer-approval, esteem, money, and religion addicts control the institutions that determine what are and aren’t addictions.
- Our species’ problems have nothing to do with any "human condition" and everything to do with a "chimpanzee condition." None of the problems threatening our species chances of survival have anything to do with a condition that makes people behave humanely.
- War, corruption, greed, pollution, bigotry, racism, famine, economic bubbles, addictions of all kinds, and most aberrant behaviors can be traced to a form of dopamine-induced madness. Dopamine-induced madness is a powerful, dehumanizing brain disease that keeps Homo sapiens reducing all likes, dislikes, behaviors, beliefs, and decisions down to the exact same dopamine appeal and repel responsible for all primate behavior.
- Dopamine appeal is the reason Homo sapiens and chimpanzees live in groups that are dominated by conniving, deceptive, manipulative, territorial, misogynistic, aggressive, political animals who obsess over power, peer approval, status, and sex.
- The same dopamine appeal that delivered Homo sapiens into the 21st Century has derailed human evolution and is keeping even the wisest of the most (potentially) “intelligent” species on the planet from figuring out, or wanting to know, that a brain chemical that fosters survival-friendly behaviors in “dumb” animals is in the process of dead-ending this planet’s “most evolved” species’ chances of survival.