At this point in my process I know that my goal is to produce a book that promotes individual participation in human evolution. But wait, humans are already evolving whether we do anything or not, so what do I mean? Slap to forehead, as I realize I must make the goal of the book even more clear - I want the reader to see the importance of participating in and increasing the speed of moral evolution in humans. Ok, well that is all well and good but why should anyone care and what should they do about it.
The first question will likely be ‘Why is this important?’ and can easily be answered through the argument that human technology has developed beyond human morality. Most people will agree that we possess the technology to kill off the species, and that we have not achieved a global morality sufficient to stop that from happening, so that point will be fairly straightforward. The readers next question will be ‘What am I supposed to do about this?’ and this is where things get complex, and perhaps unanswerable. Not far behind will be the reader’s recognition that morality is a very complex human behavior and it is unlikely all humans will choose to follow whatever morality the species achieves, thereby leaving danger in play, so why make the effort?
In the past I have used the Socratic method to explore the story of Moses and how Moses may have invoked God for the purpose of setting out morality that was much needed at that time, the Ten Commandments. My purpose for reflection on this particular event started as an exploration into what constitutes God, and one of the biggest questions in that exploration was whether or not God existed if Moses had created the stone tablets instead of God. Could not God have inspired Moses, who prayed for this precise help, to take actions on the part of God? Is the love and goodness coming from Moses different from the love and goodness that would come from God? Is God more about the love and kindness itself, as opposed to the entity and imaginations around what God might be? These questions go on and on, but you get the point.
But there is another reason to explore the story of Moses, and that has to do with a question that I believe cannot get answered in a satisfying manner. What gives Moses, or any human, the right to act on behalf of God? What gives any human the right to make decisions for the rest of humanity? Because these questions cannot get answered easily, if at all, many changes in human morality have God as the source. I say many because humans have also acted on their own and without God as a source.
I am currently reading Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky and have reached the part of the story where the main protagonist, Raskolnikov, is arguing in favor of the idea that there are two types of humans, ordinary and extraordinary. In Raskolnikov’s argument an extraordinary human has the right to ignore morality created for ordinary humans because an extraordinary human can create better living conditions, and perhaps better morality, for many more humans than might be killed or hurt by the actions that extraordinary human takes. This is a very bad paraphrasing of the story but you get the point. Both Moses and Raskolnikov have good intentions, they want humans to evolve, to have better living conditions, and a better quality of life. Both have found a way for more rapid moral evolution, one using God and the other using extraordinary humans.
When you look at human history you can see that both God and extraordinary humans have in fact done things ordinary humans are not allowed to do. This is happening right now, although we are not so transparent and honest as to set it out plainly, so most people do not pay much attention to the dynamic. Nevertheless, that dynamic is irrefutable in human evolution and behavior. So, is it necessary? Or do we have the right and ability as humans, each of us, to participate in the evolution of our morality? And do we need to worry about morality at all?
Hard as it is to believe, there are humans that feel completely fine with ninety percent of their fellow humans dying off. Maybe that is the best way for all future humans to thrive? These are disturbing questions and most of us find no great purpose in considering them, but I think there is great value in doing just that. I believe it is worthwhile to encourage more people to become aware of these questions, and to weigh in. So I am going to write a book. I think we have reached a point in our species evolution in which a far greater percentage of the population must get involved in exactly this type of thinking, pondering, exploration, and discovery. We can no longer rely on God for human compliance because a growing percentage of our species no longer believes in God, at least not to the extent to which they will behave under whatever rules God purportedly sets out. To me, this means our species must find reasons to behave morally, in a way that honors all others, within themselves and for the benefit of our species living today and into the future.
Again, why should any individual care too much about this? I struggle greatly with this question. With an expanded sense of consciousness it is possible to see that the survival of humans is near meaningless in the context of an infinite and eternal universe or existence, but still? And it does seem to me that there is a force working toward keeping humans around, helping us to evolve, is that true? And if that force is God and simply unexplainable or incomprehensible should we listen only after we understand and can prove its existence? If it turns out that God has no personality or particular sentiment familiar to humans will that cause rejection of God by humanity? What if there is no God but the very act of collective human desire and care and movement in the manner in which we imagine God would have us behave is all we have? Could that common movement become God, or is it God?
But the book cannot center solely around God. I do not think it can, there must be more to the book? Well, yes, I think there is much more to the book. I think it is important for each of us to become more aware of how beliefs form our reality and that we have the power to change that reality by changing our beliefs. I think it is also important to understand feelings and how they work to create or support beliefs, how they are energetic in nature and shift our bodies biophysically one way or another. I think it is important for more people to become more aware that they have far greater control of how they perceive their existence and far greater ability to shift the future of humanity. Yes, I do believe these things.
Next week I will attempt an outline with the intention of sorting out where major topics should go. The order is important for many reasons. This is not a history book so we do not want to spend too much time relating or debating historical events, but some historical context is important. So too are the topics having to do with the formation of beliefs, how feelings motivate and guide human behavior, and the value of having a higher power, even one created by humans. But I also do want to dive into the unknown and what help may exist within that vast plane of existence.