Gathering random references for my humble future project to outline a Grand Theory of Everything
"We are discovering a plethora of evidence about our hardwiring for connection and compassion, from the vagus nerve, which releases oxytocin at simply witnessing a compassionate act, to the mirror neurons, which causes us to literally feel another person’s pain and thereby empathize. Darwin himself, who has been grossly misunderstood to believe exclusively in our competitiveness (hence the famous saying, “survival of the fittest”), actually observed and noted that humankind’s real power comes in its ability to perform complex tasks together—that is, to sympathize and cooperate."
-Tom Shadyac on the vagus nerve and his movie I AM
Contrast the above with...
“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”
― John Kenneth Galbraith
While Galbraith was probably not sympathetic to the modern conservative movement, I think he was accurate, and famously one of Ayn Rand's books is called The Virtue of Selfishness. If conservative fire breathers were honest about it, they would admit all the talk of the individual is really about justifying selfishness.
[Very imprecise thought..] What IF...our society that gives us the modern world, for all it's wonders and pleasures was actually ALL WRONG for how humans would actually prefer to live?
An obvious objection is that everybody is different so how could someone say how they ought or would prefer to live? But the flip side is, doesn't the present system impose, by design, a way we have to live anyway?
ref# 1 – Vagus Nerve