Finding reasons for our feelings

A Comprehensive Treaty On Freedom And Morality

By Allan Sztab

First Edition

Edited by B.Kurz. Cartoons by Whale (Gerry Van Heerden)

© 1997 Allan Sztab

Book Contents

In the first section on physiology and psychology the following subjects are covered:
  • the role of the senses in capturing information;
  • the power of flexible responses;
  • the role of memory and association in learning;
  • why money is valued so much;
  • what consciousness is and why language distinguishes humans from other animals;
  • the incentives behind every one of our actions;
  • the role of the emotions in our behaviour;
  • why we are geared more towards pain than pleasure;
  • how our characters are formed;
  • the basic insights upon which all the major theories of psychology are based;
  • the defence mechanisms of the mind;
  • why we are trapped in a repetitive cycle of behaviour;
  • the important role of habituation in our actions and thoughts;
  • why we deceive ourselves by adopting mystic and superstitious beliefs;
  • why ancient customs and erroneous beliefs continue to thrive;
  • why we believe the opinions and prejudices of society are those of our own and
  • why humans are able to kill and torture each other so easily.
In the second section on history the following subjects are covered:
  • how many different factors influence the creation of socially approved actions or morality;
  • how ideas spread around the world;
  • how myths evolved and their similarity across cultures;
  • the role of fear in the development of mystic and superstitious belief;
  • how agriculture and private property came into being; how theft,
  • war and conquest arose;
  • how power fell into fewer and fewer hands;
  • the unique factors that favoured the rise of democracy in ancient Greece and in America;
  • how morality developed in the first civilised societies;
  • how society clings tenaciously to its beliefs;
  • how pain and suffering modifies social beliefs;
  • the typical circumstances that give rise to critical thinking and scepticism;
  • how the major religions developed.
In the third section on philosophy the following subjects are covered:
  • why humans are divided into two schools of thought in their search for truth;
  • why the majority of people throw away their capacity for intelligent thought;
  • how the greatest human thinkers set about finding the truth;
  • that everything is in a constant process of change;
  • what makes people believe that what they think exists;
  • that morality is relative but some moral systems are better than others;
  • that justice is an artificial set of standards;
  • how brute force and crude psychology are used to manipulate us;
  • the myth of impartial observation and why science, logic and mathematics are also based on faith;
  • why our interpretation of events is always biased;
  • why the notion of human rights is an error;
  • what intuition and self-evident truths really are;
  • what assumptions are made by socialists and Marxists and
  • what analytical philosophy can yield; what existentialism is.
In the fourth section on morality the following subjects are covered:
  • the true origin of morality;
  • the two greatest errors of reason;
  • the basis of all moral obligations;
  • the dangers of the common belief that equality means a fair share for all;
  • how social values can achieve what taxation and socialism cannot;
  • how to determine the obstacles to our personal freedom;
  • how to determine whether we are ruled by domineering desires;
  • the methods of manipulation used by authorities;
  • the dangers that face free-thinkers;
  • the merits of critical rationalism as opposed to irrationalism;
  • the three laws that are in everyone's interest to abide by;
  • how to create moral guidelines that maximise the range and scope of our actions without guilt;
  • what the role of government is and what we should demand from it;
  • why politicians ignore the real issues that commit society to a cycle of revolutions;
  • how to recognise unfair legislation;
  • how to avoid making and falling for misleading arguments;
  • the unimaginable harm that could follow the blind acceptance of advice, especially if it is paid for;
  • how our harmful habits are reinforced by our thoughts;
  • how to overcome habitual behaviours without spending thousands and
  • the most common methods of overcoming fears, anxiety and paranoia.

This book is given away for free without any warranties express or implied. It may only be distributed on its own in its original format free of any charges and may not form part of any other scheme of distribution without the prior written consent of the author.

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Printed copies of the book are available on request at R195 ex postage.

About The Author

Allan Sztab has studied philosophy throughout his life. Formally he has studied both philosophy and logic at the University Of South Africa. He is a commerce and accounting graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand and an accountant by profession.