Friday, January 27, 2012

2011   -   2012



Days: Mon - Sun

Hours: 24 / 7

Instructor: Zenka

Prerequisite: Life experience and common sense enough to truly understand the topic in a thoughtful and objective manner as well as sufficient rational, critical and judgmental abilities to participate in class discussions. Or permission of the instructor.

This is the opening lecture for the class. It will focus on the topic of MORALITY.

Lecture # 1

In this class we will study human nature on the level of the individual. It will be the basis of understanding human nature in the larger social context. The study of human nature on the social level will be another course for which this class will be a prerequisite.

We will begin this course with the understanding that mankind has been belaboring under the misapprehension that the definition and understanding of right and wrong, and ultimately morality, is merely an adopted code of social conduct by a group or society. It is no such thing. Never was.

First let's distinguish between right and wrong or morality and: ethnic custom; legal statutes, regulations, ordinances, codes, constitutional laws; social and business ethics; standard operating procedures; religious or spiritual beliefs; and the social graces or etiquette. The latter are rules that are part of what Jean Jacques Rousseau described as the Social Contract. They refer to public behavior or personal conduct within the various realms of the different groups of people with which we associate. Such understanding is taught in the home, in the classroom, in theological organizations, in seminars and on the job. They can be found in legal manuals, code books, school texts, religious documents, social guides and a variety of other medium.

These rules of the social contract are the publicly pronounced and generally agreed upon ways of behavior under prescribed social circumstances. These describe the correct or incorrect types of speech and/or actions a person may engage in according to the individual's specific areas or levels of human activity. They are manmade or of human invention and change with time and/or place.

The key point here is that they change. Their importance, direction and even their existence can change on as little as a whim. Thus these are not the true laws of our lives.

So what is the underlying foundation for all that we judge to be right or wrong? We know it is not part of the social contract itself. It can not be manmade. It would have to be a new method of understanding right and wrong. It would have to be timeless, common and humanly universal. This new understanding of morality must be able to define right and wrong not just for every aspect of the social contract, but for all peoples past, present and in the future.

There can be only one source for this foundation. It is the structure and function of the human body. It is the only vehicle we have through life. It is what makes us human.

Every day scientific research into how the human corporeal functions presents to us new information on what it means to be a human being. Traditional thinking on the subject tends to view the individual almost completely as a product of his environment. Even theologians who see the corporeal as a vessel for the so called spirit of the individual through this horrible state of existence to the next higher, sometimes lower, plane of whatever acknowledge that we need an external set of rules or a guidebook such as a religious manual in order to live our lives properly. John Locke and his philosophy of Tabula Rasa epitomizes the type of thinking many people engage in even today; that the newborn child is a blank slate upon which anything can be written, that we are devoid of any inherent limits or innate laws to follow. Whatever is written, or taught to the child will become that child's lifelong manifesto which will direct him through all aspects of life. That anything is possible.

This is only now beginning to change.

Today, and I predict more so in the future, we come to realize that the human body, your human body, directs you, guides you and determines more about your life than you wish to admit. Recent discoveries that the individual is susceptible to inherent diseases both physical and mental, meaning that they are not caused by our environs, are still unbelievable to most people. But scientific research is finding more and more that even those characteristics we attribute to a person's spirit or soul are actually products of your biological design and functioning. It is that you are what your body makes of you.
Numerous examples of how the design and function of the human corporeal and how they directly impact on personal behavior are found in the textbook, but there are even more recent examples of research findings.

1. Psychologists at the University of Minnesota have found that it is very probable that faint or irregular electric signals focused in a particular area of the brain ( the anterior cingulate cortex ) is the biological substrate to the individual's inability to recognize and correct cognitive errors. It is reasoned that this sporadic and sputtering electrical impulse is at the root of an individual's inability to self-acknowledge immediate mental and physical mistakes and correct them. It is deduced that this is the reason some people can not learn from their mistakes. 1

2. A mutated version of the period 2 gene which causes the individual to go to sleep early in the evening and awake very early in the morning. 2

3. In a recent study on rats it was found that the T. Gondii parasitic germ which mainly infests the brain, destroys a certain area that controls a specific type of fear. Somewhat fearless in dangerous situations then makes them more susceptible to predators. This same parasite is found in a large percentage of the human population and one study suggests its effects have changed human behavior enough to shape entire cultures. 3

More and more mankind will be forced to understand that all that the individual is, from his intellectual capacity to his personality quirks and personal habits are based in that individual's physio-biological make-up. Biology imbues and directs ability and capacity, but the environment will impact the range of accomplishment and character for the individual. You "can't keep a good man down" but negative social surroundings can truncate personal success and achievement just as the most beneficial and fulfilling family life can make even a "limited" individual all he can be.

