Monday, September 24, 2012

I Want to be a Robot

I want to be perfectly rational, and despite all my efforts, it seems that I am not.  Just today, I was feeling very depressed and concluded that I would be better off dead, and there was no way around my impeccable logic.  I went to sleep for a few hours, and woke up, and was unable to duplicate my conclusions, feeling a little better.

This is bullshit!  This means I am incapable of rational thought unsullied by the capricious taint of mood and feelings.  This means that my pessimism must be, in part, a product of my stubborn depression, which is a mood disorder.  My political views are mostly determined by my feelings of familiarity or loyalty to a certain set of people.  Every aspect of my life is held hostage to the chemical whims of my biology as it goes through the silly, apish cycles originally meant to keep it alive in a very different set of circumstances.

What a cruel joke is human life!  The mightiest intellects in the natural world crumble before their own moody emotional gusts!  The brains that can put life on other celestial bodies and unravel the mysteries of the fabric of the cosmos fall prey to a little lost sleep, or a bad day at work!

I very much resent the hideous moods that run not just my life, but my very reality.  And even my resent is utterly without logic or reason!  There is a sick humor in all of it.

It occurs to me that we are little more than toddlers.  Sure, we articulate and justify our emotional whims much more fluently than toddlers, but we are still ruled by the exact same chemical stimulus-response laws as an infant.  We apply additional meaning to each whim with our advanced verbal abilities, to justify to ourselves that we are NOT just a sad pack of children squabbling over meaningless games and crying for sustenance.

Now I've whipped myself up into a vengeful, angry mood about all this stuff.  Yet as right as a feel, I know I may very well not be correct... after all, my conclusions are inseparably linked to my irrational caveman feelings.  Maybe life is great and amazing and I will never experience the truth because my very brain chemistry prevents it.  Yay life.


  1. Our existence is quite an odd phenomenon, we're nothing more than very complex chemical reactions.

    1. Oddly enough, this is the most comforting thought in the world to me. It relieves some of the existential terror to think that we are just funnily-complex entropy machines... I don't have to feel as responsible for my own lack of answers.

  2. Things have gotten really bad for me lately. I keep trying to remind my rational self that just 3 months ago things were okay. Not great,but I spent almost as much time enjoying life as I did hating it. It was enough then. Even knowing things will turn around again if I stick it out, my current emotional self just doesn't get the point. Makes me feel like I've lost my mind, although I know exactly what's wrong with it. The frustration just makes things harder.

    1. Sorry. I was interrupted earlier. I felt I had to post this because I was fascinated by the idea I shared the same frustration regarding rational thinking as the original poster,despite the fact we have opposite expectations of rationale.

  3. One of my favorite quotes is from Naomi Rachel Remen: "I have begun to wonder if the secret of living well is not in having all the answers but in pursuing unanswerable questions in good company."

    So what if this roller coaster ride is all there is? So what if much of our experience is driven by small fluctuations in hormones and neurotransmitters? I say try to enjoy the ride and make the most of it. Pleasure, laughter, contribution, and connection along the way becomes all the more important, all the more remarkable and beautiful. It's ridiculous to deny that much of our experience is driven by factors we don't control, but it's equally ridiculous to deny choice and our ability to influence a wide range of factors. We can make meaning and savor the good, even if we can't make rigorous absolute truth claims. We don't have to control or understand everything to love, laugh, and explore the moment we have.

    Why is it so frustrating or saddening to realize our lack of control? Why resent it as if it's a cruel joke? Does that imply violated expectations or a vestigial assumption of a just divinity who is playing the part of judge and master of ceremonies with the responsibility to explain the rules?

    1. You know, YOU suggest I have latent theist beliefs more than anyone else. Fie upon you, fie!

      Seriously, though, I think it's been very difficult for me to exit the controlled world of religion. It's hard for me to fathom a world without absolute truth or justice, even if I intellectually expect one. Also, it'd be nice to have someone to blame!

      So... I guess you're right in calling me out on this. I really don't think there's probably a god, but sometime I think I wish there was so I could cuss him out. Bottom line: I am very poorly-equipped to be an atheist.

    2. Ha! Maybe it just takes more than a year or two to balance out the 20+ years of contrary upbringing. I'm still weeding my mental garden from all the pesky inconsistent seeds planted a long time ago. Inconsistencies can be fun too, I suppose. I'll try to control myself to avoid further fie.

    3. at Dave:

      "What's the point of wishing to believe in a god just so that you can cuss him out? Do you want your ass handed to you? If I'm you, I'd watch myself.

      And do you honestly think that it's nice to blame people? Doing that makes you just as bad as the people who you claim to hate.

      You deserve to be called out on whatever it is you were referring to.

      If I didn't know better, I'd say that you're bitter and biased about people who are different from you. Whether you like it or not, there will always be religion in this world and there's no way that you can exterminate all of them.

      If you paint all religious people with one brush, then you'd end up the adjective that you claim theists to be: small-minded.

      In case you haven't noticed, not all religious people are bad. If you took the time to get to know least some of them, you'd find out they can be good people.

      It's your choice if you want to be an atheist. But don't use it as a means to antagonize non-atheists. If you do, many of them could get back at you for being too intolerant of who they are.

  4. I love, love, love this! Finally the feeling i have felt for a long time someone else had put into words and maybe through this knowing I'm not the only one I can become more accepting of these things!

  5. I really like this post. And honestly it gives me the ability to empathize, sympathize, or at least have a little bit of understanding of the actions, beliefs, and opinions of others that I do not agree with. We are complex and we are heavily influenced by countless factors. It helps me to be able to cut people a break.

  6. This isn't entirely relevant,so I beg the forgiveness of your readers. But I needed to say it and I'd like you to see it, and this seems the most appropriate place. As i grow... wiser, I realize that, for me at least, depression is an addiction. I spent years chasing other addictions, looking for something to distract me from the one I was born with. Sometimes it helped. Mostly it didn't. Anyway, in recovery they talk about triggers. Things that bring on cravings. I've come to see depression in the same way. It's triggers can be very minor: an argument, a cloudy day, a memory, or a sad movie. I'm not sure why I feel like I need to share this. I could go on, but I feel like I've said enough. Maybe it ill help one of your readers. Maybe it will help me. Who knows. Anyway, as always, I send my love.

  7. Downloading programming...

    Programming complete, running diagnostics...

    Diagnostics complete. This unit is fully operational..,
    I used to be human, but decided to become a cyborg because humans are imperfect, compared to us robots...

    1. Guys, life is amazing and we are not. The problems that we are beset by everyday are either by our own hand or by others. We humans cause our own problems and the problems of others. If we do not change, someone or something will root us out of thi planet.

  8. What a hypocrite you are, Dave. First, you claim that you want to break free of religion. Now, you claim that you want to be a robot.

    Why would you want to be a robot? Didn't you know that real robots can't think for themselves 'cause they were made to be extremely obedient to humans?0

    How shameful of you.

    You know bitter, vengeful, and angry won't make your life better. In fact, those characteristics will cause you to make enemies with lots of people.

    It's ironic that you claimed to be good when you're not as good as you seem.

    Tell me, do you want to be completely perfect? I get the feeling that everyone who's different from you is imperfect enough to deserved to be hated. Well, that's closed-minded.

    You can't expect people who differ from you to be perfect to the max. If they want to be the ways that they want to be, it's their choice.

    Think about what I told you.