Ha, your link is humorous and unfortunately very real. Let me ask you to think about the difference in entrapment and incentive and how the two can be mistaken for one another. One is seduction, one is not. You are accurate the carrot has many many faces.
I think that the carrot becomes more like the truth as we chase it. But maybe only for certain lucky humans. I've moved from an atheistic satanism (selfish but not cruel) to an ultra-rational gnostic sort of Christianity. (which is really Hegelianism with some of my own modifications...)...So the carrot changes over time, and this is what Hegel is all about..
So my religion is science and my science is religion. But there are plenty of drug addicts who will die tonight that never get a chance to evolve.
Somehow that's alright, though sad, because the eternal in man survives. the body survives the death of its cells.
I think a man must go thru seduction and entrapment, but somehow not get stuck. Enough of a spiritual drive will a keep a man unsatisified...keep him looking.. and this is just the carrot changing, looking for truth.
man is a lie that wants to be a truth. and finally he becomes this truth (hegel in a nutshell)