The human form is a product of nature and is subject to nature's laws. Nature's continuum, and as a subsystem of nature, human nature, mankind, depend upon the same forces, substances, qualities and powers of nature having the same traits and attributes even though applied to or as part of vastly different entities or physical objects.

The continuous function of those substances, qualities and forces, traits and characteristics of nature, and human nature, predetermines what has been created. Where the particular substances, etc. of which mankind is composed, produce certain functions, it is those functions that define the duties and obligations mankind has to the state of human nature as well as limit mankind's performance to those duties and obligations. It is through the structure and composition - biological, chemical or otherwise - of the human body that our essential constitution is set. For mankind our destiny is inherent within our design.

This nature or design of mankind determines the duties and responsibilities that the individual has to himself and the human condition. Where the content and structure of the human body creates needs or drives, it creates the human responsibility to fulfill them. How well, or how poorly, we fulfill those universal responsibilities ultimately becomes our determination of what is right, what is wrong, and in our highest determinations, what is moral and what is not.

It is the human body that presents to us all of life's goals, laws and its direction. It is the human corporeal that provides us with life's essential instructions. It is the nature of what we are, human, that determines all that is important and cherished in our lives.


The goals, the responsibilities that we have in life come in the form of human instincts. Those physical drives, somatic tensions and their subsequent mental yearnings which originate from our physical structures create our human instincts. They are most easily known on their base level such as the sex drive or hunger for food. But self-preservation, herd instincts and the mothering instinct, among many others have their original cause in the content and structure of the body and brain. These instincts go far beyond the basics to the higher, what some call the "spiritual" quests such as for self-understanding, social acceptability and the need for greater understanding of our world. They are physiological based drives, forces and feelings, somatic tensions and mental yearnings that direct all of us, generally, along the same behavioral path towards the same goals in life.

Recent research into the biological functioning of humans and animals has found the source of these corporeal drives to be hormones acting on the structure of the body, including the brain, which precipitates such instinctual behavior which is designed to relieve us of those tensions and yearnings. It is these human instincts which act as the laws and directives to human life. They compose the state of human existence and the governing constitution of that state is human nature.

For example, the sex drive is controlled to a large degree by hormones such as testosterone and progesterone which create a bodily and mental tension that we must assuage. Sexual behavior relieves us of that pressing physical and mental obligation that we have to ourselves. The instinct of self-preservation is also driven by endocrines, hormones, such as adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol that activate and govern the fight or flight response when the individual is confronted with a dangerous situation. The content and structure of the human corporeal produce instinctual feelings, drives, hungers, urges, tensions that can only be relieved or fulfilled through the proper behaviors which are predesigned to relinquish them.

There is a vast commonality among all within living nature and it is within the cell that living nature shares its universality. Blood chemistry, cellular and bodily fluid chemical composition are maintained in rather precise concentrations. Nerve cells for instance must be bathed in an extracellular fluid of a definite electrolyte composition. If the composition of this solution is altered the activity of the neurons will also be affected which will lead to depressed or hyperactive neuronal activity. When the chemical balance of the body's fluids or compounds is altered, diminished or increased, due to such things as natural interaction with other internal biological processes, food intake, exercise or even psychological  ( emotional ) states, then that imbalance often initiates chemically induced sensations that release hormones that act to restore those original concentrations or levels.4 Not always, but often the individual will have to act or "behave" in a manner which will help to complete that process which restores the neutral sensory-mental state. This state is called homeostasis. This biologically mechanized need for a stable internal homeostatic physiological environment or visceral condition is ultimately that end which all of our behaviors seek. These biological behavioral motivations are the drives, somatic tensions and their accompanying mental yearnings that we call instincts.

