Dexter The Protagonist
I’ve a friend who loves the TV show Dexter. He’ll be the first to tell you that the first four seasons are fantastic and the last four seasons kind of suck.
He’s a very interesting character that is very unique. A sociopath serial killer who is a protagonist but he has these very strict set of external guidelines that he uses to help him choose who to kill, what to do, how to kill them, who not to kill.
One of my favorite parts about movies about large cons is the process of putting together a team. For example if your remember Ocean’s Eleven, the whole first half was these two guys putting together a team of expert thieves and con artists.
Put Together a Crew
They had all of these different characters. The type of their skill was highly related to their character, their archetype. Once they put this team together this very kind of diverse group of people with these diverse set of skills. They had a very powerful team that could do something together that none of the people could come close to apart.
A very troubling idea in philosophy and evolutionary psychology is where our morals come from. There is, of course, ideas in religion that our morals are put here by our Creator or whoever that might be.
But if you’re going to constrain yourself to explaining our morals purely from biology it’s very very difficult because if you have to explain any human characteristic purely from biology you have to explain why anything that we have any trait that we have is an evolutionary benefit.
Evolution Of Morals
A lot of our traits can easily be seen why they are an evolutionary benefit but morals is not so easy because everyone has all kinds of examples of people that are completely immoral and they get ahead because of it.
We have a lot of examples, probably most of ourselves, of trying to live a moral life, we don’t get very much, but then we see other people living immorally and they get way ahead of us. It causes a lot of internal misunderstanding of how can moral behavior be a positive evolutionarily beneficial trait if people that are immoral seem to succeed more than people that are moral.
One of the ideas that some people try to use to explain the evolution of moral behavior is way back in the day you had basically two people that you would deal with on a regular basis. The first group of people would be your family members, the people that you knew.
Nobody Cheats Family
You didn’t want to cheat them because they were your kin, you were genetically programmed to do things so it benefit them because they were your kin. On the other hand there are people that you saw sometimes that you might not ever see again.
So the question is why would treating them with moral behavior be a benefit? The idea that a lot of evolutionary psychologists have come up with is that in the short term it might not benefit you.
But if you have these internal moral constraints that would cause you to behave morally towards these people what that would do was over time it would build up a very very strong reputation.
Build Your Reputation
That strong reputation over time would be a huge benefit to any type of business you’re in. Any type of trade you are in any type of agricultural production that you are in, and so their ideas that these short-term moral behaviors may not seem like a benefit. In fact they might even decrease your ability to get your needs met in the short term.
In the long run they would build up this huge reputation that’d be much much more valuable to you than any kind of short-term gains. The short answer is morals, at least in our evolutionary background, they might not have helped us in the short run but they definitely help us in the long term.
It’s one of those things where it’s a short-term pain can create very very long term gains. From a larger extent you can see all of these kind of groups today or maybe think of them as archetypical groups from back then where you would join these groups of people that you didn’t quite know that well.
Inner Morals Lead To External Reputation
But your internal moral guidelines would help you to build a reputation within that group. That would allow for a lot more synergistic groups of people that weren’t really related and didn’t really know each other that would allow these groups to achieve much more together than they could possibly on their own.
If you look at any groups today there very much like these kind of movies about con artists. That you have these groups filled with diverse characters and everyone has their own set of skills and everyone kind of puts their own set of skills together. You can think of morals as the kind of glue that holds these groups of nonfamily members together.
As long as the group has a kind of an overlap between each person’s ability to provide something to the group and each persons kind of selfish expectation of getting something back from the group, so long as this has an overlap with the big picture with a group behaves as a singular unit and the group gets a big payback as a singular payback.
Everybody Gets Paid
Then each individual gets their own kind of cut to whatever they were doing. If you look at this, if you look for this kind of structure you’ll see it everywhere. Every time you have a group of people put together the one kind of singular purpose that are not related to one another.
It’s very much like Ocean’s Eleven where they can elevate this up to that the conscious level. It may make it a little bit silly in it’s extreme but it’s the same process. You have all these members that have all these different skills and what you build the team with all these different members of all these different skills then you have this well-functioning group that is kind of held together by a combination of the selfish interests and the morals of each individual member.
They put themselves together in this huge functional group that could create these fantastic results. The reason it seems both familiar and entertaining in movies like Ocean’s Eleven is because they’re taking something that happens naturally and their elevating it up to a very conscious very kind of extreme level so it’s kind of entertaining to watch it happen.
Internal Morals Represented Externally
This is essentially what they did with the character of Dexter. Most of us have these internal morals that we never really think about is just these things these internal feelings that guide us.
But for the character of Dexter he had a kind of hallucinated memory of his dead adopted father that reminded him of his set of rules that he had to live by. This is a kind of an externally conscious represented set of morals that we all have on the inside.
We see it happening in this kind of protagonist serial killer. It seems very very strange but at the same time it also seems very very familiar. We are just taking this thing that we do all the time we kind of respond to our own internal morals all the time.
Interesing And Familiar
They take that and the character of Dexter and make it an externally objective describable set of rules that he has to live by. It seems very very strange but at the same time this feels very very familiar.
Mind Persuasion has plenty of books and courses to teach you how to speak hypnotically and persuasively.