Continued from the first blog that introduced the Religion Of Truth. This blog contains questions from #7 to 17 which ends the opening statment for the Religion Of Truth.
7. What would be the ROT’s attitude towards suicide?
Obviously we would be against it. Whatever reason our Creator put us here for, he/she (it) didn’t give us life to throw it away. I am reminded how Hitler became violent whenever one of his followers committed suicide, probably out of guilt. He called them outright cowards. Then of course when everything was lost, he committed suicide himself.
As I stated earlier in our discussion about homosexuality, distorted fears enter into this discussion also. Although there are many different factors that can cause a person to choose suicide, one of them, for the person who has been diagnosed with mental illness and even those who have not, is to be experiencing a distorted fear about the feelings of fear itself. This kind of fear is a recurring aspect of the mental anguish of anyone who is contemplating the taking of his or her own life. In this regard, the fear of life can become greater then the fear of death.
For suicides near the end of life or when one is extremely ill, it is well to remember that our Creator has given us the genetic ability to live approximately 80 to 90 years or even more. Even though it all looks hopeless and the Doctors have said you only have a short time to live, it is the capacity to live a long life that fights against death and keeps one alive longer then otherwise might be expected.
Fortunately we have drugs such as morphine that will help to deaden the pain while these last vestiges of life fight for continued existence. At least this exit from life does not leave ones loved ones the embarrassment of having to cover up the suicide or lie about the actual cause of death.
I recently read about a soldier in Iraq who lost one of his legs on the battlefield. Even before the medics arrived, he tried to end his life. About 4 months later he did commit suicide. Only after his death did his mother find out about the prior suicide attempt on the battlefield.
Our distorted fear of the truth causes many of the problems that we must endure in life. Of course that which we understand the least causes the most fear. At one time no one ever admitted that they had cancer, it was all hushed up because the fear of this disease was so great.
One of the problems with this kind of approach is simply this; how can money be raised to fight cancer if no one talks about it to begin with? Our distorted reactions to fear are robbing us of our ability to solve our problems. This also applies to the problem of suicide.
Perhaps if this young man was able to talk about his thoughts and feelings with his mother, she could have expressed the love and devotion that would have kept the young man alive. Yes, a well qualified Psychiatrist could also succeed in saving the young man’s life, but the love of a family member, and in this case the young man’s mother, can surpass what an insulated Psychiatrist’s skill and experience might have to offer. At the very least, with the right kind of mother in this instance, or relative in other instances, that kind of interpersonal empathy could potentially add to the Psychiatrist’s attempts to help.
Those people in this story who kept the battlefield suicide attempt from the mother, probably believed that with the passage of time the young man would overcome the depression that he was feeling about his future life, and go on to live a normal lifespan. By talking about the attempted suicide, they probably thought such talk would make it more difficult for him to overcome his problems.
One psychiatrist who specializes in using anti-depressants and other pills to deal with mental issues was criticized for not talking enough to his patients. He stated that talking is useless and it can even make things worse. Perhaps he didn’t realize what he was saying, because by saying that talking could make things worse, he was admitting that talking could make a difference.
The following comments that appear in a different format (14 instead of 16), are taken from an unpublished book called, The Human Mind. It was written by yours truly. In a curious turn of events, that author is threatening to sue me for copyright infringement. I am finding him to be almost impossible to deal with. Would it be considered to be presumptuous of me if I added an LOL right here?
Bio-Psychiatrists have shown that people who are considered to be mentally ill or are suffering from acute stress disorders, do not have enough of the chemical serotonin in their brain metabolism. Prozac and other Selective Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors have the capacity to increase the level of serotonin in the brain.
Although this would appear to validate the biological definition of mental illness, further examination is required. Dr. Michael J. Norden, M.D., has authored an important book called, “Beyond Prozac.” On page 176, the following quotation from Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz appears: --- Psychological treatments clearly produce biological effects on the brain. My colleagues and I have recently shown that, similar to Prozac, a form of cognitive behavioral therapy is capable of correcting abnormalities in the brain metabolic rates of patients with obsessive compulsive behavior.
