It occurred to me last night that any philosophy based on speculation is, at it’s most basic foundation, a religion, insofar as it requires faith from the subscriber.
How is Kierkegaard’s existentialism different from Buddha’s Four Noble Truths? Or Nietzsche’s Superman from Jesus Christ, Mohammed, or David? All of these are ideas, the product of a general need to make sense of things.
Our realities are primarily based on speculation and faith. We don’t know very much and it frightens us or we’re blissfully ignorant. I don’t which is worse. I’m often of the frame of mind where I seek & destroy my ignorance. But this is the funny thing about ignorance – you don’t know what you don’t know. You don’t know if what you know is right. You can’t believe anyone. Everything is subjective and most people live by ‘survival of the fittest’, so you had better look out for yourself.
Neo-conservatism, liberalism, fascism, communism – there’s a long list of political philosophies, all of them are based on social control (or lack thereof, laisse-faire!). There are so many ideas to believe in. Yet, experience has shown that none of them actually work. Why? We are inherently uncontrollable. Fear is the only thing that can pacify us.
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Kennedy knew what he was talking about. It was a direct reference to government use of fear (psychological operations) to exert control over populations. Manufactured fear. Fear is the one and only social control which ever really had any historic success, but it doesn’t usually last long and the end is violent for the scare mongerers. When people are frightened for long periods of time, they have a tendency to stockpile anger and there comes a point when a critical mass of people boil over.
So fear doesn’t really work either, but it’s the best of a motley lot!
There are certain things we all agree upon, regardless of where we’re from. It is unpleasant when someone in your family is killed. It is unpleasant when you or someone in your family is maltreated. It is unpleasant when you or someone in your family are robbed. Everything else is open to regional (individual) interpretation.
How do you correct the historical injustices which resulted from killing, beating and stealing? I don’t know.
But there’s another thing to consider. The nucleus does not survive without the sound functioning of the cell. The cell does not survive without the sound functioning of the host organism. The host organism does not survive without the sound functioning of it’s environment.
There is a balance in the Universe. We have to find it and maintain it.