The human body though does not just create drives, it creates the order, the cycle and the stages of life. It creates the path, the course and the direction for human life. Neurobiological research into behavior has found that animals as well as humans progress with motivated behavior through the stages of life; puberty, courtship, raising of the young and so forth. Each of these stages is immediately preceded by the release of the appropriate hormone or groups of hormones into the body ( including the brain ). These life stage changes take place even when the individual is brought up alone with no opportunity to learn from others; behavior is still purposive and goal directed. 5

The continuity of these biological forces remains constant even though applied to a host of different living entities, including mankind. Medical, biological and pharmacological research is performed upon animals because they share with humans the same basic natural biological consistency. The extent of that basis is limited; however, basic and common biological reactions within the scope of living nature do provide researchers with a valid basic and common indication to their research that can rationally be applied to human beings.

Living nature, including human nature, does not simply create a corporeal responsibility without also creating the mental capacity or competence to facilitate meeting that demand. Hormones which act upon the brain ( neurohormones and neurotransmitters with hormonal functions ) breakdown old neural tissue connections and create new connections which in turn create new neural pathways. These pathways and common neural activities provide the mental basis for our thinking and its associated behavior.6 Common neural pathways result from common hormonal and neurochemical reactions that take place within the brain and, in continuity, produce common thought patterns and mental yearnings that deeply influence those collective behaviors that lead to instinctual fulfillment. The future of epistemology rests upon such research.

The foundation for the greater understanding of what we are and who we are is not outside of ourselves but within each of us. The commonality, universality and pervasiveness of these biological determinates ( instincts ) among all peoples throughout time relegate these biological systematical causes within our own bodies, and the important effects that they have upon our lives, to the status of the laws and rules of what it means to be a human being. This biological disposition or "nature" to mankind, this inherent essence, predetermines the basic intentions and goals to our behaviors and our lives. Friedrich Nietzsche well understood that behind our sense of reason, our logic, our rational understanding and our value judgments, which stem from this reality, stands the physiological demands for a specific mode of life.7

These instinctual traits are not just options or suggestions as what to do with our lives, but responsibilities, laws and obligations that we have to ourselves and our human nature. Since many instinctual responsibilities are fulfilled with the help of or through other people, then we are also responsible to those other people in our lives.


But there is another set of human feelings common to the human condition known as emotions. Scientific research here too has established a hormonal and neurological basis for understanding human emotion. The brain is designed, through the Limbic system, to interpret sensory perceptions which then through hormonal activation stimulate nerves that produce feelings. They engage and activate instincts where they are designed to work in conjunction with those instincts. "Every object that excites an instinct excites an emotion as well." 8

Our emotions are our very personal, very subjective, very immediate and automatic guides that we have as to how well, and how poorly, we are fulfilling our instinctual obligations. Love, hate, fear, joy and all other forms of human emotion help to guide us through our lives. As an instructive authority they differ from instincts in that they originate or have their final cause in what takes place within our environment whereas our instincts originate within the structure and content of the human body. The emotions are our unthinking signs, signals along the course of human life. They are another method our human nature has for guiding us through life.

The human body creates all of our most important goals in life and our emotions help to guide us to those objectives. This is the reason or purpose to instincts and emotions being part of the human design. When we feel emotional pain - guilt, agony, spiritual torment, depression, regret or disgrace, it is those sensory signals indicating to us that we have strayed from the naturally intended path for human life to follow. Of course the individual must possess a high degree of self-understanding and understanding of human nature in order to properly interpret those feelings, what has originated them and know what those feelings mean. The self-ignorant person will only feel "bad," feel emotional pain without understanding it.
As an integral part of our human nature human emotion is there for a reason. All emotions act as our guides in life. They tell us when we have done something wrong (guilt, shame, remorse); they tell when we have lived life the right way (happiness, joy, a deep sense of satisfaction); and if we could be in danger (fear, anxiety, trepidation); and that in our world which is our enemy and seeks to destroy us or our way of life (hatred, loathing). They’re our natural bio-feed back systems. Of course you have to have self-understanding and be able to know what those human emotions mean in you. We may get confused by them or misinterpret them, some people get overwhelmed by them and try to think with them, but they are our true guides, not goals, in life.

Pain is the punishment for not appropriately fulfilling our human goals, but happiness, personal peace and contentment that we feel is then seen as our reward when our human goals are properly discharged. The rational individual will be able to "see" that all actions and behaviors, because of their gratification or discomfort, provide a deeper, long-range direction for the individual to follow. The life of immediate satisfaction ( hedonism ) or immediate avoidance of pain and suffering ( existentialism ) however, is a static existence that does not permit the accomplishment of the higher, long term goals of life and the life of long-fulfillment, peace and happiness that achieving those goals brings.


