Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


“What’s wrong with you today?!”…”Nothing!”

If you had a quarter for everytime you’ve heard this dialogue, you’re likely able to buy luch for you and a cherished acquaintance.  I’ve always assumed that this was only a result of society’s trouble with misinterpreting the habits and actions of introverted people.  I was in grade 6, fresh off the plane and in school when many of my peers, teachers and students alike, would always ask me: “How are you today?” or “Is something the matter today?”  Truthfully, nothing was wrong and everything was going quite well, but maybe on a subconscious level something really was decaying.  Homesickness and an overwhelming amount of ‘poing-poinging’ words in my brain between two languages whose neither masteries I yet possesed and the constant reading of emotions, potential sarcasm and body language were all compressing me from all directions which in turn, caused a dubious and apparently, concerning posture and look which caused an indirect isolation.

Human Behavior was a topic explored by all famous philosophers, but to my dissatisfaction, it was done indirectly, so I went to the one philosopher I can understand best and that is David Foster Wallace (a paradox since he is one of the most introspective and abstract human beings to have ever walked the earth).  In an interview with David Lapisky, his explanation of the mystery was simply fear.  “I think the reason why people behave in an ugly manner is that it’s really scary to be alive and human…[that] the fear is the basic condition, and there are all kinds of reasons why we’re afraid.  But the fact of the matter is that the job that we’re here to do is to learn how to live in a way that we’re not terrified all the time…Personally I belive that if it’s assuageable in any way it’s by internal means…It’s more like, if you can think of times in your life that you’ve treated people with extraordinary decency and love, and pure uninterested concern, the ability to do that with ourselves…I think part of the job we’re here for is to learn how to do this.”http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/574237-david-foster-wallace-i-think-the-reason-why-people-behave  Wouldn’t that save us alot of time and sufferring?

Besides the philosophical concern of human “nature” and where it’s headed, human behavior dabbles in the psychological aspect of survival.  All researchers that have ever conducted experiments on this conclude that any hostility between humans is only the result of our inherent pursue to survive.  We go to many extremes to survive such as killing other life forms and intentionally altering the landscape to fit our needs of a growing population.  This predatory behavior was a full time job and only recently it became a more subconscious asset.  It required nearly all of an individual’s brain capacity to survive in the wilderness and it was so tiring because if the hunter were to lose focus of it’s prey, then it would lose it and starve which may have ultimately resulted in death, it would be dethroned by the next predator in line which was most likely not a human at the time.  In conclusion evolution has shaped our ways of interacting peacefully and cognitively with other humans because of a need to dominate our surroundings, thus explains the ‘strange’ aspect of today when an individual identifies another as being hostile while the 2nd party meants no harm.


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