Giving someone a Selective Serotonin Uptake Inhibitor such as Prozac is similar to giving someone a fish for supper. Giving someone beneficial psychological therapy, which would have to include knowledge about conglomerated fear, is similar to teaching someone how to fish.
If I have left you with the impression that I would like to see the use of neuroleptic drugs for the treatment of mental illness --- and/or for alleviating stress, eliminated from further use, then I have misled you. Just as we now use anesthetics to temporarily block out pain during medical operations, so also will we use these neuroleptic drugs to temporarily block the emotional pain for those whose conglomerated fears, (which manifest themselves as excessive stress), become too severe to handle in any other way.
On page 167 of the above mentioned book called, “Beyond Prozac“, we find the following quote by Milton Rokeach: --- To say that a particular psychiatric condition is incurable or irreversible, is to say more about the state of our psychological ignorance, than about the state of the patients mental health.
The question then becomes, is the Psychiatrist or behavioral consultant that you are seeing, sufficiently knowledgeable about the effects of stress (fear about the achievements that you are involved in, or as in the suicide story above, achievements that you want to embrace in the future.) --- or not? But in the case of the pill popping or pill prescribing Psychiatrist above, since he thinks that talking to you is useless, there is almost no chance that he would be able to help you.
If the drug that he gave you, helped you, then it calmed your nerves and that allowed you to do something rather than the nothing that depression and the distorted fear of failure can cause. If then, this action resulted in success in achievements that are important to you, the drug and the Psychiatrist get credit for the cure.
But if you failed in your action and remained depressed, then that proves that you have genetic or chemical damage inside your brain and must take the drugs for the rest of your life. If you committed suicide, well, they did the best that they could and although they wish that it didn’t happen, they must, out of necessity, move on to the next person who is seeking help.
I think we have to develop deeper levels of truth about all of the achievements, both positive and negative, that we are involved in during this journey through life. The ROT would do everything it can to promote this type of behavior, without denigrating anyone who had the courage to ask for psychological help.
8. How about euthanasia?
Even though this is a very serious question let me start off with this silly little story. This happened on the old Benny Hill television show many years ago. This particular skit had Benny sitting down to interview someone for a public affairs show where he believed that the topic in question was euthanasia. He asked a pertinent question about this subject but the guest’s answer had nothing to do with euthanasia. They then showed Benny Hill looking at his cue card which stated that the guest was here to talk about --- Youth in Asia.
Some of the same considerations apply to this situation as they do for suicide. A competent psychologist should listen to all the reasons why someone wants to choose euthanasia and make certain that any and all avenues are explored that might result in the person changing his or her mind.
I think the following decision actually happens more often than we are prepared to admit, where the Doctor makes sure that the patient isn’t suffering any pain, even if that requires a level of pain killer, morphine or whatever, that presumably might result in death for the patient.
When death is not as imminent as in the above example, hopefully the person doing the choosing can be convinced that his or her situation is not as hopeless as the potential suicidal person has decided that it is. Euthanasia is an extremely complex situation and I am sure that other people with much more knowledge about this subject than myself, could answer it more competently than I can.
I interjected the following ideas at the start of the sixth question and I am repeating them again here because they are of the utmost importance. I feel duty bound to reiterate that the ideas put forward in this so called “opening statement” are not some kind of absolute truth that must be upheld at all costs until the end of time. Here then is the repeated paragraph once again.
There will be many questions such as this that will require skill and experience in the field of each question. While the answers that I give will be the best that I have to offer at this time, they certainly will be open to change and improvement by others more qualified than myself, to put forward.
9. What rules would the ROT follow on the subject of abortion?
We would favor the use of the morning after pill even with all of its ramifications for possible immorality. Abortion within the first 3 months would be accepted but after that, things should be looked upon differently. Abortions at a late date are generally caused by procrastination about making the decision.
Of course hoping that the biological father will offer to marry the woman is one of the reasons for a woman to wait and wait. Once again these rules would have to be refined by others who have far more knowledge and experience in this area of life than I do.
I would like to write about abortion on a larger scale as regards to our responsibility to avoid extinction of the human race itself. With over 6 billion people on the face of the earth, one could say that quality rather than quantity should be our first priority.