OK so finally we get around to the main subject. But only with understanding the correct context of human nature comes the realization that it is how well we properly follow our sensory guides and fulfill our human instinctual obligations that ultimately is the very foundation for our judgment of what is good, bad, right, wrong and in our highest determinations what is moral. It is also our source of what we call self-respect.

We talk about moral decay. We argue over the elements of the social contract. We agonize about our children growing up without self-respect, principals or values. What we have not done is describe all of these things so that we may understand what we are talking about. We use the words good, bad, right and wrong, but what are we really describing is human behavior in a personal or social setting and such labels are the results of our judgments about how well those behaviors fulfill or complete our human goals and responsibilities.

Our instinctual requirements are roughly the same for all persons and are fulfilled, satisfied or discharged through behaviors that are predesigned by the functioning of the human body to relieve us of those bodily/mental demands. It is then how well we fulfill or fail what is demanded of us by ourselves and others that ultimately creates our satisfaction, or dissatisfaction, with life. Thus the fulfillment of our instincts provides mankind with a common foundation for our judgments of right and wrong in regards to these physiological responsibilities.

It is human nature that ultimately determines what is right and what is wrong. Its perpetual laws and common human requirements furnish mankind the immutable and unchangeable foundation for our moral judgment. How well we fulfill those human responsibilities that we all have creates the human conception of right and wrong.

So, what is morality? It is the highest standard for human behavior. But one does not simply understand morality. One can not define or teach the highest standard for human behavior without first teaching self-understanding. We can not teach our children moral understanding nor do they have moral intelligence. To consciously understand the root causes of what we feel, whether those feelings are instinctual or emotional and how to morally assuage, discharge or fulfill those feelings is the basis of self-understanding. No one is born with this type of intelligence it must be taught to us, primarily by our parents.

As all people are basically the same biologically ( there are small differences based on age, race, sex, culture and other factors ) what the individual understands of himself he understands of other people and of human nature. Where the individual remains ignorant of himself and the human condition he remains isolated from others and his judgment of right and wrong remains arbitrary.

Once we teach our children self-understanding only then can we teach them good from bad. The concepts of good and bad encompass correct and fulfilling behavior, that which is good, and unfulfilling or self-destructive behavior, that which is bad. The concepts of good and bad reside on the lowest level of self-understanding - the individual, and in the narrowest scope - the here and now.
The greater the level of self-understanding achieved, the greater the level of understanding human nature attained. The more that "good" behavior benefits other people and the longer the results of those benefits lasts, the more such behavior is considered "right" behavior.

When the individual's words, actions, intentions and behaviors benefits the most people, all those effected by the individual's behavior, through the longest period of time, preferably a lifetime or longer, then that individual and that behavior are considered moral. Thus morality can not be taught to anyone before they have been taught self-understanding and can comprehend what is good and what is right.

What is good is that which fulfills the instinctual requirements of say, self-preservation. On a base level it is the individual's ability to stay warm, clothed and fed. It is for the individual to be able to immediately relieve and fulfill his needs of comfort, safety and well-being, all facets of this instinct. But what is considered moral in this regard is when that individual helps to build a family and then a community environment with those same qualities for all people in those groups. Where individual human action, behavior, words and thought fulfill these instinctual requirements of not just the individual, but of others in his life and community, this is to satisfy the higher goals of that base instinct.

Every physiological goal, every instinctual aim once properly fulfilled or discharged, then leads to newer, higher goals and intentions to human behavior. Each higher instinctual objective, once properly attained in turn leads to even newer and higher human behavioral intentions to fulfill, to complete.
To discharge the instinctual sex drive relieves us of that exigent base and basic physical requirement. But it naturally leads to the creation of children and of those higher responsibilities to our human state. Proper prenatal care and the care of infants and young children are behaviors that correctly fulfill the maternal/parental instinct. ( When a baby breast-feeds, it triggers a flood of the hormone oxytocin that releases milk from the mammary gland and a feeling of love and trust in the mother that ensures the baby's needs are met. 9 ) When this important instinctual responsibility is not properly accomplished it results in guilt, stress, depression or remorse in those parents. They are those unthinking signals indicating that they have strayed from the naturally intended path for human behavior to follow. Where children are properly parented and grow-up to be self-confident, self-reliant and possess self-understanding, it is the result of the child rearing responsibility morally fulfilled and results in what many already understand - the greatest sense of accomplishment and fulfillment in our lives and the ( reward of ) happiness it brings.

