Tradeoffs: Knowledge for Bliss

E.O. Wilson in Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge:

The most distinctive qualities of the human species are extremely high intelligence, language, culture, and reliance on long-term social contracts.  In combination they gave early Homo sapiens a decisive edge over all competing animal species, but they also exacted a price we continue to pay, composed of the shocking recognition of the self, of the finiteness of personal existence, and of the chaos of the environment.

These revelations, not disobedience to the gods, are what drove humankind from paradise.  Homo sapiens is the only species to suffer psychological exile.

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