Decoding the Subconscious Code
Were you attentive in 4th grade? If you were, did you ace the subject of moral science by actually analysing the chapters or just mugging them up to score marks? Well, I played cricket through those lectures. So, let’s take it up a notch this time.
One of the most renowned British philosophers of his time, Bertrand Russell wrote articulately about science and ethics. He explains how ethics can be classified into moral conducts and conscience; with moral conducts being extremely important for people with primitive beliefs. The act of gambling can stands as an epitome for this group of people.
Reading about conscience, it changed many of my views. There are two difficulties with conscience; that every individual has different conscience and the other; the unconscious being the simple cause of feelings.
The diversity in deliverances of conscience with examples of Abraham Lincoln, communists and capitalists clearly state that one needs to understand the origins of these ideologies in order to see through their deliverances. Do you think that the African American community is struggling since hundreds of years just because someone approved of them being slaves? Do you think that the communists and capitalists are still fighting just because someone approved of the rich being exploited by the poor or the poor being exploited by the rich? I believe it is a collection of feelings of millions of people that drive these wars. Not every sane individual will go on war because of someone else’s approval. There must be one tumultuous infringement in the subconscious of an individual that can lead him to fight for it. Only if we could ask Mr. Hitler about it. Soldiers can be an exception here as they can’t afford to have a subconscious after vowing to fight for the entity they promised to. And this is something that leads us to believing that we do not attach our association in different acts with its relevance to approval or disapproval but we do it with it relevance to our pleasure, discomfort and essentially that little bug called subconscious that causes feelings.
And now you must be wondering about why is this 22 year old noob playing around with philosophers’ belief of moral conduct; which is basically defined as ‘what is good’. But take a minute and think why do you ‘approve’ of them? Think about the act of sati. Wasn’t that a moral conduct in those days? It was. But was it ‘good’ in terms of the moral context? If your answer to this is ‘yes’, you either need to see a psychiatrist or time travel to the times when the act of sati was ‘good’. Hence, a debate about what’s good can only be won with emotions and not facts. We are back to square one; the little bug called subconscious which causes feelings.
Let’s form an analogy between a lawmaker and a preacher. The lawmaker perceives few things as good even if it is not good for the common people. But the laws will still be made by his perception. And then many from the few would become obsequious to serve the lawmaker even if it’s wicked for the few and subjectively wrong. In the same sense the preacher cannot handle the laws but he can influence people with emotions and hence it can be proved that desires cannot be judged at facts and an objective stance but it is perceived by everyone with subjective stance. The novel 1984 is a great example to understand this concept where the “Big Brother” is the lawmaker and Winston Smith is the preacher.
Now, don’t you believe that one’s ethics can only be altered by influencing his desires and not by influencing his knowledge towards the perception of good? Concluding this blog, it’s clear that science cannot define the values or desires because values or desires lie outside the realm of truth and falsehood.
This one of those blogs which I will never forget writing. Please reach us if you wan to discuss something regarding this blog. I will be more than happy. Happy Reading. Stay Home. Stay Safe 🙂
Avinash Somjani is an intern at utobo and he is currently pursuing his MBA at SIBM Bengaluru. He is passionate about sports, science fiction, history and the ever changing colour of his pen.