Consistency: A human desire


I’ve stumbled upon desire in the human condition for consistency. It seems like we seek and want consistency in concepts and things around us. But what exactly? And where? Which conditions do we set for consistency? Where do they apply? Is what areas do we decline consistency? What is consistency? Which factors must be in place for us to desire consistency? What differentiate our desire for consistency and inconsistency? In this essay I will try to discuss these questions.

Where do we seek consistency?

I was indirectly promoted with this question by Salavoj Zizek’s compendium “Living in the end of times“. My intuition first led me to our legal system as consistency has a strong appeal to our sense of fairness. What is interesting is that the same of fair treatment can be found in monkeys. I believe other species share this trait, but that is for another topic. While this is something that I could discuss later, that our inherit sense of fairness is something of old origin, for the present, I can’t see any immediate reason to explore that subject. Nonetheless, consistency in justice is something that we intuitively desire. Then comes the questions: Are there differences in the intuitive wish for consistency and the non-intuitive wish for consistency? For now we will analyse them in part of each other

Another arena for consistency is in the personality of others. How we desire people to stay consistent to the self that they appear to us. Inconsistent personality in any relationship, friendship or romantic etc. , is something that we dislike. Of course this is a vastly more complex as it overlaps in the the discussion of the self. But digging deeper into this subject I’ve resonated to the argument that if hold good attributes, we don’t want those attributes to change, we want them to stay consistent, to persist. Can we boil this down to a proposition where we seek consistency that which is good and inconsistency in what which is bad? This polarised proposition appears to be insufficient as the judicial system does not favour all parts involved. Despite this, every party on either side of the trial wish for consistent treatment.

In the judicial system consistency merges from the consistent practice of law, but what makes the consistent practise of laws consistency? What are the laws in sense of consistency? Perhaps the questions answers itself with the definition of consistency. But what is the universal factor/factors which consistency derives from? defines consistency as “steadfast adherence to the same principles, course, form, etc.Adhereto stay attached. So consistency therefore relative to the principles which it adheres to. 

So if we translate this into personality, consistency in personality, we find consistency in the adherence to personal traits. The subject of personality even exists is another discussion and we need to assume the precondition that personality consists of personal traits. I’ve previously mentioned that we desire consistency in personal traits/personality on the basis that they are good(to our subjective observation). But in traits, as in laws, is the final answer that our desire for consistency is interdependent on the principles it adheres to? That if the law appears good to us, that we accept it despite it not being in our favour .

In personal traits, if we, based on our values and belief-system, recognise the traits in a person as good, that we desire their traits to be consistent? This logic allows the subject to be in a super-state of desiring consistency while not wanting it? This logic allows the inconsistencies in human logic to persist and does not conclude on an absolute statement which the plausibility of its faultlessness dramatically increases. But I will not be satisfied with just one parallel. img_3908



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