However, it is also true that the more people that exist, the more achievements there are that have to be met successfully and more intelligent people are required to meet these challenges. Since that is exactly what evolution is aiming for, one could say that the more people on the earth the better.
Once again we have the seemingly impersonal nature of the evolutionary processes. More people without more knowledge will mean more people starving to death and more people choosing violence instead of starvation. But if increased population finally forces increased knowledge then the greater becomes the chance that we will avoid extinction in the face of some catastrophic peril for the entire planet.
So the choice is a curb on population growth which means a lower potential for avoiding extinction, or higher population growth with its ancillary starvation or violence for a relatively speaking “few“, but higher motivation for increased knowledge to avoid extinction for the “whole” of mankind. You already know which option evolution would choose.
Who knows exactly how many human beings could live on this planet that we call earth at the same time and live successful and happy lives. Maybe 40 billion, probably less but there definitely is a limit. As we approach that limit, the motivation to learn to live elsewhere rather than only on this planet increases dramatically if not exponentially. What we have here is just another side of the incredibly complex debate about abortion.
10.. Working towards the goal of avoiding extinction for the human race is something that might not really be needed for another million years or more. Why not focus on the here and now? That makes much more sense to me.
And to me also. Obviously I am not saying that 90% of the human population should spend their time working on this problem. I consider Richard Dawkins to be an absolute genius. What I am saying is that only a small proportion of the potential geniuses of his equal are given the chance to actually put that intellectual power to its best use. I discussed that situation earlier in the book.
Each time a child is born, its first cry is symbolically a cry for more achievement. With over 6 billion people on the face of the earth, we need all of the intelligence that we can bring to bear to successfully meet the needs and desires of those over 6 billion people.
There is plenty of work and fulfillment for those who are willing to embrace these necessary achievements on whatever scale they are capable of doing. The point being that the more economic, political and educational success that the human population is able to achieve, the more harmony we can experience between all human beings, the more brilliant people there will be to devote themselves to this long range goal. Of course if this long range goal suddenly appears imminent, it would be too late to wish we had started earlier.
11. Will this religion have a Bible or Koran or some such book?
Well, I haven’t really thought that through to be honest. It is more important for me to get the main ideas about this new religion started than to get it all down perfectly to begin with. Hopefully the constructive and even the unconstructive criticism that I am sure to receive will help refine the eventual wording of the message. In that regard, one could consider this document to be the first edition of a number of editions to follow.
One idea that I think would be valuable, is to have 3 different books. The ideas or accepted truths that appear in the first book would be subject to review and further evaluation once every 5 years. The second book would be every 10 years and the third book every 25 years.
Of course there would be special provisions for a speed up of this process if fundamental change appeared to be necessary in any of the 3 books. Obviously the greater the level of proof is for the statements in the first two books, the more potential there is for that statement to find itself in the “25 year book.”
I think I would also like to see many of the ideas that appear in Richard Dawkins book, “The Greatest Show On Earth, or even the entire book itself as part of the special texts of this religion. Both while reading the book and as I look back upon the experience, it seems as if I was viewing, through his book, the miracle that one man could acquire so much knowledge that seemed to be beyond the human limitations of knowledge.
That impression on my part, is probably an indication of my lack of confidence in the human condition. I like the following expression that I would like to see in front of a library: “Join me in the mental exercise of the human mind, whose physical structure is restricted, but whose creative dimensions remain unknown.”
Of course Richard Dawkins is certainly not alone in the majesty of his knowledge. We are lucky to have a significant number of geniuses in various disciplines spread out across the whole spectrum of challenges that we are mounting against the unknown.
12. What comments would you like to make about the 911 attack against the United States Of America?
I think that it provided part of the motivation for putting forth this new Religion Of Truth. The 911 attacks are a perfect example of how the human mind can be convinced to do something horrendous such as this and then have others of similar beliefs conclude that the individuals that did it are some kind of martyrs to their cause.
How would you like to be the Creator and (symbolically) hear these men praising you as they killed themselves and thousands of others also? Incidentally, the above idea or example is only for emphasis. My concept of a Creator does not include that identity listening in to every word that we say. My concept of a Creator would be one that involves itself in deeper and deeper generalizations concerning the manner in which reality is brought into existence.
