Monday, February 18, 2008
Does Humanity relate to the Why?
As I have pointed out in my other blog, is that as of late I have come across a wonderful web site that is created and hosted by two (married to each other) physicists. What is interesting about this site is that one is not just simply exposed to the thoughts, convictions and beliefs of a few physicists, yet rather they have provided a structured forum in which to discuss science in general and how it relates to and is perceived by the world. This site not only includes like-minded people as themselves yet rather a broader spectrum of those I consider myself a part of, which I refer to as the wonderers.
What is to be found in the following, is a comment I left on this site in relation to a subject that started out as a discussion of a book called the “The Ingenuity Gap” and evolved into a discussion of what our society is, what are its problems, why they are so, and most importantly how they might be solved. Subsequently there was a lot of discussion about what the responsibility, role, and place an individual serves to be in all of this. The main point of contention and query was to question whether society and its instrument, government, primary purpose is to serve the people as individuals or are the individuals there to serve the purpose of society. My contention was that it is neither in as both viewpoints are correct and yet incorrect. What is found hereafter is exactly as it is on the site with one exception, which is the last paragraph. This I excluded because the site is dedicated first and foremost to the scientific format (philosophic viewpoint) and thus I omitted it there out of respect for the creators and their intentions.
“Though I am very sympathetic to this, and it might indeed be the way to go, it is just not true……….You can go a big step further by changing the political system itself, for neither of these examples you need a bottom-up approach, all you need is to convince the top (I am very much a bottom-up person though).”
The way I see society there is no bottom up or a top down to consider. That is because it only amounts to a whole as to the function that is common. You could equate this to an organism as opposed to a single cell. In an organism we have different cells for different functions. They all must function properly or the whole organism suffers. Yet this is a strange organism, for unlike a typical one where the parts are in service of the whole, the organism of society is one that exists in the service of its parts. So in contrast to the typical organism, where it is a common (and required) strategy to sacrifice individual cells to maintain the whole; in the case of the social organism this is not seen as the right thing to do. This of course is the dilemma. As an example, in the contemporary context wars are seen as wrong, not so much because they have no chance to benefit the organism, yet rather because they sacrifice the parts (cells). This on its own is why a society is required to be moral rather then a typical organism where such a practice would be considered not only wrong yet ultimately destructive.
It is often proclaimed by many, that the reason for our current plight is that we defy nature and if we were simply to obey her we would have no problems; and yet as I have indicated, the whole modern concept held by these same people, as I have shown, is by its very nature required to run counter to the claim. I would ask then what is it to be? Should society be perceived as an organism where the parts are necessarily sacrificed for the good of the whole or must it act for the good of each part at the sacrifice of none? If it is the former we have always had what’s required, if it’s the latter we then stand in defiance of nature. Therefore, it must be first understood that morality is not natural (as commonly perceived) and if we want to hold our ideals we must not only understand this to be true, yet further are required to stand together in this defiance.
What I didn’t say on the site is as follows:
So then, am I proposing that society’s ulitmate goal is unnatural and perhaps then wrong? No, for this is a misunderstanding resultant of restricting oneself to two dimensional and/or flawed logic. That is to consider when something that is not like the other, it then must be the opposite. When you incorporate three dimensional logic; that is when something in one sense is similar and yet exceeds in some aspect what it’s being compared to, it is not the opposite or negative, yet rather the superior or evolved state. The superior or evolved state of natural is then supernatural, not unnatural. It has been speculated by some (myself included) that all life in general is the first stage of this departure to become superior to nature. What mankind’s goal as many have envisioned would thus be the completion of this. The question of course is, do we (humanity) have both the conviction and capacity to complete the program or are we simply another step in the evolution of life to end in this completion? I don't profess to know, just merely wish to offer another avenue of thought one might explore and also to suggest reason to consider that not only the how and the what as relevant to understanding, yet also the why.
I've taken the liberty to tag you for one of those internet memes - see here. Please feel free to ignore the meme if these chain-process things annoy you.