Basic Orientation
Book1: R-E Living & "Homo Rationalis"
Book2: Humanianity
Book3: Mind-Body Problem
Book4: (Future Possible Development)
Child Rearing Issues
Philosophico-Religious Issues
Psycho-Socio-Cultural Issues
The Twelve Articles
01 Our Future
02 Difference of Opinion
03 Our Anger
04 Punishing Children
05 Child Rearing
06 Our Biggest Problem
07 Evils of Justice
08 Cultural Victimization
09 Rational-Ethical Religion
10 Rational-Ethical Government
11 Global Human Zoo
12 "Homo Rationalis" Wants YOU
Relevant Autobiography
 
"HOMO RATIONALIS" AND HUMANIANITY
 
HELPING TO PROMOTE OUR THIRD EXPONENTIAL CHANGE
 

1. OUR FUTURE



For about 50 years, I have been working to prevent pain, suffering, disability, and early death (PSDED). You surely have observed that the vast majority of PSDED is due in part to our decisions. We poison our children and ourselves with what we eat and inhale. We engage in high-risk behavior. We disappoint, deceive, cheat on, shame, ridicule, and scare each other. We steal, vandalize, obstruct, and desecrate. And we assault and kill, one at a time to thousands at a time. But mostly we do our part to make the world a better place, and sometimes we do absolutely wonderful things. Consequently, we are able to imagine "the good life" (as much, joy, contentment, and appreciation as possible, and as little PSDED as possible), and to ask why we keep causing PSDED!


Almost everyone assumes we have just about arrived at our maximal psychosocial maturity. But I believe that, compared to what we may achieve, we are just a toddler. In this series of 12 monthly articles, I will clarify the nature of this maturation and what will be required to bring it about. You may jump ahead by downloading free my "textbook" from HomoRationalis.com.


This maturation will have been our third exponential change (starting imperceptibly, accelerating, and becoming ultimately quite profound), each change making ourselves drastically different from all other species and from the way we were before such change occurred. Let’s look at the first two changes.


At one time, we had no language, living about the way chimpanzees do now. Gradually we began using symbols and syntax increasingly skillfully, and now essentially infinitely. We create and learn new words almost every day and create new sentences endlessly. And we thus can empathize intensively, describing minutely to each other our subjective experience, and can cooperate amazingly, giving precise instructions and feedback. We became talking chimpanzees, doing with this tool ever more wonderful and awful things.


The second exponential change, occurring over the past 2-3000 years, but especially over the past 2-300 years, was the (obviously exponential) development of the rules of logic and the rules of evidence that have given us science and technology, with which we have been doing even more wonderful and terrible things. We are now talking, high-tech (and for reasons to be described, chronically angry) chimpanzees.


So to achieve the good life, globally, a third exponential change is needed, after which our species will look back at us almost like we look at chimpanzees, hence my calling them "Homo rationalis." This change is just beginning and therefore hard to recognize.


Essentially, we need to change our behavior from that which comes naturally to that which works best to produce the good life. We are quite able to do other than what comes naturally. We sometimes call it doing what we believe we "should" do, or "ethics." We can easily observe that the ethics that comes to us naturally does not produce the good life. This (authoritarian) ethics is based upon the idea that we should do that which X wants us to, X being whoever or whatever is most powerful (parent, leader, group, or deity). Yes, we obediently do lots of good things, but we also avoid, discriminate against, get revenge on, punish, fight, and kill each other because we believe we should. We do strange and awful things to ourselves and each other because our cultures proclaim we should. And we often do what we believe we shouldn’t, thinking we’ll escape detection or obtain pardon.


Chimpanzees can only follow authoritarian "ethics," based on dominance and submission. But by virtue of the first two exponential changes, we are increasingly able to figure out rationally what will promote the good life most effectively. So now "rational ethics" is beginning to emerge, based on the idea that we should do that which will promote, not only our survival, but also the good life, for all of us, now and in the future. And such ethics dictates that we must have as accurate beliefs as possible about the nature of the world, and thus about the likely consequences of our decisions.


The next 11 articles will cover what Homo rationalis will be like, and what will be required of us to bring this wonderful maturation about. Do you wish to help? If so, you will have to study, think outside the box, and change yourself. (If we all agree that the answer is for others to change, when will it happen?)


To be continued….