I don’t like the idea of forcing children to memorize a religion’s book (the Koran) in school, rather than using that precious time to provide the necessary education that would help the followers of such a religion compete more successfully in the economic world. This in turn would reduce the belief that other societies, namely the Americans, are the root cause of most, if not all of the problems in the Muslim or Islamic world.
Believing in Heaven and Hell is distorted enough, but believing that 23 virgins will be waiting for you in heaven if you give your life up as a martyr to the cause, is bordering on psychiatric delusion. Sorry, I used the wrong words there, it isn’t anywhere near the border, it is without the slightest doubt, full fledged psychiatric delusion.
The most important idea to remember in this situation is that it is all negotiable. The German people have put together a decent society in spite of it being captured in the past by a delusional monster like Hitler. The Japanese people were forcibly rescued from the clutches of a militaristic society and they are now a peaceful and prosperous nation.
The continent of Australia was treated as a penal colony by Great Britain. If indeed human character was not negotiable, but was definitively determined by genetic causes, then a large majority to people living in Australia right now should be criminals. In reality, their approach to life is just as rational as any other country and in many cases even better.
Our responsibility is to gradually increase our ability to look after an ever increasing population. If a society fails to do this, rather than starve to death, that society or nation will choose to fight for life. If two people are stranded on an island with only enough food for one, they probably will start their own private war.
I remember walking through the park one day and a number of pigeons were gathered around a piece of food that someone must have thrown away. One pigeon was eating and preventing any of the other pigeons from joining in. I decided to intervene and introduce some democracy into the situation.
As I walked towards the “bully pigeon” he flew away. Of course I was acting like the new bully pigeon wasn’t I? I guess its easy to tell that I am the proverbial city slicker who didn’t understand nature, because as soon as I left, the next bully pigeon in the group took over and prevented everyone else from joining in.
The human race has been given enough intelligence so that if we successfully achieve what we are capable of, we can show empathy to our fellow travelers through life and share the bounty fairly with each other.
I have already mentioned this point earlier, but as difficult as it might seem to be to accept it, even destructive events such as the 911 attack have the potential to motivate others to help bring to an end the psychological reasons behind the distorted and superstitious religious beliefs that caused the catastrophe to happen in the first place.
13. What is your attitude about capitalism?
Perhaps there is a correlation between what Winston Churchill said about democracy that applies to capitalism also: “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for everything else.”
As the USSR eventually found out, in order to successfully meet the necessary achievements to keep a society fed and relatively happy, one must be willing to pay those who shoulder the most responsibility the most money. Of course this can only be achieved in a partial manner. How are we to understand a baseball player making $30 million dollars a year while a brain surgeon makes much, much less? One answer could be that a large majority of people want to be entertained, not just be successful in obtaining the basic necessities of life.
But the downfall of capitalism is, in my opinion, (I am not as educated as I should be in this area), is the belief that capitalism itself will correct its own short comings. I believe that the government must step in, in the form of taxes and other measures also to bring about a more level playing field for the general population at large, in whatever country the capitalist system is being employed.
Flat out true capitalism would see those who fail in the market place, either find success or starve to death. Expecting a person to voluntarily starve to death peacefully, with no inconvenience to the successful capitalist would be a study in delusion. Such a person would resort to theft or even murder if the situation deteriorated into choosing such violence or the violence of starvation.
Indeed, even though the ultra capitalist distains socialism, he nevertheless accepts many socialist measures as a defense against the succeed or die syndrome listed in the previous paragraph. Without question, practicing capitalist societies must include significant governmental checks and balances and the trick is to determine exactly what those checks and balances should be.
I suspect that the future will see the capitalist system mutated by evolutionary processes into something better than what the practice of capitalism is providing for the necessary continued improvement of the human condition in today’s world. Unfortunately, I have no clue as to what those mutations might look like, or how, or when, they might come into existence.
14. What is your attitude towards psychology and psychiatry?
Perhaps I should start with the following story. A middle aged man goes to see a Psychiatrist and after several sessions the Psychiatrist throws his hands up in despair. I’ve tried everything I know to help you but nothing seems to be working. I’ve got a ticket to see the circus on Saturday night but my wife wants me to go to the opera with her.
