Basic Orientation
Book1: R-E Living & "Homo Rationalis"
Book2: Humanianity
Book3: Mind-Body Problem
Book4: (Future Possible Development)
Child Rearing Issues
Philosophico-Religious Issues
01 Science And?/Versus? Religion
02 Dear God,...(And "To Jesus")
03 Are You Spiritual (Like I Am)?
04 Latest Bible Update
05 The Concept of the "Model"
06 Humanoblasts & Humanaoclasts
07 Definitions - Blah, Blah, Blah
Psycho-Socio-Cultural Issues
The Twelve Articles
Relevant Autobiography



I posted this once on the message board of the Charlotte Philosophy Discussion Group:

"Osteoclasts and osteoblasts are instrumental in controlling the amount of bone tissue: osteoblasts form bone, osteoclasts resorb bone." (Wikipedia) The same is true of chondroclasts and chondroblasts, with regard to cartilage.

A metaphor came to mind. There have been many people who have worked hard to give our species a better life, and then there have been many people who have worked to tear down what others have accomplished. So what we have (our quality of life) is in part a balance between the activity of the humanoblasts and the humanoclasts.

Humanoblasts have worked to give us better and better computers and the Internet, and humanoclasts have worked to produce computer viruses.

Humanoblasts have worked to cure illnesses, and humanoclasts have worked to produce bioterrorism.

Humanoblasts have worked to bring about peace, and humanoclasts have worked to break down peace talks.

My dance instructor has worked all her waking hours to provide a wonderful place for low cost dance instruction and dances, and outside in the parking lot, people break into customers' cars and steal stereos.

Of course there are problems with any metaphor, in that it can be interpreted differently by different individuals, such that perhaps even opposite meanings or implications can be derived. And this metaphor is no different. In fact there are some obvious complicating factors.

First, there is the question as to what really would serve to classify a person as a humanoblast or humanoclast. Would it be his or her intentions, or his or her actual effects? A person could be convinced he or she was making a contribution, when in fact he or she was making a damaging mistake. And the mistake could have been because of inaccurate beliefs (as for instance produced by inadequate education), or because of insufficient available information. We well know there can be unintended consequences.

My preference would be intentions. If one considered the problem statistically, then the overall effect would be better from the combined efforts of humanoblasts compared with the combined efforts of humanoclasts. I would rather the world be inhabited by people like my dance instructor than by people like those in the parking lot.

Of course that does not mean that I believe humanoblasts should exterminate humanoclasts. That would convert the humanoblasts into humanoclasts.

So if the criterion for classification were intention, then we would have to have some way of classifying intention relevant to our metaphor. Intention may be thought of as decision, prior to the decided-upon action. A decision may be seen as caused by the final vector of all wanting. In other words, I may have seven identifiable reasons for wanting to do something and five identifiable reasons for not wanting to do it, and some of the reasons may have more motivational weight than others, so the decision would be produced by the final vector of all those "wantings," or motivations, after weighing (not necessarily consciously or according to a verbalized inner debate) all the different specific motivations. So I am talking about what the person is trying to accomplish, and why.

But then how would I evaluate the individual's intention to see if the intention were consistent with a humanoblastic or humanoclastic tendency?

For a Humanian (advocate of Humanianity, as defined below) like me, that is easy (at least theoretically). It would be whether that individual's intention was consistent, in that person's mind, with the REUEP (defined below). As far as I can see, my dance instructor's efforts are consistent with the REUEP, and the efforts of those in the parking lot are obviously diametrically opposed to it.

Humanianity is my name for that religion that I believe our species will arrive at globally in probably the far future (though possible for us individually even now). Humanianity has only one defining criterion, namely, the adherence to the ethical belief that all behavior or decisions should be compatible, insofar as is possible, with the REUEP, that is, the "rational-ethical ultimate ethical principle" (defined below).

By ethical, I mean pertaining to what we should do. We legitimate our ethical beliefs by showing that they follow logically from higher-level, or more general, ethical beliefs. But ultimately we get to an ethical principle beyond which we cannot go, an arbitrary, non-legitimated ultimate ethical principle.

We have always had an ultimate ethical principle that has been most common. It is one that is an outgrowth of our basic animal nature. We are a group animal, and naturally develop social hierarchies. Those who are strongest cause others to submit to their wishes, to obey. So we still have a tendency to legitimate our ethical beliefs, about what we should and should not do, by believing and stating that they are consistent with whatever X wants us to do, X being whoever or whatever is most powerful (parent, leader, group, culture, or deity) . And we have avoided, ridiculed, attacked, tortured, and killed millions of people because of conflicting Xs and/or conflicting ideas about what X or the Xs want. Our religions have tended strongly to promote such an ultimate ethical principle, which I call the "authoritarian-ethical ultimate ethical principle" or AEUEP.

