Basic Orientation
Book1: R-E Living & "Homo Rationalis"
Acknowledgements
Introduction: Most Important Book
Basic Methods In This Book
The Three Exponential Changes
Basics: Determinants Of Behavior
Basics: Ethics
Rational-Ethical Anger Prevention
Rational-Ethical Child Rearing
Rational-Ethical Belief Management
Rational-Ethical Government
Rational-Ethical Religion
What The Reader Should Do
Book2: Humanianity
Book3: Mind-Body Problem
Book4: (Future Possible Development)
Child Rearing Issues
Philosophico-Religious Issues
Psycho-Socio-Cultural Issues
The Twelve Articles
Relevant Autobiography
 
"HOMO RATIONALIS" AND HUMANIANITY
 
HELPING TO PROMOTE OUR THIRD EXPONENTIAL CHANGE
 

INTRODUCTION

THE MOST IMPORTANT BOOK

The following are my beliefs about the nature of this book.

  • This book is an effort to share a set of observations and conclusions, and to share a set of proposals based upon those observations and conclusions.
  • This book is an effort to promote the survival of and the good life for our species, meaning the survival of and continuing good life for every member of our species (the reader included), now and in the future, insofar as possible. By "good life" I mean only as much joy, appreciation, and contentment as possible, and therefore as little pain, suffering, disability, and early death as possible.
  • This book is for everyone, in that the content of the book applies to everyone and the proposals are for everyone.
  • This book attempts to contribute to the solution of that set of problems which have the greatest significance for and effect on each of us as individuals and on our species in general.
  • This book attempts to understand and solve these problems by approaching them in as basic a manner as is possible.
  • This book is an effort to contribute to the only process by which these problems can be solved, namely, by a change in outlook or attitude that begins within individuals (the reader being one) and spreads through small groups and then finally through the media. (In no way do I maintain that solving these problems will be easy or rapid, but I do believe that solving them is possible and feasible, and that the process and method are understandable by everyone.)
  • This book is such that the reader will agree with what I have to say in this book if he or she reads the book conscientiously. (By "reading the book conscientiously" I mean nothing more than reading it in the order in which it is written, with an effort to understand each statement in the context in which it is written.)

If all of the above is so, I cannot imagine a more important book.

Now I wish to clarify some of the above.

None of the ideas in this book first arose in me. All of the ideas in this book have been expressed by respected others. But what I am trying to offer is a way of meaningfully organizing those ideas such that the effect will be highly useful, both to the individual and to our species in general. The following metaphor may help to clarify. Imagine that one hundred unassembled jigsaw puzzles (each puzzle piece representing an idea) were strewn all over the floor, and that just one of the puzzles consisted of the most accurate picture of something. The effort of this book would be the equivalent of attempting to assemble that puzzle.

I believe the reader will agree with me, not because he or she will assume that I must know what I am talking about, but because what I will be pointing to will be seen easily by the reader himself or herself. If the reader is not able to come to the same conclusions, then what I am saying is probably wrong.

There are two reactions the reader might have to my prediction that the reader will agree with me.

First, the reader may comment that if it is indeed possible for everyone to agree with everything in this book, then probably what is in this book is essentially trivial. I would say, however, that, as the reader will see, what is in this book will have, if incorporated into the reader's life conscientiously, an ultimately enormous positive influence on his or her life, brought about by major changes in behavior, and similarly, if the book is indeed successful, it will contribute to enormous positive changes that are already occurring in the way our species conducts itself and in the quality of the lives of us all.

Second, the reader may comment that just because a belief has been easy to come by, or is generally held, the belief is not thereby necessarily accurate. I would say, however, that if the belief is not contradicted by evidence, especially scientific evidence, and the belief seems self-evident, then we can at least say that it is probably correct, until such time that evidence does arise to the contrary. And that is the spirit in which the offerings of this book are made.

I said that this book is for everyone. By that statement, I also mean that it should be understandable by everyone (given adequate study), as opposed to being understandable only by persons in certain occupations, living in certain cultures, or having had education in certain specialized fields. Obviously, this statement is somewhat of an exaggeration, in that, for instance, a child who cannot read or a mentally handicapped individual who cannot understand most things that are written are not going to be able to read this book and benefit directly by doing so. However, the lives of those individuals would certainly be affected (positively) by the acceptance throughout our species of the proposals being offered, and in that sense this book is also for them.

I fully realize that the above statements sound grandiose and expose me to the possibility of being dismissed as obviously being of limited perspective and possibly as being worthy of ridicule or sympathy. I also fully realize that it is highly likely that some persons will indeed skim over the book superficially, and, without the understanding that comes from following the logical organization of the book, come to the conclusion that the book is obviously wrong and not worth reading, and I understand that still others will base their opinions about the book on what they have heard about it from such individuals. However, I stand by what I have said, and ask only that the reader form his or her own opinions on the basis of his or her own conscientious reading, and that, prior to rejecting the book, he or she read it until he or she does indeed find something that does not make sense to him or her.

I do wish to warn the reader that this book will probably not be easy reading. The book is neither inspirational nor narrative. It is more like a textbook that needs to be studied and thought about. Also, there are conclusions in this book that may be different than beliefs that are cherished by, and even demanded by, certain subcultures, and when this is true, it is characteristic for individuals in those subcultures to avoid exposing themselves to evidence contrary to those beliefs, so reading the book, for them, will additionally take unusual courage.

I also wish to acknowledge that the reader will experience much repetition during reading this book, and to clarify that the repetition is intended. This book is an effort to bring about a different way of thinking. This means developing new, unused pathways in the brain. Exercise is what makes such pathways strong, and exercise involves repetition. So the reader will best regard the reading of this book as completely analogous to exercise, involving effortful repetition. I am hoping that this book will be more than just "interesting," that it will make a positive contribution to the life of the individual reader and to the welfare of our species in general.

The motivation of the reader that will enable him or her to read the book effectively will have to be only the wish to make life better for the reader and those around him or her, and the wish to contribute some effort, no matter how small, to making the world a better place for everyone.

I am not asking for or expecting any reimbursement or profit from this book. My wish is only that the book be read as widely as possible, if indeed it is the important book that I believe it to be. Therefore, I am posting it on a web site, www.homorationalis.com, such that it can be downloaded by anyone, without cost. I am having copies printed, and will be sending them to prominent individuals in the world, who would be respected and therefore listened to, and am asking such individuals to read the book and, if they agree that the book is likely to be valuable, make public their recommendation that others obtain it free from the web site. I am hoping that publishers will contribute copies at little or no cost to individuals who would not easily be able to obtain the book from the Internet.

This book is my effort to contribute what I can to my species, out of enormous gratitude for what my species has done for me.