I’m going to give the circus ticket to you. I want you to pay particular attention to the clown in the center ring. He is absolutely hilarious. Whenever I am feeling down or depressed, he never fails to get me laughing and it changes my whole outlook on life. Here is the ticket, hopefully he can do the same for you. That sounds like a great idea, said the patient, except for one thing, --- I ‘m the clown.
There is a lot of truth and knowledge contained in this story. One is left with the quandary, “who is helping who?” Of course humor is a very important element in combating the effects of stress. Humor says that you are enjoying life and that leaves you with a feeling of success rather than failure. Of course like most things, humor can be negative also.
If you are laughing with someone its considered positive but if you are laughing at someone it is considered to be negative. Just to complicate things further, of course if it is a Hitler or some other kind of dictator that you are laughing at then that might be the most damaging tactic of all against such a dictator. It is said that Hitler went ballistic when he was portrayed negatively and humorously by Charlie Chaplin.
Stress is just a more acceptable way of saying that we are feeling the effects of fear regarding the achievements that we are involved in. If you react correctly to the emotion of fear, it will motivate you to increase your knowledge about the achievement in question.
Actually what is life all about other than a conglomeration of achievements all tied in together. If you are failing at achievements that are important to you, or even the achievements that you wish to become involved in, you will be feeling the effects of stress.
It is of the utmost importance that we realize that fear is not some horrible weakness that a cruel and callous Creator has inflicted upon his unsuspecting children, which of course includes you and I. On the contrary, fear is our most prized possession when we must face the unknown and try to transfer that unknown into the plus side of our accumulating storehouse of knowledge. If you react to the emotion of fear correctly, it will motivate you to increase your knowledge.
It is said that our nervous systems were constructed at a time when we were threatened by wild beasts that could easily kill us and now in our modern world, this outdated nervous system is causing all of our psychic problems. THIS IS NONSENSE.
Let us say that our ancestor from long ago was walking down a jungle trail and a huge lion came into view. The fear reactions would invoke either fight or flight and because of the fear of death, these feelings would be acutely felt.
If the lion had recently eaten a large meal and was not hungry, but instead he was hunting down the scent of a female lion, he might not bother with our hunter at all but instead hurry on by. The hunters nervous system would be over sensitive or even shaking, just like our nerves do in the modern world.
We have different achievements to embrace than our ancestors did but if those achievements could cause you to fail at the work that allows you to make a living and provide food for your family, the fear that you feel could be just as acute as what the ancestor in the above story felt. This reaction of course is personal, where one individual would be mildly stressed, another might be at the edge of emotional disaster.
More importantly, these feelings of failure can become persistent whereas with the lion, they end rather suddenly either with death or escape. Of course the apprehension of fear for such encounters in the future, can either add to the stress that you are experiencing, or it can help to motivate the individual to increase his knowledge so as to avoid this threat to his continued existence as much as humanly possible.
The feelings of fear and its effects on the body are supposed to provide you with the extra physical strength to meet a physical threat. But the adrenaline rush inside your body from a fear reaction is also accompanied by the manufacture of nor adrenaline whose job it is to bring your brain to full focus and awareness to help you meet the threat with the appropriate actions or words.
One very important difference is that our ancestors were involved in far more physical activity than we are today. That extra physical activity burned up some of the excess adrenaline that the fear reaction pours into our ancestors bloodstream. We have to make sure that we get enough physical activity because of the rather sedentary lifestyle we now live, at least compared to our ancestors.
In summary, I strongly believe that the fear response in our nervous system and its capacity to motivate a person to increase his or her knowledge was perfectly tailored to the lifestyle of our ancestors, is similarly tailored for those of us who are alive today and will continue to be essential to those who have yet to be born.
15. You have stated that the Christian lifestyle is a good one and many of its guidelines for living will be included in the ROT. Under those terms of reference, why would I want to change? Why should I give up Christianity for the Religion Of Truth?
