Posted: Apr 24, 2016 6:43 pm
by igorfrankensteen
The factor that makes this subject extra difficult to work out, is one which affects it from two completely different angles.

That is, the fact that there are multiple unrelated motivations involved with it at all times.

Even a small child has more than one motivation driving them to come to conclusions and make decisions about their experiences. Actual survival is clearly not the primary motivator, because babies and small children usually don't have the experience derived insight required to look out for their own best interests. Instead, they have to draw conclusions based on such things as their sense of the emotional state of their caretaker, their most basic sense of personal physical comfort, and a host of environmental conditions. Sequences are critical. Learn one little lesson in a different order, and the same bits of information which lead to a loving cousin in one person, can lead to the certainty that everyone must die in another.

In larger groups of people, answering why a given group, such as Jews, have a large other group who insist a set of bad things about them are true, can be the result of a multitude of motivations, and usually is. One small subset group has one set of concerns. Another group comes along who also dislike the "culprit" group, but for different reasons entirely, and in order to join forces, the two groups will meld their reasons together. Often another group, which really doesn't care about the "culprit group" at all, will see opportunity for easy allies, and will PRETEND to hate them.

And from the point of view of the people trying to figure out what's going on, multiple motivations come in to play as well. Some of the same ones, in fact (desire for allies, for example) can crop up and impede our ability to come to an unbiased conclusion.

The only way I know if to deal with the multiplicity of motivations in each situation, is to heighten one's awareness of them, in order to minimize how much they deflect us from recognizing what's going on.

And never forget, even what seems to be the BEST of motivations can turn on us, so to speak. The classic one, is that the dedication to remaining impartial at all costs, can become a reason to ignore real data. And the fact that a new discovery about some physiological process or chemical process, can be so entrancing, that we try to make it explain EVERYTHING, just because it feels so good to "tidy things up" that way.