In my original series of posts, entitled "Repairing Reality," I provided a decomposition flowchart for what I then perceived to be the two core problems of our existence. Since then, I've realized that, although these problems are still ultimately separate, the problem of emotion, desire, and sensation actually causes the problem of poor logic, culture, and preconceptions. This seems obvious, but the flowchart does not imply it, which was erroneous on my part when I was initially constructing it. Biological propensities compete for brain-space all the time, and when a particular emotion influences a decision in a manner which impedes rational decision-making, there is an evolutionary reason involved. Furthermore, even though culture causes many of the core problems that we face in terms of thought programming and meme management, it also had an evolutionary purpose. The first cause, and thus, problem, isn't that humans are trapped within paradigms of cultural assumptions and emotional biases; it's that our evolution as a species led us to become something incapable of being otherwise -- because all signs point to there being no grand cosmological interlocutor or overseer.
Even if obedience and assumption are not directly caused by a desire, they do aid in the perpetuation of life -- a crass agenda lacking in rational justification. Therefore, the core problem of our existence is the agenda of life. Desires, emotions, and sensations descend from this problem, as do any other derivative symptoms.