Certain people shouldn’t have kids.
That’s what I tell myself when I see the usual example of violence and bad behavior being passed down from red-faced berating parent to red-faced screaming child.
And then I take that thought a little further and think about one day when I’ll rule the world and dictate that people will have to pass certain profiling tests to have children. I’ll make sure that future children will have parents that have qualities to pass down like patience, intelligence, responsibility, problem-solving, etc.
Ignorance, hatred, impatience, etc, would be diminished from the world in one single generation.
I would allow myself a few more moments of megalomania before I’d think of the consequences of a world like that. A world where young people feel powerless when they want children. Where they dread meeting the panel that will determine whether they can do a biological function that all other creatures freely do. A world where there’ll be corrupt bureaucrats doling out pass/fail baby cards based on connections, bribes, and personal whim.
It’s such a bad idea on second thought, so why did I even have it in the first place? Probably because I hate seeing pain and suffering. Because I don’t want to deal with the suffering of another human being, which causes me to be uncomfortable, awkward, and insecure. There’s also the fear that one day I’ll have to deal with that person in some way. It’s the avoidance of annoyance, frustration, and fear that drove me to such thoughts.
And that’s alright isn’t it? I want to avoid bad things, it’s my personal right to avoid bad things. But to acquire what I believe is my right as an independent being, should I contradict that right and take that independence away from others? Even if it’s for the “greater good of society.”
As an independent person, I am allowed my independent selfishness that allows me to remain alive and attain happiness. But not everything selfish is allowable by me. There are irrational selfish ideals, such as my megalomania, that will end up harming everyone, including myself.
So the game isn’t about not being selfish at all, or about not ever practicing altruism. The game is about when it makes sense to be selfish and when it makes sense to just continue suffering humanities bad habits.