This post is dedicated to my friend Dave.
Dave recently asked me a simple question: do I believe in fate?
Also I'd like to dedicate this post to the millions of people around the world who are new to the non-religious community. Folks who have recently shed the shackles of religion and declared themselves non-religious. Perhaps these folks are also looking at questions like fate to fill the religion void.
Irreni World Scale is about providing solutions and not punditry.
The solution here is to acknowledge that oft times the facts are not enough. Emotions need to be satisfied. Those of us in the social policy business have a responsibility to address the emotional needs. This is especially a concern for Irreni. Irreni promotes science as politics and science is perceived as unemotional and uncaring. The emotional needs of humanity need to be met forthright and with respect.
Mark Twain once wrote, "Logic is the justification of ones own feelings."
One of the reasons I feel I became an atheist in my teens even though I was raised in a religious environment is that I'm comfortable with "I don't know." My feelings are such that I am eminently satisfied with this fact where few people are. Few people are emotionally happy with "I don't know". I am.
So what's going on here?
What's going on here is that for me "I don't know" is a social statement and neither a lack of curiosity nor intellectual laziness statement.
To understand what's going on first one needs to realize where our emotions come from. Human brains are distinct from the rest of the animal kingdom in three important categories: language, social groups, and tools.
Questions that arise from feelings of fate and religion represent logic seeking feelings. We innately feel the need to socially connect. Social group behavior is wired into our brains by way of empathy for others and a genetic code to band together.
We feel that social group need strongly and at the most fundamental levels. The need for social connection is who we are. So much so that we project that need into a future even after death. We want to keep socially connected forever, for ourselves and for those we love. Think about this: how attractive would any life after death be if it meant we were to be all alone for that eternity? No. No we want to be with others for all eternity because we are expressing a strong need for social connection.
And that's okay. It is important to point out that this compulsion manifests in many ways.
For example, Sam Harris is a public figure that speaks out as both an atheist and anti-theist. Sam was being interviewed by a religious public figure, Denis Prager, on Prager's radio show. What I found especially interesting is a question posed to Sam by a particular caller. This caller admitted to Sam that he felt Sam was making good points all. However, the caller wanted to know what he was to do with his personal relationship with Jesus?
Our need for social connection needs to be satisfied. This compulsion in many ways is as fundamental as hunger for food. The caller with a Jesus relationship clearly used an imaginary friend. And that's okay. This is no laughing matter and needs to be taken very seriously.
My strong compulsion for social connection is different than most. It does not manifest as questions of fate and religion, but rather as questions of engineering human systems to improve connections. My appetite for social connection is as strong as with others, just of a different order. Therefore I am comfortable with "I don't know" to the fate questions but am compelled to seek answers regarding unknown social engineering questions. I've spent years understanding how to build human operating systems that scale to include every single person on this planet. Every person needs to be taken care of and we all have responsibility to each other. Every single one.
Now taking care of seven billion people probably sounds emotionally like a boring, uninteresting, ridiculous endeavor to you. To me it is every bit as compelling as questions of religion and fate are to others. As Mark Twain says, "Logic is the justification of ones own feelings."
Having said all this I do not mean to imply I'm insensitive to those looking for a social connection regarding religion or fate. Therefore I've put together an emotional response below to satisfy your need for social connection in regards to fate. Hopefully you can hang your hat on the fate outlined below if indeed you feel a strong compulsion to believe in fate.
I do not believe in fate because I don't know. However, this doesn't mean I do not have speculations about the fate question.
This brings up another Irreni World Scale solution: discussions need to be clearly marked, or sign posted, as to whether the discussion is intended to be used as fact or fun.
The following is pure fantasy, pure fiction, and pure speculation. However, having said this I believe that if you feel strongly that you are needing fate answers then this may do for you.
BEGIN PURE FICTION
Life shares a single fate.
There is fate in the Universe, but only a single fate where all of life shares a one shared fate. Benjamin Franklin had the nub of it when he wrote, "We must all hang together or we will most assuredly all hang separately."
