We are at a time of crisis. Politically, economically, socially. And it is not just the US; the world seems mired in crisis and the present political battles are simply a reflection of this reality.
In his profound work, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Thomas Kuhn noted that crisis is a necessary ingredient for a paradigm shift; that “Failure of existing rules is the prelude to a search for new ones.”
Perhaps it is time to listen to these failures and the crisis’s they generate and to accept a new paradigm that is more in sync with the actual results we witness every day.
But as Kuhn also noted, “A scientific theory is only declared invalid only if an alternative candidate is available to take its place.” For this let me lend a hand.
I believe we are living one of the most profound paradigm shifts the human race has encountered since the scientific revolution. The path we take will determine our futures as Americans, as a species, and will ultimately impact all life on the planet. Whether we like it or not, we truly are the steward of all life on this planet.
This paradigm shift is from an opinion/belief paradigm to a factual paradigm. The hard sciences made this leap centuries ago yet in other areas such as politics, economics and the soft sciences we act as though our very feelings shape and mold reality.
We each are one of over 7 billion. What you or I think is meaningless. It has no effect whatsoever on what is true. We are each part of an unbroken river of life that goes back almost 4 billion years. We are each related, not in some touchy-feely philosophical manner, but truly physically related to all life on the planet.
It is a mind-warping truth. But our individual ease or difficulty in grasping a truth is not a reflection of the nature of the truth but rather ourselves. The mental distance one has to travel from present beliefs to truth is irrelevant.
This is not a Republican or Democrat issue. This is not even a conservative versus liberal issue; though conservatives/libertarians are correct many more times than they are wrong. Those are beliefs from the present paradigm where one can choose what to believe and what to disbelieve. The entire paradigm of conservative/libertarian versus liberal is based on this falsehood.
What is the fundamental basis for this fact-based paradigm? The simple fact that we evolved on this planet; nothing more and nothing less. And please, this fact says nothing about the existence of God.
And with the complete and utter acceptance of this truth, the entire conflict of visions as Thomas Sowell has so clearly written becomes a silly concept. If we are part of this wonderful world then all of its laws apply to our lives. Our visions are immaterial and attention granted them is a waste of time and draws us down false avenues. There are an infinite number of things that aren’t true; we needn’t concern ourselves with them but rather collectively search for the very limited number of things that are.
Since the dawn of humans our political world has been a fight attempting to define the truth (and God). Our efforts should rather be in attempting to discover the truth, not believing we have the power to somehow determine it.
A paradigm shift like this, not a cumulative process built on extension of the old, but rather a complete reconstruction from new fundamentals is what we face today.
Kuhn quotes Herbert Butterfield, author of The Origins of Modern Science who describes it as “picking up the other end of the stick”. A process that involves “handling the same bundle of data as before, but placing them in a new system of relations with one another by giving them a different framework.”
Embrace the fact that we evolved here. Embrace that we are of this world and its rules apply to us. Embrace that this fact leads us to accept an individual freedom and limited government reality. This is not based on some political philosophy but rather that a simple examination of the facts clearly and unequivocally points one in this direction.
This fact changes the entire debate. Let us not waste time championing a liberal or conservative philosophy. Rather let us collectively search for the truth.
We have no right to exist. We have no right to live like we do as either Americans or humans. We ignore reality at our own peril. We either cast aside our childish belief-based paradigm and embrace the truth wherever it may lead, or we will most assuredly be the end of this incredible string of life.
Kuhn also noted once these paradigm shifts are made they “seem very much like tautologies, statements of situations that could not conceivably have been otherwise”. Our acceptance of the fact of evolution and its meaning to our political, economic and social systems will someday be seen as one of these tautologies.
Now we just have to bravely follow wherever these truths lead. This conflict goes far beyond the present political campaign; the future of our species and all life on the planet hinges on the choice we make.