One example of inductive reasoning is this post I did, where I came to the conclusion that all the problems that plague people invariably fall into the categories of either a deficiency in vision or a deficiency in discipline.
Another example is this post where I talk about how all of our motivations and actions boil down to trying to satisfy two drives, the for survival and the drive to reproduce. Survival and reproduction directly and indirectly explain our motivations for doing just about everything we’re driven to do. I was satisfied with this for a while, but something felt incomplete about this analysis, and it gnawed at me. I felt the analysis could be taken one step further to create a single, broad umbrella category, one all-encompassing drive of which the drives to survive and reproduce were just subcategories.
And then it hit me: immortality. The drives to survive and reproduce are subcategories of the drive for immortality. Everything we do, including the drives to survive and reproduce, is to satisfy our drive for immortality.
The beauty of the broader Immortality Model is that it helps explain some aspects of human nature that don’t neatly fit into the survival and reproduction catergories, such as the need for religion and the drive to be famous. Religion offers immortality in the form of an afterlife. Fame offers immortality in the form of having your name and image and exploits live on long after your physical body expires. This is why all the logic and reasoning in the world will never be able to eliminate organized religion from humanity. It’s humanity’s last ditch-effort to achieve immortality, especially the closer one gets to the expiration of their physical body as they age.
The Immortality Drive plays itself out through three urges: (1) the urge to achieve literal immortality by extending your physical life and its impact on the world as much as you can, (2) the urge to distract yourself from thinking about the fact you are physically going to die and may not have a spiritual afterlife or reincarnation awaiting you, and (3) the urge to ensure figurative immortality after physical expiration through religion or fame.
People usually exercise these three urges as follows:
(1) distracting themselves from thinking about the inevitable reality of physical death with the possibility of no afterlife while
(2) maximizing their physical impact on the world by trying to keep their bodies alive as long as possible while spreading their genes into the next generation and chasing status, power and fame, all to ensure that their name and genes survive their physical expiration, and finally
(3) engaging in some sort of religious belief to hedge their bets just in case and to give themselves hope that spiritual immortality actually is achievable or becoming so famous that your name and reputation continue to live even after you’re long gone from the physical plane.
An excess of one urge in a person or society though can lead to a deficit of the other urges, or vice versa. For example, secular and athiestic people and societies have little to no faith in the existence of immortality through an afterlife or reincarnation, so instead they channel all their energy into the urge to distract themselves from death with no afterlife, often through excessive hedonism, substance abuse or chasing as much power, status, sex and fame as they can during their lifetimes. Since religion is a lie and this physical life is all they have, they need to maximize it. At the other end of the spectrum, the extremely religious are so confident of the existence of an afterlife that they don’t feel the same need to engage in hedonism, substance abuse and materialism as others. For these people, there is no possibility of no afterlife, so these distractions are unnecessary.
Look at suicide bombers to see this dynamic taken to even scarier extremes. Suicide bombers have so satisfied the immortality drive through religion and are so sure that a spiritual afterlife is achievable that they are able to totally disregard the first urge of physical self-preservation and largely disregard the second urge of status-seeking.
To Be Continued…