The best possible reason is that the ROT will mirror the realities of life more closely than Christianity. That is, the questions --- how did we get here and why are we here, are more realistically addressed in the ROT than in Christianity. You could tell a child to continue to believe in Santa Claus because it won’t do you any harm. But that would be rejecting completely the Creator given capacity for intelligent thought that the human race has the potential to possess.
On page 5, which is part of the Preface for the book called, A Walk Through Time, the following words appear: “Regardless of one’s beliefs regarding the origins (of life), the future of life on earth will be substantially determined by the extent to which humanity unites within the next few years in commitment to the future.”
It is my unequivocal belief that the origination of the Religion Of Truth, as I am putting it forward in this document, is the first small step in the evolution of the current religious belief systems in acceptance throughout the world today, into a more universally accepted religion for the future
Contained within the seeds of this rudimentary version of the ROT is the potential to achieve the unity among all or most people that the above quotation states is absolutely necessary for our continued existence.
I do not believe that there will ever be one belief system. But I do believe that the systems in competition with each other in the future will not be enveloped by superstitious and/or mythical beliefs to the same extent as is the case with those in existence today.
It would be unrealistic to assume that the existing religions would simply disappear almost overnight. Remember my story about the “clutch pedal” being removed when they invented automatic transmissions? Evolution is not able to remove such a “clutch pedal” but it either watches it wither away to nothing or evolves it into something else that is useful in a different way. Well, that is what I see in the future for the existing mythical religious belief systems.
Obviously I’m repeating myself here, but the endless discrepancies between Christian teaching about the realities of life and reality itself are overwhelming. They have now been made even more self-evident by our understanding about evolution. While in the past, a Christian might say that in spite of the discrepancies referred to above, and because I wish to believe in, and honor a Creator, and still further, because I have no viable option, I am going to stay with Christianity.
I believe that the Religion Of Truth is the viable option that such a person is looking for and that in itself should be sufficient reason to change ones belief system. In effect, one could say that the ROT is a consequence of the evolutionary forces behind our desire to increase our knowledge.
While the Christian belief system may have been perfectly tailored for the time when it came into existence, the ROT will fill that niche in the very near future. I am persuaded that the search for the truth will never end. Accordingly, the ROT itself will change and be refined in accordance with the higher levels of knowledge that those who have yet to be born will bring into existence.
16. You started the Religion Of Truth on the beliefnet.com internet site about 10 years ago and eventually they gave you your own site, which quickly deteriorated into a veritable ghost town. Why are you trying to resurrect it now and what makes you think that your religion will not remain a “ghost town” inhabited by only you --- yourself?
Even if you are correct, that it will remain a ghost town, I will still be glad I put forward all of this effort to make it happen. I believe that the ideas that I am putting forward in this religion, mirror reality, and whether they are accepted in the very near future or not, will not dissuade me from trying my very best to make it happen.
This new impetus on my part is a result of reading Richard Dawkin’s book called, “The Greatest Show On Earth.” The purpose of the book was to provide an all inclusive defense of evolution and he certainly achieved that goal with flying colors. However, whereas he believes that his ideas prove that no “God or Creator” is necessary to bring forth life, instead; I believe that he showed that such a Creator is far more intelligent than we previously imagined him/her/it to be.
I refer specifically to the following quote from his book on page 416: “We know a great deal about how evolution (through natural selection) has worked ever since it got started, but we have no evidence bearing upon the momentous event that was the start of evolution on this planet.”
As an example, if you visited an automobile assembly line of robots, and if you were from some other planet, you might conclude that human beings were not involved in the creation of that car. Evolution could be represented as the robots on the assembly line and our Creator as the humans behind the building of the car. In the case of the car, the so-called aliens from another planet would eventually conclude that the humans were much more intelligent than they were previously thought to be. The same applies to our Creator and his method of using evolution to bring new life entities into existence.
It should also be clearly understood that in all probability, there are multitudinous levels of deeper knowledge that we must still obtain. It is not as if understanding evolution has placed us one step away from the ultimate truth. Reality itself dictates that it should be considered self-evident that --- it has not.
