What would you do if you didn’t care about being a good person?
What would you do if you didn’t care about anybody but yourself?
Now, this kind of thought, immediately I think of, well, that’s something bad people would do, and that’s psychos that think like that, that are just purely selfish.
So I immediately have this reaction of “I don’t want to think like that.”
I don’t want to be a psycho.
I don’t want to be some kind of evil person.
So something kind of stops me from comfortably thinking that way.
And maybe that’s a good thing.
Maybe it’s good to avoid being a psycho and avoid being evil.
That seems like it might be a good idea.
But on the other hand, it seems like there might be some value in letting ourselves think that way.
Because this notion of “I want to be good.
I don’t want to be bad.
I want to make moral, ethical decisions”: it can be a very heavy weight.
I mean, this conscience, this idea, judging ourselves, judging the ethics and morality of everything we do: that can be very heavy.
And of course, we can bear it righteously, and say “This is this is what it takes to be a good person, and I want to be a good person.”
And maybe in fact it’s a very good idea.
But what would I do if I didn’t care about those things?
What if I didn’t care about being moral and ethical?
What if I was a supervillain?
Imagine if you didn’t care about not being a villain.
What would you do if you only cared about yourself, or whatever you choose to care about, minus any concerns about morality and ethics?
It immediately starts to get uncomfortable, I find, and maybe that’s a good sign.
For anybody that has a conscience and wants to behave ethically, maybe it should be a little bit uncomfortable to imagine removing that conscience, just as a thought experiment.
But I think there’s value in it, because we can uncover certain things that maybe we’re kind of pushing down.
And I think for many people- this is going to be very different for each person.
Maybe some people, they’re like “What’s a conscience?
That’s normal for me.
What, other people?
That’s not my problem.”
So some people, this might not even be significant at all.
But I think for many people, they’re so concerned about not hurting other people, about being kind and helpful to other people, and also how we’re being seen as a as a good person, by others and also by ourselves, just living up to this ethical, moral ideal.
For many people, this is really a heavy weight that pushes down on our desires.
So our desires can be seen as “I can’t be concerned about what I want.
Yeah, I might want this and that, but I have responsibilities, I have duties, I have obligations, I have things that I need to do, people that depend on me.”
And all those things, those are very strong requirements that fill up our way of looking at things, and in some cases maybe not leaving much for ourselves.
So I like to imagine this thought experiment.
Start with imagining you have no conscience, no ethics, no morality.
You don’t care.
You’re purely- you can be a villain.
Not you’re trying to be a villain, but just that you don’t care if you’re a villain.
Just whatever you want.
Just imagine what you want, regardless of any concerns about what’s right, just as a picture of some part of yourself.
And imagine what you want, and then add the layers of ethics, what is right, the needs of other people that you want to support, and all the other concerns that come up.
And layer those on.
So adjust as necessary.
So you start, you can say “I want to be an international pirate”
and some kind of mastermind criminal or whatever.
And then you could say, “Well, probably that’s not a good idea, for this and that reason.”
And so you start to, you know, I actually don’t want to hurt anybody, I don’t want to cause all this chaos, and I don’t I don’t want to have all my own legal issues.
And besides, it’s not even- I mean, for most people that are ethical, it’s just not fun to actually hurt people.
It doesn’t feel good to hurt other people.
So we put all these requirements and all these adjustments on our behaviour.
And then maybe what we come up with is back to where we started, to the way we are anyway.
But maybe there are some adjustments that we can make to live closer to this kind of unhinged wild desire that we have.
Maybe there’s some adjustments we can make to be closer to that while still being within the bounds of what we consider to be right.
So by starting with that blank slate morality, and just leaving it out, subtracting it, and then adding it back in, we can maybe see how it fits in.
So I’d love to hear your feedback on this.
Is this a terrible idea?
This is possibly my worst idea ever.
It may lead to some bad things.
But it’s a thought experiment.
So I’d love to hear how it goes and what you think of it.
#beselfish #beavillain #stopbeinggood