The Decline of Intuition

I have noticed that as a whole, far less people rely on their intuition and instincts than they used to. Many of them in particular have reflexively appealed to authority, mainly because they are conditioned to accept so-called experts at their word and whatever narratives are propagated through media and social pressures, one often following from the other, in either direction. They often believe that by doing this, they are contributing to some sort of “greater good” or have “common sense” or are displaying “basic human decency”. In fact, what they follow has little to nothing to do with the above.

Instincts and intuition are not identical, but they go hand-in-hand with the way a human reasons. Instincts can be intuitive, but not everything that is intuitive is an instinct, as humans can learn intuitively through experience. Comparatively, instincts are a raw feeling that is based on a reflexive emotion outside of any societal conditioning.

One example of this is birth control. Humans do not have any sort of in-built mechanism for birth control beyond celibacy or “pulling out”. Instinctively, humans want to procreate. In the absence of factors preventing or hindering them from doing so, that is what they will do. A societal or communal view of intercourse as a primarily recreational activity, as opposed to a procreational one, means that someone will very likely use some form of birth control upon engaging in said activity. Conversely, seeing sexual intercourse as having a main purpose of procreation, and pleasure as either irrelevant or something that follows from the purpose of procreation, means that someone is less likely to use birth control or engage in libertine sex. As a broad example, such trends are found in more religiously devout groups, compared to ones who do not identify as religious.

There is intuition at work in both cases. Someone who uses birth control thinks that they do not want the responsibility of a child, and therefore take means to prevent this situation. Someone who wants a child instinctively feels the need to reproduce, and intuitively knows that doing so will likely lead to pregnancy and, later, childbirth. The difference is, in the former instance, intuition clashes with the core purpose behind the instinct, while with the latter, they work in conjunction with one another.

Such attitudes have widespread consequences, as it shapes how many children one may have and what kind of sexual behaviors one may adopt, among other things. While intuition plays a role in both instances, the attitude towards the instinct is what is different.

What is becoming more and more common, is that some people reject the purpose of an instinct itself, developing a perverse narrative far from anything that makes any sense. Some react and act as if having children is a moral evil, a disgusting attitude only adopted by people who are selfish and wretched, out of a faux display out of care for the world that they do not understand.

It is understandable that some people feel as though they would not be fit parents. Many people lack that self-awareness, blaming their child for their own failures as a parent. This in particular, though, is about people who see children and loathe them, who feel as though bringing others into the world is a grave sin, in their standards of morality. It is a very aggressive form of misanthropy, hating humanity for its own existence, rather than the kind of misanthropy where one hates ills of the world perpetuated by humans, for which humans are merely a vessel.

I recently saw one such poster when I was in the city centre, where it said something about vasectomies, and a URL involving the theme of not having children. It was clearly not a medical advertisement. Paradoxically, I am glad that those kinds of people would be not deciding to breed, but trying to convince others to do the same is wretched.

Another scenario where people seem to suppress their intuition – not so much instincts – is the contradictory and conflicting information around COVID that has been going around for well over a year now. It clearly is not extremely fatal or dangerous to most people, and most of those affected by it have had health conditions that make them more vulnerable to it. Information about masks, transmission, what the purpose of the vaccine is, have all been a jumbled narrative, even from supposed experts.

Policymakers in particular skew this information into even more of an incoherent mess. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently tweeted “I’ll keep saying it (and tweeting it) until every eligible Canadian has both their shots against COVID-19: please get vaccinated.”

That is obviously an impossible goal, not to mention a rather absurd one. The purpose of a vaccine is to protect the person receiving it, as people have known intuitively for some time. Someone is not putting you in danger by not getting it, if you’ve gotten it. What would be the point of a vaccine if it does not do that, then? These are the same kind of people to see the term herd immunity, and fail to understand what it means.

Some people threw these intuitive pieces of information aside and choose to scapegoat ones who decide to not take it. To them, it is as if the current situation is the fault of those making a medical choice, and not the abject failure of policymakers who underestimated it, wanted to not close borders with certain countries because that is discriminatory, and made a cohesive lack of policymaking. When I went to a hospital in March 2020, one woman working there told me to throw my mask away, because it did not do anything. A few months later, the province instituted a mask mandate, like many places around the world have. I followed this closely and was quite concerned even before most people had heard of it, but I became less concerned about it and more distrustful over time, seeing many incidents that made me form a different view of it than I once did.

Intuitively, one would learn to distrust their government and those providing conflicting information. There have been many reasons to do so for some time, but after this debacle, it is plain for even the most slow-witted to see. Many people are so deep into the rabbit hole, and comply with whatever absurdity they are told because they believe in COVID Zero. They don’t want to live with it, they say, but they cannot live without it, judging by the way they base their entire lives on it. This is very apparent in Australia right now, where citizens and law enforcement put up with and mete out, respectively, extremely disproportionate and coercive measures.

COVID is simply one of the most apparent examples. There are already other instances where people’s clash of intuition and instinct, or just the subjugation of the former alone is enough to make western society unrecognizable from how it was one or two decades ago. People will memoryhole the reasons for the US invasion of Afghanistan and instead focus on issues completely unrelated to it, or do similar things with gender ideology. Said people like treating the socially current issues with the correct version of things – as told to them by those they see as trustworthy authorities - and quietly drop it when it is not. That behaviour itself mirrors actions of virtually every government with public relations, and the institutions that back it. In essence, society itself is becoming a microcosm of whatever their government asks. Even people who question their government, very frequently still think within this socially acceptable framework. People lash out at their government and medical authorities and call them “Nazis” or “fascists” in situations that do not reflect any sort of those principles. It is simply a go-to insult by many people, while it has little to do with those things outside of a broad authoritarianism.

It is not in the best interest of many groups for people to think intuitively, but if they think on their own, it is easier to catch them, and destroy their reputation. A bigger threat to them is people who organize who do so, when it does not reflect these socially acceptable narratives. Since most people do not think intuitively on their own, certain groups attempt to achieve a consciousness that bridges this gap and creates a solidarity between its members. If you see certain narratives being suppressed and derided and others amplified and endorsed, think of what the reasoning is behind it. Instead of thinking of it as them making concessions, think of it as the house giving its gambling addict guests free chips so they keep coming back to the table.