Pretend that you’re alien called a “wongle” from the distant planet Bongle.
The wongle civilization is a technologically advanced one, and wongles are happy eating fruit, meat, and ice cream.
100,000 years ago, back when wongles were living in caves, they ate rocks. It was painful and they hated it. Painful to eat, painful to digest, painful to pass. But, when they shit out a rock, the chemicals from their digestive system would cause the rock to light up for a few minutes, like a light bulb. This created a source of both energy and light for the cave-dwelling wongles.
Today, so many years later, the advanced wongle society is powered by antimatter. The entire planet Bongle is completely powered by three pieces of safe, clean, cheap antimatter. There is so much energy on Bongle, it’s even given freely to wongles who can’t afford it. So as a wongle, you don’t need to eat and shit rocks any more. Neither energy nor light is something that wongle society has to worry about.
The strange thing is, some of the wongle DNA that was wired to eat rocks is still in your wongle brain. So there are times you have this strange urge to eat rocks. To be clear, you hate eating rocks. You’d rather eat a banana or cheeseburger (Wongleburger is a popular fast food chain on Bongle). Yet, the useless and obsolete biological urge to eat rocks is still there.
It’s even worse than that. A few thousand years ago, the wongle overlords, meeting behind secret vaults in an effort to create and maintain dominion over the wongle masses, discovered that if wongles ate rocks on a regular basis, it made them easier to control.
The overloads leapt into action. They starting passing laws encouraging the eating of rocks. Other overlords made religious edicts saying that not eating rocks was selfish and morally wrong. Other overlords made plays, movies, TV shows, and books extolling the virtues of eating rocks, how cool it was, and how it demonstrated maturity and responsibility. The overlords made sure that schools encouraged students to eat and shit rocks. Businesses sprouted up to profit from rock-eating and rock-shitting, and further encouraged the wongles to eat (and shit) rocks.
The wongles hated eating rocks, had no real desire to do so, and had no reason to with their antimatter. Yet slowly, through all the subtle encouragement of their overloads, they started eating rocks. In a strange sort of way, it was easy for the wongles to assimilate rock-shitting into their society, as painful as it was, because (conveniently for the overloads) it satisfied some of their obsolete DNA from the cave-wongle days.
That was thousands of years ago. Today, you’re a wongle living in modern wongle society on high-tech planet Bongle. For generations, you’ve been trained to eat and shit out rocks. Of course you hate eating rocks; it’s nothing but pain for you. Regardless, you have some outdated biology that tells you that you should, and you think eating rocks is “normal” because wongle society has been telling you your entire life that you should. To you, it’s normal and natural. So, you and all your friends and family spend your lives painfully eating, swallowing, digesting, and shitting out rocks. It sucks, but at least you fit in.
One day, a few wongles come along and tell you that it is, in fact, stupid to eat rocks. There’s literally no reason for it. You’re just doing it because you’ve been told to do it. Yes, there is a little biology in you that encourages you to do it, but the reason for that biology has been gone for literally thousands of years.
How would you react to these weird wongles?
You’d be PISSED.
All of your Societal Programming and some of your Obsolete Biological Wiring would be screaming at these guys. You’d use your intelligence to attempt to summon up all the “reasons” why eating rocks was a “good idea” and “made sense” and was the “best for society” and “not selfish” and “natural for wongles to do” and how “female wongles wouldn’t let you not eat rocks” and how there were “less health risks if you eat rocks” and how there was “nothing wrong with wanting to eat rocks” and how some wongles have “made rock-eating work for them” and how “shitting out rocks sometimes actually made you feel good.” And on, and on, and on.
What’s interesting is you would completely forget about all the pain and limitations in your life eating rocks has caused you, and instead you would instantly go into your defense of rock-eating and rock-shitting.
What would be the source of your arguments as an angry wongle defending your rock-shitting?
They would be from the Societal Programming installed into your head by your wongle overloads, of course. This would be bolstered by some of your very-out-of-date biology that you no longer had any use for. That’s pretty much it. Your arguments would not be from logic (though it would feel like they were). They would not be from reason, desire, your core feelings, or even your own personal preferences (although again, it would feel like they were).
As you argued with these asshole, know-it-all anti-rock-shitting wongles, your wongle overlords would smile down upon you, another wongle citizen following in lockstep with their system, unwittingly surrendering to their will, and your own obsolete biology.