Every once in a while, someone inquires about my “world view”. Here it is:
- There is nothing unreal in the entire known Universe, with the one exception of what happens in the imaginations of humans.
- Humans often get trapped in the unrealities that they (or others) have imagined, and attempt to practice or to adhere to those unrealities in the real world. This is and has always been, in every known case, bad.
- Examples of such unreality-based paradigms include things such as these:
- “It is acceptable to operate outside of reality in the real world.”
- “I have more rights than you do.”
- “My rights are more important than yours are.”
- “You should have to follow the rules and I should not.”
- “Might makes right.”
- “It is acceptable to lie.”
- “It is acceptable to say one thing, but to do another.”
- “It is acceptable to claim a label for oneself and then to habitually fail to be an authentic representative of that label.”
- “I am not responsible for the attempting to steer the actions of the society in which I live.”
- “It is acceptable to belong to, support, and even promote an organization or cause with which one does not wholly agree in fact, logic, and principle.”
- “Our group’s actions are acceptable, so long as we do more good than harm.”
- “Our group’s actions are justifiable, so long as they are better than the actions of the other group.”
- “Our group’s errors and indiscretions are tolerable since they are not as bad as those of the other group.”
- “I am not responsible for correcting my own errors, or my group’s errors.”
- “It is acceptable to believe and promote a thing that has not been confirmed to be true.”
- “I know how the Universe came into existence.” Or, “I know how life began.” (As opposed to “I have been told how….” or, “I have a favorite theory about how….”)
- “It is OK to lie, cheat, or steal, provided it’s just a little bit.”
- “It is OK to lie, cheat, and steal, provided it’s for a good cause.”
- Most human lives are built around one or more of these erroneous principles or beliefs.
- Naturally, therefore, most human institutions (including governments and corporations) are built upon one or more of these erroneous principles or beliefs.
- “Membership” in an institution (or a nation) tends to mean more to most (not all) people than do the principles of the institution. Most people tend not to care nearly as much about the particulars as they do about being able to pigeonhole themselves and others by use of the labels that are used to show “membership” or adherence to certain causes. (Examples: conservative, environmentalist, constitutionalist, Baptist, Rotarian, etc.)
- The foregoing facts constitute the predominant “tide” in human society.
- Any individual may “swim against the tide” if he or she cares enough to do so.
- Many “swim against the tide” to some extent from time to time, but generally, only with regard to a small number of specific topics.
- Very, very few learn to operate as sovereign individuals who strive to be always responsible to reality, and never responsible to the unrealistic “tide” about them.
- Because of all the foregoing, a great many traps have been devised for the purpose of ensnaring those who are content to be carried along with the popular unrealities. Predominantly, these traps are for the purpose of gaining money, power, popularity, or all three, and are set by those who realize the opportunity presented by the cognitive/ethical weakness of the masses.
- Ironically, many work to free themselves of various traps, while remaining snared in other traps without even realizing it.
- Thus does humankind, when taken on the whole, tend to operate at a far lower level than that for which nature has equipped it. Where we are equipped to discern reality from unreality, fact from fiction, and wisdom from foolishness, most operate at a level much closer to the animals from whom our cognitive faculties separate us.
- It is indeed possible to influence people to be responsible to reality and to shun unreality wherever it may exist. It does not require great intelligence, but great diligence. It is a matter of daring to care.
- We are each free to do as much reality-based cognitive work as we care to do—as time and circumstance allow. Contrary to those religious and scientific camps who argue that humans are either limited by “the Fall of man” or by as-yet-incomplete “evolution”, it is self-evident that any person in normal health can both aspire to and achieve a state of being predominantly reality-responsible.
- A society of reality-responsible people would be a wondrous experience, and is worth working toward.
- Given exposure to such “high-hanging fruit”, however, many will still opt for that which is easier to pick: unreality. Thus is it practically certain that no society will ever achieve 100% reality responsibility. To my knowledge, however, no modern society has ever conducted any experiment to see just what conversion rates are possible.
- It is not necessary, however, for a society to have 100% reality responsibility in order to bring about very substantial improvements in itself; it is quite likely that a mere 10% saturation could prove to be quite significant. This is especially true in a republican form of government.
- If we presume that it is not worth it to try, we play the fox in “Sour Grapes”. And beyond that, we claim to know something we could not possibly know without experimentation.
- Thus, the only reality-consistent view I can conceive is one in which humans work not only to better themselves, but to better the societies in which they live.
- To ignore our capacity for better is to live as if we were one of the lower animals.
This is why I do not belong to any political parties or religious groups. It is not that I have no principles, but that I do not find any group who shares my principles without compromise. And since I hold to all my principles, what possible motive would I have for compromising?
In short, groups prove to be far more about “belonging” than they do about seeking reality in all matters.
Yes, yes, I’m quite aware that a great many group members will find this offensive. They will claim that at least they are trying to make a difference, where, in their eyes, I am doing nothing but criticizing. But let just one step forth and prove that his or her group is actually being effective at abiding by its own founding principles and at achieving its stated goals. I find that infractions against reality tend to make groups quite ineffective.
Besides that, however, there is the errant notion that “belonging” to a group is a greater achievement than having done all one’s own “math” in matters of principle. Indeed, what good does it do to “belong” to a group whose principles one does not understand, cannot recite, cannot defend, and doesn’t truly care about in any fundamental way?
So let me put all this “world view” in another way for those who still don’t like what you’re reading:
Living in this world is primarily about personal authenticity, and not about “belonging”.
We will all be judged in various ways: by our peers, by casual observers, by ourselves, by “history” (whether short- or long-lived), and even by God—if any of our various religions have got that part right.
Who passes the greater test: he who is approved of by those who indulge in unreality, or he who is approved of by one considering the reality of “what he has done while in the flesh, whether good or bad“?*
People tend not to dread their lies (unrealities) being believed, but the truth (reality) about them being exposed. He or she who lives in such as way as to behave in accordance with reality-based principle suffers little embarrassment under examination.
Life is short; why not do something extraordinary while we are here?
*From 2 Corinthians 5:10