Rob Harris (
Mon, 29 Nov 1999 09:51:52 -0000

>I'll use the example of the celibate priest or monk. Certainly the
>"designer", put in the goal to procreate. However with enough
>training or desire, we can usurp that goal and replace it with
>another, *perhaps* flying in the face of "rational" behavior
>(i.e. substituting the pursuit of a belief system that has no
>concrete visible results with one that has concrete visible results)

We are not purely rational creatures, and concrete visible results are not important - it is whether these concrete visible results kick off a pleasurable reaction in our minds. Replacing a cushy sex, drugs and rock&roll lifestyle with one of constant self-flagellation is just an example of one desire/motivation outweighing another. The monks will have a sufficiently strong desire to prove their faith to their gods such that it will outweigh the desire to have loads of sex etc. This faith proving desire could be a fundamental motivation in itself - after all, cats leave "offerings" to their human "gods" too, but I suspect that it has bases in other things like fear of death, and self-glorification. My point, though, is that these desires/motivations were not created by the conscious entity with "free will" or something. There was no time in my life at which I DECIDED my sexuality, or DECIDED my food preferences, or my particular loves&hates in any area. I discovered them. All base rules, and therefore motivations are out of our control. The only "freedom" our "intelligence" gets is to come up with the plans that fulfil this predetermined motivation set. I could go further and mention that we don't control our intelligence either - in fact, that the consciousness is not a control device at all, but that's another subject.