Under no circumstances am I invoking the “old saw” that when we approach the unknown we fill in such blanks by believing in a Creator. What I am saying is that evolution simply shows us that our Creator is using this system to achieve his deeper goal of pushing us towards more knowledge and a better chance to avoid extinction of the human race and through our intelligence, other forms of life on this planet may also avoid extinction also.
I used the expression deeper goal rather than ultimate goal because we certainly are unable to even guess as to what our Creator’s ultimate goal is. What I wish to infer is that unless we avoid extinction, the pursuit of the necessary knowledge to allow us to come closer to understanding our Creator’s ultimate goal, will obviously never occur.
The ideas that I put forth in the --- Other Beliefs --- StephenK.Adams site on beliefnet, which can now only be accessed from the Archives of beliefnet.com, --- are valid, but those who took the trouble to read them, for the most part, belittled their value. It was as if they were saying, these ideas are just his personal opinion, why should I believe him or give up my belief system for one that has failed to attract any members to speak of?
As a result of Richard Dawkins book, “The Greatest Show On Earth”, I became aware that the ideas that I was putting forward in the beliefnet.com website, are relatively identical to the very goals to which evolution is directed.
I consider Richard Dawkin’s book and the ideas put forward in it, especially about evolutions goal to produce an ever more intelligent living entity (us), is the definitive proof that any reader of these words is looking for to convince him or her that the Religion Of Truth is the belief system that he or she should embrace.
17. If you are right, that our Creator has programmed us, by using evolution, to constantly increase our knowledge, then it appears as if we are destined to be successful. Is that in keeping with what you believe?
No, not really. If there are billions of other planets that have some form of life entity and evolution is pushing all of them towards greater levels of knowledge, then we may be in competition with all of those other living entities on these other planets. Out of a billion possible life entities throughout the Universe, perhaps only one or just a few, will be successful. The others may fail to increase their knowledge sufficiently and as a result become extinct.
I think it would be wrong to believe that we have some kind of guarantee. That our destiny is already “written in the stars.” It would be far more realistic to believe that it is up to us to avoid extinction. Act as if we are the highest form of intelligent life in the Universe, and fully realize that our destiny is up to us.
From a somewhat indifferent Creator, (that type of attitude on the part of our Creator seems to be self evident in the kill or be killed animal world), it would be like having a billion life entities trying to avoid extinction and as long as one or more succeed, it really doesn’t matter if the other billion, less a few, become extinct.
With a billion experiments going on under evolutionary processes, perhaps the mathematical odds favor one or more successful life entities. Will we be one of those successful entities? And if by chance, we are alone in this Universe, then, under those terms of reference, it’s either us or --- nobody.
If it were possible to bring back one of our ancestors from 300 years ago, that person would look at the progress we have made over that time and wonder if he was actually on a different planet all together than the one that he inhabited 300 years ago.
I believe that the human race has been given a sufficient level of mental acuity to allow us to live harmoniously with each other on a much greater scale than we are doing today. I believe that such harmony will allow more of the geniuses that are born each year to reach their full potential; and in the process, elevate the sum total of human knowledge exponentially so that those who are born after them will have an even better world to live in also.
If we ourselves were brought back to life 300 years into the future, who is to say that we wouldn’t be even more astonished at what the human race has accomplished at that time, than the imaginary person from 300 years ago would be astonished at what we have achieved today.
I believe a deeper level of understanding about how the emotion of fear affects human behavior will find the human race being able to shoulder more responsibility and more achievements without unduly endangering our physical, emotional and mental well being.
I believe that when those of us who are so inclined, ask ourselves what can we do to thank our Creator for the incredible miracle of life that he/she/it has given us, our answer will be much closer to being: --- “everything I possible could with the experience and knowledge that I have accumulated during my lifetime.”
Are these goals that I have listed above an indication that I have adopted an unrealistic and Polyannic approach to the future? Absolutely not! “We should strive to be, --- not better than anyone else is, but rather, --- to be better than we ever thought we could be.” The above delightful quotation belongs to none other than the professional golfer, Ken Ventura.
It is said that if you believe that you will be successful, your chances of success increase dramatically. Let us therefore believe that with increased knowledge and experience, we will overcome the possibility of extinction for the human race itself and in the process, move inexorably --- closer and closer --- to our Creator.