Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Uncertainties

Now, there are some caveats to the previous post, of course, some assumptions that are being made - that getting off the planet is best for humanity, that very highly aware people would agree on goals, even that what's best for humanity is what's best in general. I have absolutely no doubt on the first assumption - for us to survive we simply must get off the planet. I have some slight doubt on the second one - Given the same information, they should come to the same conclusions, and a very aware person would attempt very strongly to avoid deception, but no two people have the same set of experiences, so maybe different goals might emerge - but I believe that they would agree on some of the more major things. The last thing is the strangest one to consider - what if what's truly best for the universe as a whole, long term, is not the survival of the human race? I hope that's not the case, but I don't know for certain.

2 comments:

Lia Treffman said...

This is in response to the last two posts.

What if there already exists some sort of universal joined consciousness in which all people, guided by an unintentionally and extremely loosely connected consortium of people with that higher consciuosness. (The key here is that the people do not realize that they are actually working toward the same goal, and are highly unlikely to know one another).

Consider the process of building one of those amazing medieval cathedrals. One person could not build it all by themself. Nor could an entire generation build it all by themselves. The people who began the process were guaranteed to not see the finished product. However these designers, stone masons, woodworkers and glass makers, etc. taught the next generation the skills they would need to continue the project. These new artisans would then improve on the existing techniques. Eventually, when the Cathedral was finished, two, maybe three generations of people in a town had worked on it. It was a long-lasting monument to their foresight, skill, determination and faith.
In today's society, there are people with the foresight to realize that the survival and health of the earth as a living system is critical to the survival to humanity. In some sense, it is the responsibility of these "see-ers" to help guide this generation and the ones that follow towards the ultimate goal of a healthy earth and long-term survival of the human species. Others of these seers are working to improve the health of humanity. Still others are trying to protect the plants and animals that inhabit the earth.

It will take a tremendous investment of time, research, and money to colonize other worlds. It would be inexcusable to make that gigantic an investment and then proceed to destroy the resources and environment on other worlds. To some extent, that takes the position that we broke this one, so let's build a new one, rather than fixing this one, or doing preventive maintenance to keep it from breaking in the first place.

It has been said "the meek will inherit the earth, the rest of us will go to the stars." Perhaps we would be well advised to read "meek" as "humble" or "aware"--and understand that these people are the ones who have realized that the earth was not put here solely for their gratification and amusement.

Yes, it would be preferable for humanity to continue to exist in perpetuity. However, if the species cannot learn how to live in harmony with the earth, the species does not deserve to continue, nor should we be permitted to search out new worlds and destroy them too.

If we can't learn to play nice with others, we should forever be relegated to a "time-out"

Aaron F Stanton said...

While a do agree with you that we should grow up as a species before we leave this planet, I think that there's a caveat here - The sun will go red giant on us in about 5 billion years, and if we're not only off the planet but out of the solar system when that happens, we're toast.

Also, I think it won't be possible for us to establish a permanent off-planet colony *until* we grow up as a species. The technological challenges involved and the massive expenditure of resources necessary will require us to put down our toy guns and play nice. (As an aside, I think that the conditions required for sentient life to evolve require such a balance that for them to escape into space means that they have become civilized as a species. Clearly, we're not there yet.)

Lastly, I doubt that on the long time scales the planet lives in we can truly cause irreparable damage. We might be able to damage the planet badly enough that all humans die, but I believe it would recover, eventually.

That said, I don't think that will happen. People smarter than I have already seen to it.

None of this counts as an any sort of an excuse to attempt to avoid the responsibility of helping humanity and the world. The more aware you are, the more you realize the obligation you have, and the more power you have to carry it out long term. Short sighted unaware people may cause quite a bit of damage, but I believe that damage is short term, relatively speaking, and can be healed by people with more awareness. (By long term I am talking multiple human lifetimes, here.)