Opinion | Goodness

(c) 2020 Vernon Miles Kerr, VernonMilesKerr.com, WritersClass.net

Is Goodness for wimps? Is Goodness “relative”? Can acts be attributed to Goodness in one context but not in another? Is there a spirit of Goodness, infusing some people, but not others? Or is Goodness merely one quality of a normal, healthy human mind? I believe it is, but the operative word is “healthy.” Mental and/or social “health” is another relative judgment call — but there are some physical concepts, that can help.

Curiously, Sigmund Freud’s ideas and the design of the UNIX computer operating system — used by the Apple MacIntosh and by large Industrial networks — both apply to human Goodness, in that they both have a layered approach. Freud was on the right track with his Id, Ego, and Superego.

The UNIX Operating System, from the core outward — primitive to complex
  1. The Id is the lizard brain. (UNIX’s Hardware layer.) The Id is our mechanical, knee-jerk self-protective, self-aggrandizing layer. Eating, reproducing…
  2. The Ego: Where Self-awareness and awareness of others commingle to form personality. (UNIX’s Kernel andShells, which handle input & output)
  3. The Superego: The social layer, the safety-dependent group-affiliation layer where culture & manners reside.(UNIX’s Utilities/Applications layer)

The Superego is where Goodness lives. It’s the safe-place where humanity as a species rises or falls. An individual can basically “exist”with only layers 1 & 2 but Goodness cannot. A healthy individual, naturally incorporates layer 3. An unhealthy person such as a sociopath can only feign an association with the Superego level. He or she uses that false-impression, that false-Goodness as camouflage in order to support layers 1 and 2 — in order to promote “self” rather than to promote “humanity.”

For our own self-protection we need to recognize the camouflage, and then structure our interactions with such people. For the protection of humanity, we need to improve delivery of mental-health services and to adopt methods to avoid hiring or electing such people if the position or office being filled potentially puts human lives at risk.