Towards Better Democracy

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The Post Scientific Age


The Post Scientific Age

The human species has always exhibited a hubris, enamoured of their gifts and abilities that appear to make us so superior to any other form of life on the planet which we, with them, inhabit. Our hubris extents to our making ourselves in the image of the gods we create and have created back into our deep past.

To be fair, those earlier gods and the mythology we created associated with them was, and is, an expression of the awareness of there being powers far beyond us, far beyond who we are and what we are.

As a corollary to that, we posited, and still posit, the existence of life after death. The view held by many throughout our history right up to the present, is that our lives, as living beings in this world, constitute an existence whose purpose is to prepare for that afterlife. This has been interpreted differently at various points of time and geography, But is a universal. Those who see themselves as godless are mistaken.

With the rise of science and subsequently technology as disciplines in the sixteenth century that hubris has magnified to the point where we imagine that we can know everything and do anything. Our efforts in this direction know no bounds. We have spend vast amounts of money, and effort, as witnessed by the space program to place men on the moon, have built machines like the Large Hadron Collider, have huge qualities of scientists whose sole purpose is to endlessly, extend the bounds of our knowledge and, hopefully, our understanding of the phenomena of which we are aware. Or think we are.

There appear at present to us that there are no limits to what we think we are capable of.

But there are.

Reading Peter Watkins book, Galleos Finger, and impressed what he says, a confirmation was made of thoughts and awarenesses I have always had; that we are bound, that there are limits. We are bound by the space in which we occupy, by gravity and time, and by forces of which we are barely aware. And the fact that we cannot be divorced from the planet on which we live. We need food, water and air in order to survive. In addition, we need some form of protection. Those limits are finite.

As we look out from our planet what we see seems infinite. When we look down through the mechanisms that constitutes the matter and substances of existence, that, too, seems endless. That uncovering one level, no matter how small, has yet another level below that, and so on, ad infinitum.

We posit a Theory of Everything. This is nonsense. We can never propose such a theory for we do not know what everything is. And life is not based on theories. We imagine that we can grasp and hold all knowledge, to understand the totality of existence. This too is nonsense. The Post Scientific Age is that age where we come to acknowledge these truths. The Post Scientif Age emerges as we come to build and share this awareness.

At present we have come to inhabit a world, self created, which is abstract. Whose links, connections, to reality becomes more and divorced from it. The world, that Everything, is not abstract, however invisible some forces seem: weak gravity, etc. Reality is real. That is what the world means. At present we are losing our sense of reality. The sense that we cannot continue as we are presently doing.

Each age, Enlightenment, Renaissance, Scientific, Post Colonial (so called) we ourselves have created. They have emerged from our continually developing awareness and efforts that stem directly from those awarenesses.

But we are sentient beings. The abstract does not constitute the whole of us. What we lack at present is a fuller sense of our humanity in all the dimensions which this might, or does, take.

The centrality of this, this humanity, is humility. An acceptance that we are part of a larger whole, that we coinhabit, we share this home of ours with much else besides ourselves. Such a view, such developing awarenesses do not constitute nihilism as generally understood but an acceptance of a greater reality.

At present, we do not recognise this fact. That there are limits to who and what we are, and what we are capable of, of what we currently think we are capable of.

We are, in fact, in denial of them.

In essence we, for the time being, behave as if we were a disease, a plague, a pandemic upon the planet, our house, our home, heedless of the destruction we wreak.

We are not at peace with ourselves. This relentless manic drive that has us rush ever onwards is a pathology out of sync with life itself. We are a very sick species. Will we recognise this and seek a cure?

In reading this, and those many who will not admit for now the situation , but were to, many will scoff. The man, the writer, speaks, writes, nonsense. Here itself is the denial I speak of. Denial itself is a sickness as any medical person will tell you. Denial makes for unhealthy individuals and peoples. Unless reverted leads to a breakdown and a serious diminishment of the individual ability to function. So, should we as a species continue in our present course will likewise breakdown, lose functionality as generally understood.

This not to say that I am any better than any other, any of you.  I am not. I do not seek to make false claims. Not would I seek to be a self appointed prophet.

Yet what I say is prophetic. It springs from an awareness of where we are headed and the dreadful results that will accrue should we, the larger part, or whole, of humanity, come to share this realisation, each their own way. To become responsible beings in all the senses that that word contains.

Perhaps that awareness will come with the recognition that we will never know everything, cannot know everything. Such a view is false and, ultimately , is impossible to hold. Should we continue to hold this view, we will mentally breakdown. As a species, we will lose our way, will lose our very will, our awareness and become, like those inhabitants of mental asylums, mad. A planet of full of mad people who lack sense of who they are, where they are, and what they are doing from one moment to the next.

Perhaps though, a body sufficient to draw the attention of others and bring us to our senses will, is, emerging.

This article is titled The Post Scientific Age. This age will be characterised by the simple recognition that we cannot continue as we are doing. That science (and technology) has a place in world, but only a place. That it cannot consume us. That there are sides of life, our lives, our ways of being, which we have long neglected.

Finally, I leave it to the reader, and to those whom they share their views with, to reflect for themselves what this Post Scientific Age may be like, of how it may be. Each reader, if indeed they find any sense contained herein, will reflect and develop their own ideas and comprehension of the impacts of what I speak. They will make these their own. Different from mine, but similar. For surely, we , willy nilly, are entering this new world. This transference to a Post Scientific Age cannot stop. It will simply be, as the Ages before that, including the present, be our world.

Malcolm D B Munro
Friday 21 July, 2017

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Filed under: Arts, Book Review, history, Media, Memoir, politics, stories

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