Yet I can hear it: But hey, don't be so negative, Jay! The new Iphone is available today, that will save us all! Or some such new and shining thing or approach-- maybe not Iphones but new generations of solar panels, or new political moments like Occupy Wallstreet, or new approaches to taxation carbon credits, or any of the rest of it. But none of this "new" stuff really heartens me much, especially some of the touted "new paradigm" airy fairy stuff some spout-- as I know without a doubt the core issues facing humanity and the planet are not "epistemological" in nature-- neither are they ecological, or political, or technological. They are in fact moral issues first and foremost: issues of basic human integrity, honesty, and objectivity. Shallow minds like to shrug off our current woes as some inevitable result of human nature. This a broadly held but remarkably ignorant world view, as it's all but self-evident that if within the human mind there didn't exist the basic capacity for honesty, objectivity, and cooperative benevolence-- humanity would have never survived our pre-historical existence and our species would have been stuffed out as yet another failed evolutionary experiment a million years ago. Bullshit-- it's our obvious and unique innate capacity honest objectivity that makes us human-- this is the core of human nature itself -- not intelligence, nor language, nor thumbs: all of these we share with plenty of our earthly co-inhabitants. No, it's the ability to look at the world objectively(at least as objectively as the physical constraints of the universe allow it to be possible) to grasp the systemic import of that objective knowledge, to manipulate it conceptually, and to act in a manner that has the ability to enhance the global systemic viability-- this makes us human. From that realization of the evolutionary role of the human species--and why it might make sense for such ecological capital to be invested in one species-- it can be seen as core to "human nature" the ability to enhance, consciously, systems that otherwise would be constrained to much slower and perhaps less viable processes. Of course this terminology I use, "larger systemic viability" is me speaking the perspective of a modern, educated, atheist-- observing the emergent phenomenon of evolutionary processes and biological determinants-- paying a certain respect to the appearance of a teleological nature of the whole. Others from other times might be comfortable with simpler concepts of "God's Will" or even the Tao-- but we would hope that as we go along our innate objective "human nature" would guide us to worldviews with ever higher levels--or depths-- of objective understanding. While it may be colloquially cute to speak in these more primitive terms, and while without a doubt there's knowledge to be inherited from such world views-- for a modern mind to hold such concepts as equally as valid as the informed modern secular view, is, well, nothing short of retarded. To deliberately do so in the face of evidence to the contrary is at its core-- inhumane.
And is core to the root of our current moral crisis.
Why? Because if we can accept for the moment my assertion of the innate nature of humanity's capacity for rational objectivity-- it certainly is reasonable to suggest that as with all of our other innate capacities-- the ability for language, or mathematics, or even perhaps music-- our objective nature if not appropriately stimulated, or if deliberately stifled-- may not develop. And this is critical, as objectivity is central to moral behavior. In fact, it's very reasonable to argue that the first and foremost, and most humane moral task of any evolved human being is the utter commitment to be honestly, authentically objective. For without this, whence comes the criteria for any subsequent moral judgement? Moral judgments obviously cannot be made effectively constructively from incomplete or inadequate understandings of reality-- less so from fantasy or delusional word views-- rarely if ever from reality based on the wishing of things being a certain, often purely preferential, way.
To be continued... in the meanwhile