But I believe the REUEP is gradually beginning to replace the AEUEP. When we get to the point that, all over this globe, we are using the REUEP, life for our species will for the first time be drastically different from the way it has always been. We will no longer be chimpanzees ethically. I believe this change is just beginning to occur, and will probably be exponential in nature, as more and more people come to appreciate the implications for our lives and for the lives of our progeny. (Right now, because the change has still been so small, it is hard to see it or to believe that its exponential development is possible.)

I state the REUEP as follows: "We should do that which will promote not only the survival of our species, but also the good life for everyone, now and in the future." And by "good life" I mean simply "as much joy, contentment, and appreciation as possible and as little pain, suffering, disability, and early death (PSDED) as possible."

The AEUEP was acquired by our species through natural selection, and it aided (in the past) our survival. (Now it threatens to promote our demise.) Natural selection has nothing to do with quality of life. Pain and suffering actually help promote survival of a species. But now we humans can do even better. We can do differently than what comes naturally because of an awareness of what works better to promote the good life for everyone, now and in the future.

There will be times when we simply cannot figure out, from among the options, what decision will most promote the REUEP. But many, many times such a judgement is a piece of cake. I have personally witnessed the suffering produced by the people in the parking lot. Much criminal behavior is simply and obviously inconsistent with the REUEP, as is much of what we do in our lifestyles because our culture says it is the good life, and as is much that we do in our interactions with others because we have not yet given up our worshiping of the idea of punishment and revenge.

I well know that some readers will object to my idea that a religion, even Humanianity, has any place in the answer to our awful, awful problems, which even threaten our existence as a species. This is because most people identify religion with one of its historical functions, that of providing an explanatory worldview. Thus, many religions require belief in outmoded ideas about the way the world is, outmoded now that science, with its reliance upon the rules of logic and the rules of evidence, has given us extremely accurate and reliable models of the way the world really is. But religions can improve and do improve (although admittedly very, very slowly so far).

Although not required as a belief in order to be a Humanian, I believe it will be rare that a self-proclaimed Humanian will state otherwise than that religion should turn over to science this particular function. If we look at what is held in common by all religions (and some "philosophies"), I think we can agree that they all try to help their members decide how to live their lives, what is important in life, what it is that we should do. So that is what I mean by "religion," not a belief system contrary to the findings of science.

And within Humanianity, I believe there will always be a valuing of the openness to examine ideas in order to promote increasing accuracy of belief, with science aiding in that process. Inaccurate beliefs lead to mistakes, and therefore often to PSDED. Friendly debate, using the rules of logic and the rules of evidence as the criteria for success, is probably our most effective way of increasing the accuracy of our beliefs. (Unfortunately, we are far, far better currently at unfriendly debate, a sport that never seems to change belief.)

Humanoclasts do that which predictably will cause PSDED. Humanoblasts do that which is consistent with the REUEP. There are many humanoblasts that are not Humanian, but Humanianity will most effectively tend to make one humanoblastic.

Humanoblasts will always try to work toward making things better, and will appreciate the efforts of others to do so. That effort is based upon a kind of optimism. It is optimism that recognizes that while there is no guarantee of success, there is a guarantee of failure if one does not try. I, for one, wish to be among those who try.

There is one other area of ambiguity in this concept. If one looks closely, I believe one can see individuals being humanoblastic in some areas of their lives and humanoclastic in other areas. It would be nice for the metaphor if an individual could be classified as a humanoblast or a humanoclast, but in reality this would probably not often be true.

What is probably true, however, is that people can be arranged somewhat imprecisely on a continuum from not caring much at all about doing the right thing to caring a lot. Our child rearing procedures, which are primarily oriented according to authoritarian ethics (emphasizing obedience reinforced by punishment) produce much rage especially toward authority but also toward society in general. Thus, we produce individuals primarily worried about being controlled and getting caught, and having much chronic anger to motivate humanoclastic behavior. We have become talking, hi tech, very angry chimps.

When we ultimately get to living globally according to the REUEP (if we ever do), then the rational-ethical model of child rearing, which will avoid punishment as much as possible and will instead use highly skilled, principle-driven applications of reward, teaching, and modeling for identification, will produce individuals who are highly cooperative and humanoblastic. Human life on this planet will finally look much different.

Sometimes I get discouraged. I have worked hard to put forth ideas about how we as a species can come to agreement about some important issues and thereby work together and save ourselves from much PSDED, and possibly even extinction, but my efforts are often met with misinterpretation, ridicule, and personal attack, based upon a belief that we cannot improve and that any efforts to do so are ridiculous and hopeless, and perhaps even destined to make things worse. I cannot help but see those responses as humanoclastic.

But then I remember that that is the way of the world. Everything represents a balance of processes and counter-processes. It is still worthwhile to work toward making things better, even if such contributions are miniscule, even ignored. I have certainly benefited from what others have done, from those who have done noteworthy things to those who have never been recognized for what they have contributed. If the wish for attainment of obvious success were the only motivator, then I believe our species would indeed be doomed.