Once we understand the definition of morality, of its standard to human action, then we can understand and solve many of the problems that have plagued mankind for so long. What we judge to be harmful to the body or "spirit", we judge to be bad, wrong or immoral. Drugs destroy the body and mind of the individual and are wrong. Promiscuous sex promotes sexually transmitted disease and begets unwanted children. Abortion destroys the body and "spirit" of the female. Non-heterosexual sex does not properly fit or fulfill human obligation or allow the attainment of the higher goals in life. Child neglect destroys that child's future potential. Physical violence is obviously wrong. Criminal activity destroys our sense of safety and comfort within our communities. What destroys the human body, mind or "spirit", what does not fulfill our human responsibilities we correctly judge to be bad, wrong or immoral.

The higher the goal of our nature, the greater the understanding, time and effort on the part of the individual to achieve that goal or task. Where the base goal of instinctual obligation for the individual is to achieve immediate discharge of that command, the higher goal is to create lasting fulfillment. The higher the goal or responsibility properly attained and fulfilled, the longer the reward of contentment and happiness received lasts. It is the life of immediate instinctual fulfillment and emotional gratification, without the governance by reason and the other higher functions of human nature, which leads to the life of short pleasures and long regrets.

What is good or right or moral is only our judgment of the degree to which we fulfill human obligation. Morality is the highest standard for human behavior but it is only understood at the highest levels of human functioning. The highest functions of human nature - reason, rational understanding, objective thought and critical thinking skills must be employed in attaining the moral lifestyle. These are the conscious mental skills that we must utilize in governing our non-conscious instincts and emotions. When Rene Descartes said "I think, therefore I am", he most likely was referring to rational thought as the basis for a conscious, moral existence in opposition to those who "think" with their senses or emotions and thus do not exist on a higher conscious or moral plane.

Requiring employment of the highest functions of human nature and the vast life experiences upon which to make moral decisions, children and teenagers are precluded from experiencing the moral life. The moral individual is made, not born. For the most part we are born ignorant, but have the potential to become moral persons.

As that which is moral beneficially extends well into the future, the individual's ability to presage the future outcome to his immediate actions is his degree of moral reckoning. Human life is a bundle of requirements to be met in an orderly and rational manner, based upon the human qualities of which we are all commonly cast, but each moment in life is a world of behavioral possibilities. To rationally judge and choose that behavior which will achieve the greatest amount of emotional and instinctual satisfaction for oneself and all others involved, results in a moral decision. As the individual makes many moral decisions in his life, without making any great wrong decisions or suffering any tragic accidents, he then attains the moral life. In a world of behavioral possibilities it is self-understanding as well as rational understanding, reason, logic and critical thinking skills that, through the process of deduction, produce the best of all possible worlds.


1.    Jason R. Hall, Edward M. Bernat, Christopher J. Patrick Psychological Science (journal) article - "Externalizing Psychopathology and the Error-Related Negativity" Pgs 326-333  Published Online:  Apr 27 2007 © 2007
2.    Louis Ptacek   ScienceDaily   article - "First Human Circadian Rhythm"  from Howard Hughes Medical Institute (2001, January 15). © 2001

3.    Ajai Vyas   LiveScience   article by C. Q. Choi - "Human brain parasite alters fear" April 2, 2007  © 2007

4.    E. Hadley   Endocrinology   Pgs 10-12 Prentice Hall © 1984

5.    James P. Henry   Emotion: Theory, Research and Experience   vol. 3 ed. by Robert Plutchik and Henry Kellerman Pgs 47 - 49 Academic Press © 1986

6.    Katherine and Kermit Hoyenga   Gender Related Differences   Pg. 127 Allyn & Bacon © 1993

7.    Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche   Beyond Good and Evil: A Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future  Section 3 Published 1883

8.    William James   The Principals of Psychology  vols. I & II Pg. 442 Henry Holt © 1890

9.    Enrico Rossoni, Jianfeng Feng, Brunello Tirozzi, David Brown, Gareth Leng, Françoise Moos  PLoS Computational Biology   article - "Emergent Synchronous Bursting of Oxytocin Neuronal Network"  Editor: Karl J. Friston Published: July 18, 2008 Copyright: © 2008 Rossoni et al


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