September 7, 2017 by John Crapper
Since ego plays such an important role in our current sitting President’s thinking, I thought it timely to look at this aspect of his personality a little closer in relation to our environment. It’s not comforting.
1. Arrogance, selfishness, greed, a sense of entitlement to whatever one wants. This leads to serious ends/means problems: such a person feels entitled to do whatever it takes to get what s/he wants. This leads to abuses of ends/means reasoning.
2. Intellectual arrogance: being too sure that one is right in what one believes. This tends to lead one to feel justified in doing whatever it takes to achieve one’s goals. It elbows out any humility that might lead one to ask whether it was right to harm people for one’s goals.
1. excessive conformity, even servility, because one does not believe that one’s own opinions are worth standing up for. It is very hard to have integrity if one has no respect for one’s moral identity or for the kind of person one believes one is.
2. doing evil to assert to the world that one exists, that one should be paid attention to.
3. a need to show that one is superior to another by showing that one has power over him or her.
Ann Druyan said
“A lot of people have this ego need that makes them want to believe that Earth is the center of the universe and humans are the most important species, the supreme expression of creation.”
Rev. Dr. Sandra TePoel, Msc.D. writes in her blog Thinking from the Heart the following:
Among the pressures driving our dissatisfaction is the rise of marketing. Marketers have made fortunes for the businesses they serve by convincing the world that everyone needs their products or services in order to; be sexier, be happier, have more fun, keep up with others, and demonstrate their success. Unlike advertising, which helps you find what you need, marketing caters to the ego. The ego wants to be special; to have at least what others have, and preferably more. Marketers understand the desires of the ego and know how to push ones buttons without regard for individual needs or capabilities. And so, fewer and fewer companies make more and more money, much of which they spend on lobbying to create the political environment that best serves their interests. We call these systems capitalism and democracy, and lost in our egoistic ways, we think they represent the best systems for the rest of the world to follow. While these problems are substantial, there may be an even bigger problem with man’s ego-centered approach to life. In his zeal to solve medical mysteries, provide cheap energy, end world hunger, and improve daily life, he has rushed into sciences he barely understands. This lack of understanding has steadily depleted the ozone layer, led to earthquakes from fracking for natural gas, poisoned millions of people with radiation, created droughts in some places and floods in others, and led to wars over natural resources and the attendant loss of many lives. As man works to solve the problems of the world he seems to be creating even bigger problems. The biggest problem may be the tunnel vision that has developed as a result of greed. The wheels of our current science are lubricated with money. Given a choice between money and responsible use of earth’s resources, money usually prevails. All people share in this problem as co-conspirators until such a time as we are ready to exert our collective will to make change happen.
The greatest change of all must be the relationship between us and our ego. As long as we allow ourselves to be convinced of our specialness, we will continue to commodify, abuse, and destroy the world around us because we fail to see its relationship to ourselves.
“Save the Planet” is the most blatant egotistical statement being uttered regarding our current perspective regarding our relation with the world.
As members of the Church of the Holy Shitters we know it is not possible for us to “Save the Planet”. With a little humility we just might be able to save ourselves, however.
Considering the perception blinders that cloud Trump’s judgement I doubt we will see any humility emerging any time soon. We all might be better served if he followed the advice on this sign.