So, how does one come to this conclusion? The answer comes by using the very latest science of the day.
Here are the facts, albeit over-simplified, to the best of our knowledge today:
- The Universe started with The Big Bang.
- The Universe will end with The Big Heat Death.
- Earth began 4.5 billion years ago.
- The Sun will die in 4.5 billion years and take the Earth with it.
- In 14.5 billion years the entire Universe will die in heat death.
- Matter and energy are interchangeable.
- Matter and energy are information squirted out in the Big Bang.
- Time is fixed. All time exists simultaneous when it does exist. New time does get created but once created is a permanent fixture. Our perception of time direction is just that: a perception.
Where things get interesting is where matter and energy are information squirted out in the Big Bang. This notion has led the likes of Elon Musk to purport that we are all just living in a simulation. After all computer programs are just information and since the universe is made entirely of information then we are just living a computer program Universe.
Here are some other key observations to help us flush out our common fantasy fate:
- Experiments have a beginning and an end. The Universe has a beginning and end. We are just an experiment.
- Experiments are only run when there are unknowns that need discovered and these unknowns are not knowable just using reason . Whatever created this universe doesn't know everything. In other words, whatever is responsible for any experiment is looking for something that cannot be just reasoned about but has unknowns that require the experiment.
- Information is meant to be copied. Everything in this Universe can be copied. Think about it. There are less than 300 atomic elements on the Periodic table. These atomic elements make up all matter in the Universe. Life has a code called DNA. DNA is the programming language of life. One could argue then that elements are the programming language of all matter and then DNA is the programming language of all life.
- We already possess the ability to record parts of time. However we are currently limited to copying the present-for-future. There is nothing to prevent us from copying past-for-future except technical know-how today: all past time is physically manifest in the universe.
So you will live and breathe again. And your copying will be accomplished by humans and not by anything supernatural. All of the components to copy you exist naturally today and this suggests copying you is within the realm of human endeavors tomorrow. Your DNA is your code. Your life past time-line represents your memories. Playback of time into your copied body represents you and viola: a new you.
The questions then circle around how you will be copied. Will you be given superior genetics free of disease? Will you be given a far superior physical body? Will you be given far superior intellect? Will you look different? If so, will "you" still be "you"? And we still know nothing about consciousness.
Current technology and ethics indicates that you will be copied with the very best body and the very best mind possible but that a computer chip will be implanted into your brain to supply simulation to your brain. This brain simulation will temporarily give you the same body as you died with so as to give you sufficient time to adjust to the new you.
So, to whit, in this fiction we live in an information universe where everything is information and everything is prone to be copied and nothing is unique except the way things are put together. The way things are put together can be replicated and so will be you. We will all be copied by future humans in this universe. So yes, your innate desire to continue social connections past this life's end will be met. Unfortunately for the heaven seekers this all plays out as a human endeavor and so will be susceptible to all the human drama that exists today. Muh ha ha! Heaven it will not be.
END PURE FICTIONIf you are looking for a fate explanation that satisfies your natural, social group emotional need for fate then this fiction is as good as any. Well, superior to anything else actually. Ha! Why? Because the astute observer will notice that this fiction doesn't really answer any of the big questions: who's running the experiment; why are they running the experiment; and why are we specifically here? That is why this is a superior fiction to all religions and all other fate explanations: this fiction simply says you get to live to see another day to ask questions. After all, it is your natural compulsion to socially connect that is the most important artifact, not the answers!
Politics as Science!
Demand Irreni World Scale!
Anti-theism is feminism!
Empathy for all!
Moral relativity: think it, breath it!
Prove it or lose it!
Conversations equal consensus!
Welcome to the 21st century!
Scale your empathy, scale the world!
Find your tribe!
Be sexy people!
The future is coming!
Innovate at a rapid pace!
Slow speed ahead!
Well come! and well met!