In this post I will try to explain how I think the world works, actually more accurate how human behaviour works in relationship with social interaction and the economy. This is not scientific in any way and are just my beliefs. So, I welcome you to doubt it and fight any suggestions I make.
I've split this post in a few parts, because it would get really to long if I didn't. This is part one.
In a society as existing today, it is very complex to understand all reasons of human activities. Sometimes it looks very illogic when we see poverty on earth, people starving of hunger, without an apparent good reason. The reason for this complexity is because details are clouding our understanding. To understand anything of human behaviour in present times, we fist need to understand the very basic human behaviour. What drives people on this planet?
To answer this question I would like to go back the “undeveloped” humans from prehistoric ages. At that time humans were nothing more and nothing less than other animals (one could claim this is still true today). What drives an animal in this world? Well this is more easy to answer.
An animal wants to survive in this world and it wants to reproduce with a high potential partner (healthy and strong). This are the only two real basic targets for an animal I believe, although you might even suggest surviving derives from reproducing, after all you need to be alive to reproduce. You might question what the point is of this, well there is no point in it, but that's another discussion.
These one or two targets create certain basic needs. Not meeting these needs will certainly cause failure of succeeding in the target(s). The animal needs oxygen, heat (no sun, no heat), water, food and a breeding partner. These are absolute necessary means for any animal, and it explains a lot of its behaviour.
Besides these basic needs, there are also a lot of things it wants because it makes chances of fulfilling the targets higher. An important one is safety, in a save environment chances of survival are bigger. Something else is status position among others of the species, a higher status will result in a bigger chance of a strong and healthy breeding partner.
Now there are also things animals will do because it makes them happy. Like eating some delicious fruit from high in a tree instead of an easier to access fallen of the tree piece. Why is the animal willing to do this effort? Because it makes him feel happy, but what is feeling happy? Well there is some theory I've got about this. The happy feeling is a chemical process in body/brain which the brain thinks is good and that's why it wants to do effort for it. It's the same reason why sugar dissolves in water, it's just the way particles interact by the laws of nature.
If you read between the lines you'll notice I have stated that there is not such thing as free will and free choice. There will be lot of people that will not accept this statement, and I'm not satisfied about it neither. But there is a very indefinite term I've used, “the laws of nature”. What are these “laws”, who made them, who controls them and what if we break the rules? Or can't we, and why not? This is not something I can not possibly explain, nor can anyone else I think. But it might be here where we can 'explain' our nature of our feeling like own choice and an individual “soul”.
Anyway to make it not to vague, lets continue the reasons why some things makes an animal feel happy while others does make it unhappy. Is it an random? Yes and no. I would say it's the cause of evolution. The chemistry in the brains did appeared at random, but animals that became happy from things that improved their chances of survival and reproduction, did survive while others died. Like the example of the fruit. The one in the tree is more healthy then the one on the floor which might be mouldy. That's why we like things that are rarely found in nature, but are healthy for us, like sugar and salt. Fat, because we need it for energy. We like playing, because we learn the limits of our capabilities and learn new movements which we could benefit from when we have to access difficult to reach food or to escape/fight enemies.
So animals with the right feelings survived, animals with the wrong feelings died. Quite simple. This is the same with feelings like love, fear, pain, exhaustion, etc. Yes, love too. Maybe odd, because love makes you do things worsening your own situation in favour of others. This might sound odd, because how does it improve your chances of survival and reproduction?
As a group you're stronger as one, this is often true, and this is why love improves your chances. Together in a group you can defend yourselves better against enemies. You can help those weak from injury or a disease. As you help others when you are strong, they will help you when you need it. If you help others often, it will increase sympathy for you, and others will be more willing to help you when you need it.
The more someone else influence your success in obtaining your targets, the more love you will feel for him/her. Children are your targets, so you love them almost infinite, your life is less valuable as theirs. Your partner helps producing your children and helps defend them just as infinitely as you would, and thereby he/she is very important (this is not with all species). But also your partner defends you from the same reason as you defend your partner. The further the relationships are the less importance this relation has for your well being or that of your children and thus the mutual love will be less.
If we even go further away from your relations, so far you won't even speak of relation any more, there will no love be left. You might even consider some of these individuals your enemies, because they make the chance of survival or reproducing smaller for you. This is why prehistoric and modern tribes or nations will fight each other. They want all the food for themselves (nowadays it's not so much for food, still it's the same idea).
So love is just a strategy of some species. There are animals that know no or limited love. Cannibalism is know with many species, and for example a black widow (spider) will eat the male after mating, apparently she doesn't see any use for him any more and the male just changed from necessary breeding partner to simple food. Or maybe even a thread for her breed because he might mate other females...?
We people have very large and complicated herds. Because it is just that; first we made tribes, then villages, growing to whole nations, and now some are even thinking of one global world. This is the cause of the technical developments, the world become smaller and smaller. We are growingly specialising, this means growing efficiency, but also people get depended from more and more people. This means all do help us with succeeding in our basic targets, still everybody might also be considered a bit of an enemy. Although it might look as everybody is playing his/her role of this world but no one is really doing it for others. Everyone is selfish in that way. We only help others because we think we will profit from it ourselves. It's not that we are really thinking this, but it's our nature. We are selfish by nature, although we might think we really doing good things for others.
All this is not a dramatic thing. Do not think other people don't care about you, because it's not true. Love does exists, I just said what it is (in my point of view anyway) and why it does exists. It's a brilliant strategy and it brought us very much as a species. It also explains that doing something good for others will only give you good things in return.
But indeed the story also has a darker side, love is not endless. If it was the point of it would be lost. Remember when I explained where love came from? Together fighting the enemies. When we love everybody, there are no enemies right? Why would you need love? But because we only want best for ourselves, everyone would be an enemy again. Because they decrease your chances by eating your potential food and mating your potential partner.
So in this society you increase chances for those close to you as they do for you. But just as well as by helping those close to you you will decrease chances for others as they do for your herd. We don't want everybody to be equal, we want the best for ourselves!
Still doubting? Have you ever heard a parent say: “I know my kid is very bright and I could give him high education at a nice school which will improve its chances for the future, I'm sure then he/she can have a nice job and merry someone nice. But that would not be a good thing for those other kids that also would like a spot in this good school and a nice job, etc. So that's why I will just give my kid some average schooling. And no presents for its birthday of course, all the spare money goes to kids in Africa who need it more.”