Science must be the foundation for human society
Recognizing the critical application of the scientific method to our subjective experience as well as to our objective reality to achieve stronger cultural consensus seems to be the bar we need to get over to survive. Will we make it? That is the question. It seems that the difference between the time of Shakespeare’s Macbeth and now is made very clear in this paraphrase. It was always really only a personal question, to be or not to be, but now we must answer it as a species question.
On the positive side we have a majority in the post industrial societies and an emerging majority, it appears, among the populations that are only now achieving the benefits of objective education. I base that on the historical lesson of objectivity and the scientific revolution evolving from medieval Europe. The critical mass must be achieved in a society well enough above subsistence to support a broad middle class. Without that we have the examples of the Arabic/Islamic world and Imperial China as well as earlier examples of the Graeco-Roman. On a very broad level they did not achieve a large enough middle class with basic education and well being to support the education of their children to bootstrap into a scientific world, though most of the intellectual pieces were there.
On the negative side we have the virulent reaction of the minorities committed to religious ignorance, an old and nagging problem, plus the shocking growth of reactionary neo-feudal political groups in the leading, post-industrial cultures. While this can logically be seen as a last ditch effort to retain political power by the old, capitalist economic forces thrown together with the religionists, racists, poorly educated, and social fringe elements, this group’s power has been amplified by the critical changes that must be enacted on a planetary level. Achieving a planetary consensus on sustainability is not optional. This feudal reaction is, at least, partially the result of political collapse and forced migration of several million people exacerbated by climate change in the middle east. This, of course, is only going to get worse and it seems to be accelerating.
While I think time is on the side of the new paradigm, however it works out, it is going to be scary having the forces of willful ignorance grabbing control as successfully as they have. Let’s hope that we can successfully block the worst cases and remove the real nutcases before they blow everything up.