It's a lot like this pandemic. I read the news, and it conjures images in my head from every pandemic movie ever. Cars abandoned in the street. Trash everywhere. Society reduced to tribalism. Then I go outside to see that the sun is shining and everything appears somewhat normal except people are wearing masks.
Media of the past like Star Trek inspired us that our future was hopeful.
There is also media which tends to look at an idealized past and a longing to go back to it. Though I love his world, Tolkien is an example here.
These general narratives show up in a ton of the media we consume and shape our view of the world. Sometimes for the negative and sometimes for the positive.
I posit that they shape our real-world direction more than we suspect. We've lost our vision of the future so what's next is bleak because we make it so.
We must first have a strong, positive narrative of the future in order for that future to follow.
This is not a world I’d like to leave behind for my kids. I’m not sure there is much I can do though.
This does not compute. In the old paradigm we were at the center of the universe with the creator's undivided attention, and answerable to Him after life, with eternal bliss or torture on the table. In the new one we're trivial beings on a trivial dust mote in a trivial galaxy, answerable to ourselves only, and death is the end. Those stakes seem vastly lower. How does that translate into more responsibility for our actions?
The conclusion does not derive from the premise... I can care about existing in a hedonistic way and then responsibility in no way derives from my caring about existing. I’ll just do whatever I want to do and get the most pleasure possible while I exist, with nary a worry.
Unless you mean “we” as in “all of humanity” and “existing” as in “humanity surviving”, but then I don’t see why we should assume this premise to hold. Most people don’t have the energy to care about the survival of their entire species, there are enough problems to deal with in an individual’s life.
Prosocial behavior is also selfish to the extent that encourages the same in others and accrues the corresponding comforts to you.
I'm talking about myself only. I can act purely self-maximizing and reap the gains while society pays the cost (an externality). I can feign kindness etc to extract the prosocial benefit to myself when it's required. I am a small fish in a big pond, I can take take take from society without fundamentally altering the way society treats me.
If I am a psychopath why should I not act in this manner?
The vast majority of people aren’t psychopaths though because evolution selected for traits like the capacity for empathy and remorse over amorality. These act as natural checks on antisocial behavior because it’s generally miserable to live in counter to these impulses, although humans have developed many clever means for overriding them (e.g. certain drugs, like amphetamines, and various violent or cult-like ideologies).
Of course if you didn’t care, there are a lot of other answers to why you should strive not to harm others but ultimately if it’s the thing you most want to do and you don’t care about the consequences that’s not really different whether there’s a god or not, is it?
I have an opportunity to steal money without getting caught. Why wouldn't I do it? If there's a hell then sure I can understand (it would become self maximizing to be legitimately good), otherwise why wouldn't I?
I can feign responsibility and make the right moves to get want I want. Again, I can be ruthlessly self-maximizing.
If you’re an utter psychopath who will always maximize benefit to themselves, then I don’t quite understand why you care about hell. It’s pretty easy to construct hypotheticals under which ethics are void, but I don’t think they tell us a lot about how we should live our lives as non-psychopaths with a sense of self-preservation.
You are right about the escape clause in Christianity. What I would say is that a nonzero chance of hell is more of a deterrent than a zero chance of hell.
the issue is, there is a mountain of marginalized evidence and experience suggesting we are not in a materialistic universe.
when we behave in accordance with materialism, we create suffering.
there is no logic to refute your argument at its face.
what we should doubt is the premise of the reality of materialism.
i understand my message may not come across clearly
No such thing as judeo-christian scripture. Who created this term?
Edit: Instead of downvoting, why name this judeo-christian scripture so I may read it?
If the universe could continue, it's our responsibility to keep it making aim - in our understanding. That is, if we destroy ourselves, then the rest of history wouldn't make sense from our point of view.
Still, the new paradigm isn’t that we’re answerable only to ourselves but that we are the powers that be and there is no way to roll back the transaction.
Every minute, the bacterium reproduces, eats, and reproduces again.
At minute 58, there's 75% of the test tube left.
At minute 59, there's 50% of the test tube left.
At minute 60, the food is gone and the test tube is filled with a horde of starving bacteria.
“ In the ancient mythologies you will not find the idea of a physical universe continuing, in its independent vastness, after the annihilation of humans. “
If humans are the observers that collapse the wave function, then it’s possible nothing exists after humans are gone ;)
We understand so much more about the universe and yet our ability to predict the future is almost nil.
We are very bad at predicting the implications of an event that has not happened yet.
We can predict global warming because it is already occuring and what we're doing is not much more advanced than a glorified linear extrapolation.
What is important is the consequences, on ecosystems, on agriculture, on all the interconnected systems.
We can only predict reliably that global warming might be a perturbation.
But we can't predict the reliable consequences of far simpler events.
What do we know about the next mega volcanic eruption or large solar flare?
As I understand naive, it's a relative term - comparing to something which is considered more mature, reasonable etc. which - and that's important - can be presented as an antitheses. If something different, which is "better", can't be presented, then "naive" becomes "best", which definitely changes the meaning to the degree of non-applicability.
Actually, this has been a fairly widespread theme in most civilizations.
"With Covid-19 afflicting the world, and a climate crisis looming, humanity’s future seems uncertain."
Oh dear. It is only in the last couple of months that I have begun to grasp that our very fundamental human rights and freedoms may cease to exist forever.
We are a long way away from that. People are living their lives as if it's only theirs that matter - while still having kids. The cognitive dissonance is quite impressive.
I'd welcome the establishment of an annihilation watch that monitored the world for extinction level dangers. They could then rate, classify them and have governments take action.
This suggests you have a Malthusian worldview which is not backed by evidence.
Please check http://gapminder.org/ - I highly recommend taking https://forms.gapminder.org/s3/test-2018 and see how much you actually know. The population growth of the humanity is a consequence of the societies transitioning out of the poverty:
and the only morally justified answer is to continue and accelerate this transition.
I don't believe the world is "overpopulated", but I also don't believe that falling below the replacement rate is a negative thing. We were fewer before and we can be fewer again.
How do you expect people to take responsibility for the planet's health when so many cannot even stop themselves from harming themselves?
Are they? Birth rates are below replacement everywhere outside of handful of places like Afghanistan. Even with lots of immigration the US faces a Japanese style demographic crisis.
Large populations may be a big problem but shrinking them through low birthrates definitely causes its own problems. The workers-per-retiree is going to fall from 3 today to 2 by 2030. That's a 50% increased retirement tax burden.
What about all the ancient world religions who wrote books about how the world was going to end one day and everyone is going to die? Surely eschatology already covers this topic, albeit in a manner lacking the citations and p-values which "truth" requires these days.