The increasing fragmentation of society and human consciousness
I just read a few of the newer threads. As always there are a bunch of political threads calling out the hypocrisy of their opponents. Regardless
of how right they are, they never seem to accomplish much. I had a thought and a feeling –one which I have had many times before. A feeling that the
world is constantly getting more fragmented in every possible way. I find this quite logical, when I consider the huge increase we've had in world
population and in collective knowledge. But I find it very worrisome that people are having such a hard time getting a long, agreeing and even
agreeing on how to agree.
All people follow their own understanding of the world – naturally. Even mentally unstable people justify their actions in their own minds. And
generally our perceptions of the world around may vary a lot, even from neighbor to neighbor.
But we bunch together in groups with other people who agree on how to agree. Some follow a political system or ideology, some follow philosophical
ideas, some follow religious scripture and dogmas, some use scientific methods and some might use a combination of several of the above. I might have
left out a segment, but I hope you get the general concept.
There is however also a lot of static or noise on the lines, fragmenting these groups and their messages into even smaller groups. There is gender,
nationality, culture, race, fashion, sports, music, products, sexual orientation, occupation, education and so on - And within each of these there are
another billion subsets.
I call it static because I believe it is of no significant importance to our lives, but yet it forces us to divide into smaller groups, usually
because of history.
Let me give you an example. Your life won’t significantly change for better or for worse if this year’s fashion color is orange – nor will it
change significantly if your favorite sports team wins or loses, and yet people act like these events are of great importance. They plan their lives
around them, and bunch together with other people who agree – and those who don’t are often excluded.
But in my opinion it is in the interest of a society to create consensus between its populous. I think the world would be more efficient if less
But how do we create consensus(?) - For that we will have to return to the different groups, who agree on how to agree.
are very rigid and hard to move. I have always been a firm believer in never doing anything half way, and I
do follow a few ideologies myself. But they rarely ever create a consensus, and they more often than not excluded entire segments any given
population. Which is why I think people should refrain from defining themselves through political ideologies.
is wonderful. Like exercise for the brain. However, it often raises more questions than it answer and the answers it
does give are often abstract and rarely significant. But when it is, philosophy can be a great contributor to society.
. Religion is the great creator of consensuses, and the great divider. The time where I believe most people agreed on
earth were when we were the most religious. But unfortunately religion is also very rigid, and seldom has much room for improvement. Religion has
contributed a lot to society and has helped create a framework for how humans interact with each other, celebrate, grief and so on. I see many values
in religion, but also many dangers, which is why I would not recommend as a system for creating consensus, but rather as an inspiration or perhaps a
foundation on which to build.
Ah yes. As you might already have guessed this is the method I would suggest for all to have in their toolbox. But
let’s start with the downsides to science - it isn't flawless. There are a lot of politics in science, and scientific progress if often driven by
unscientific interest. It ain't always right, sometimes it is clueless and it can be used to harm others in previously unimaginable ways.
But science is self-correcting. Even though it may not always be right, it does have the best statistical probabilities of being right of any system.
The concept of science builds on the ability to calculate and predict events before they happen – and the better we understand something, the better
we can predict it. The more variables we become aware of, the more precise our predictions will become. The scientific progress happens through
peer-review which is both efficient and unbiased.
It is not exclusive nor holistic, but impartial. It doesn't tell you what is right or what is wrong, just how things are. For you to know what is
right or what is wrong, you must know what you want. If you want to save the world, you can use science to work out the most efficient way, or you can
calculate how efficient your attempts have been – equally if you wanted to destroy the world, you could do the same. But in matters of understanding
it is supreme.
So – these are my thoughts. It’s a bit all over the place. I might want to add more in a little while. I’d love to hear your thoughts, both if
you agree and if you disagree.
Do you think it is important to create consensus, or do you think it is a positive thing that society is becoming more diverse? Do you agree with my
choice of system? Do you feel I have misrepresented any of the groups I mention?
Please let me know.
Hope it made sense. Hope you enjoyed it, and maybe even learned something.
In case anyone should wonder. I am an atheist. I am a skeptic. I believe science is the best tool we have in building a better world – but I do
think there is a lot to be learned from both philosophy and religion – and I think politicians should fill their pockets with pebbles and go jump of
edit on 06/06/12 by Mads1987 because: (no reason given)