Saturday, April 26, 2014

Worldview III--Futurology

Futurology is an interdisciplinary system of predicting the future. The term “interdisciplinary” means it is a completely made up academic field. Fortunately for my purpose, that means I can pretty much make up any conclusion I wish as long as the road to get there resembles some stream of logical thought. Or perhaps not even that, since many truly horrible science fiction hack writers consider themselves futurists. Hey, that just lets me play in an even wider sandbox with fewer rules.

Let us recap, shall we? I have established I have a cynical worldview which has begun to upset me. It is, however, ground in my Christian beliefs which I consider to be absolute truth as far as I can confirm. It is still largely a matter of faith for me. I think we all have an ultimately corrupt nature. However, I do not believe it is too the point we are so hopelessly corrupt that the desire for ositive social interactions and benefits cannot positively affect behavior. Hence, the desire for love, friendship, and safety often lead to genuinely positive actions. The more positive the actions and results, the more forgiving one can be of failure to be positive. Ergo, the happier you are in dealing with people, the more willing you are to give the benefit of the doubt.

That is all great on a small scale. How about a larger one? In spite of warm fuzzies regarding my closer relations, I am not so to people as a whole. Can I justify a cynical worldview regarding others beyond my carefully chosen circle? of course I can. On three different levels, in fact.

First, the limited capacity of people to care. You can only care so much for so long. You do not even grieve for dead loved ones with the same sense of loss over time. For even the warmest people, the sorrow fades over time. I cannot say things would be better off if it did not. It would probably help if the capacity to care about the fate of others were stronger, but I have had experience with friends who are social workers, therapists, orphanage workers, and long term care attendants who have assured me a certain detachment is necessary in order to do their jobs effectively while still maintaining their own emotional health. A personal detachment was one of the most common things drilled into me in law school. It is for the sake of your own sanity. I have since assumed this detachment is not as brutal or heartless as an outsider may consider it. Such acts become enlightened self-interest.

Second, people are people no matter what. The best way I can illustrate this concept is by digging back into my Bible studies. The Israelites in the Old Testament ran perpetually what is referred to as the Sin Cycle:

1. Israel falls into wickedness and idolatry regardless of God’s admonitions.
2. God allows them to be conquered by an enemy.
3. Israel calls out to God for deliverance from their captivity.
4. God delivers them from their enemies.
6. Israel follows God’s law for a time, but soon revert back to #1.

The cycle repeated itself over and over again despite direct instructions from God. If people wil perpetually forget blessings from God, then no one is going to consistently make the rightr decisions, small or large.

Finally, history repeats itself. This is a corollary to the second rule. Recall George Santaya’s warning that those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. The lessons of history do not necessarily stick with us even if we do know because there will always be enough people who think “it sounded like a good idea at the time” is fantastic justification trying again what had bad results before. Because, you know, some futurist claimed we are advancing as a species. Surely things will be different this time, right?

Remember, intelligence may be inherited, but wisdom has to be learned over and over again even if anyone even bothers to try.

This is not the future of humanity:This is the future of humanity:In accordance with the Bible, I do not believe humanity will actually destroy itself, but we aregoing to get darn close before it is all said and done.

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