New Models of the World Needed

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Essentially, this is the raison d’etre for the Unfolding Human, its foundation stone.  Over the last 200 years, science has made tremendous advances in our ability to understand physical reality & biological processes. These advances also serve to illuminate our histories, the histories of human, life and cosmos.

But we lag behind in updating our overall models of the world, our meta-models. By models of the world, I mean overall frameworks of thought that guide our goals and actions. Unfolding Human is something of an exploration, a sketchpad of ideas towards what a new meta-model of the world might look like.

Because science has advanced more quickly than wisdom, it has left us operating with obsolete, incomplete or incoherent world-models. World models are important because they serve as the underlying basis for human action. They tell us what is, what we should do and what should be.

Our current world models are either religious or secular. A large percentage of humans still base much of their lives on one of the historical religious models. Religions are complex phenomena. But clearly, from a modern, scientifically-literate point of view they represent poor epistemology, that is, inaccurate and ungrounded explanations of reality.

My purpose isn’t a total attack on religion. Religions have been attributed to serve many functions. One of the reasons for their persistence is indeed that they do.

My biggest concern is with religion as an explanation of reality. Scientific understanding renders the underlying basis of religions as unfounded and obsolete. They are generally without meaningful basis in fact, and not in harmony with the findings of science.

I believe that to continue to base human action on obsolete world-views is an unsatisfactory way for humans to proceed. The path towards human fulfillment and realizing human possibility must be navigated by the star of truth.

As a simple example, I’ve been listening to the audio-book: Ten Thousand Sorrows by Elizabeth Kim, a woman who had an extraordinarily difficult life through young adulthood. As just part of her sorrows, her adopted father was a fundamentalist preacher.

A major part of her upbringing was that she would “Burn in Hell” if she behaved contrary to the “Will of God” and further that her friends and other schoolmates would do the same if she didn’t convert them. If there is no God and no Hell to burn in then, to base your actions on these beliefs is unproductive and actually detrimental to your personal and overall human well being.

There are some good books on the problems with religions including: http://www.amazon.com/The-End-Faith-Religion-Terror/dp/0393327655/ref=pd_sim_b_5 and The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. Unfolding Human takes these issues as givens and assumes anyone reading this will likely have come to these conclusions.

However, rejecting religion as a belief system and abandoning the God concept is not an end in itself. You can’t replace a world-view with just a negation. Unfolding Human hopes to be, in part, a stumbling towards some of the pieces that might be used to construct an updated world-view, one that is in harmony with what is and inspired by what might be.

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