Updated: Feb 26
Never before has
the future for our species looked so grim and promising at the same time.
Inevitably times have changed and we should now consider a 'new ethics' to be a guide for an interconnected , interdependent group; a guide that respects the joint origin
s of all species and their united concerns as linked through a shared environment.
We live in an era where we have mapped the genome of a growing number of species and can now modify the way they behave. We can blow up the world with nuclear bombs in an instant of insanity. We know there are only small differences made in the genome to determine whether it will be a chimpanzee or a human or even an ant.
If anything Covid has also made us stop and think, what is life and how should we live. Are there perhaps alternative ways to the aspirations of making lots of money and balance government budgets?
We now also have to evolve the definitions of all the terms, as we better understand the interplay between our genetics and a dynamic environment and perhaps soon create an unageing superhuman. Any definition related to ethics should allow for both co-evolving values and pragmatic ideas, as an interdependent biounit. RNA and DNA coding sets some rule in its elementary form. The sapient brain and its primitive precursors are interconnected products of a similar recognition system and all we have at our disposal to figure all this out. This was all discussed in Spheres of Perception (2020).
Once such recognition takes place, we can use it to judge (value) and then interconnect progressive knowledge. Changing ideas can emanate from this process and be tested against the experience of the evolutionary drive in a falsifiable manner—constantly refining our search for a better world. The definition of ‘better world’ in turn simultaneously changes all the time, intricately connected to an evolving perception of these changes. As we now know, this process mirrors that of the pliable and mobile DNA, the so called non-decoding DNA, always on standby. We can perhaps claim that there can be no fixed values, unbendable genetic blueprints, unfalsifiable theories, or concrete ideas in a perceptive evolution where everything is interdependent and based on progressive experiences and new knowledge. This interdependency is also what advances this complexity in both our genomes and thinking.
Even then, at the very best, this system will only provide temporary values about value; or ‘what-is’s and ‘what-ought-to-be’s in a state of constant change and correction. Likewise, genetic coding (life) cannot be based on anti-realism or reductionism. And neither can it be void of some form of adaptable conduct (ethic) and subject only to a 'blind' natural selection driven by a static blueprint. Gaining support of the genetic code acting not only as a moral code but interconnected to an evolutionary cognition recently gained support as perhaps a prerequisite for making sense of an expansive evolution. Acknowledgment of such a code is imperative for our future evolutionary succe
ss and shelters us from the damaging effects of fixed ideas, external dogma, reductionism, and false belief systems — all these misdirecting our inevitable universal evolutionary understanding and morality.
We simply cannot relate to an evolution without a valuation system exposed to constant change, as part of an interconnected ongoing progressive recognition system behaving ‘morally’ on all levels of its network. This should be interpreted as much more than occasional mechanical adaptations or freak mutations befitting environmental demands, but as an active continuous perceptive transformation. We now see it as an amalgama- tion of valuation systems, functioning on various levels, from atoms to cells, organs, and organisms. Each of these immensely interconnected ‘percep
tive mechanisms’ (regardless of it being an atom, cell, or higher mammal) operates within a network of ‘ethical’ demands. We shall at times refer to the objective individual (regardless of who or what) as a in this text—with a constantly formulating values and ideas about b while b is concurrently valuing, interacting, and formulating ideas about a. All as part of a complex network. No idea or concept can ever be more than a temporary idea of an ‘experienced a’ about b, or an experienced b about a—synchronously entrapped in continuous and evolving change. This constant interaction between a and b, regardless of whether b is change in an environment or another person or object, while all are simultaneously evolving, is not only vital to drive evo- lution, but also, as a perceptive living network, is our only protection a
gainst a fraudulent epistemology—the integrity of this network the key to our ongoing survival. It is here, with such delicate interactions, that our morality is persistently co-evolving with our perception, both internally and externally. We now have a more equitable, complete, and updated version of evolution. Evolution can now be known as a highly interconnected perceptive living-system, following progressive principled rules. Seen as a pliable flow of ‘ideas and values’ collaborating with constantly changing environments, it is a continually changing set of ideas about ideas (or values about value) that adjust to a group’s interconnected concerns. Such a more considerate and collaborative evolution is not only more comprehensive and more adaptable, but also simultaneously re-invents itself as it evolves in both intelligence and complexity as a progressive living network. Another flaw of the old model of evolution was the emphasis on ‘Darwinian success,’ a goal measured by reproductive successes that was key to the survival of the fittest. Now updated, production and survival are seen as mere methods employed to continue the propaga- tion of innovative ideas in an interconnected perceptive network, with genes and organisms as implements, not ends in themselves. The em- phasis has shifted. A new evolution is revealed as goal-directed in ad- vancing a progressive perceptive network, rather than the reproduction of specific bits of genetic matter, fighting with each other for survival. Clearly this paradigm shift also places more emphasis on coexistence and renewed focus on better understanding these principled interac- tions and their operations within their networks. On all levels more is needed to explain how complexity appears to simultaneously evolve. We need to grasp what evolution still has to teach us, so we too can successfully evolve. The three spheres of reasoning introduced in this book represent a practical new way of thinking about reasoning. It is a method that will clarify how we perceive reality, and thus help us achieve humanity’s potential. There are three main qualities of the human brain we can enhance by employing three spheres of reaso
ning: 1. Pragmatic thinking—so that our creative ideas can better achieve the results we intend 2. Resilience against manipulation—so that we will be less vulnerable to advertising, pseudoscience, and rigid reductionism 3. Greater adaptability and pliancy—so that our minds will better adapt to changing conditions and better incorporate new information into our understanding of reality. Together these abilities can help us to avoid getting stuck in old thinking or blocked from finding a clear forward path. These three spheres interact in unison as the Physical sphere of reasoning (PSR), Logical sphere of reasoning (LS
R), and the abstract yet vital Metaphysical sphere (MS). *** The Physical sphere of reasoning (PSR) is where we contain the verifiable, workable ideas about our physical world. This is where an empirical science mostly operates, for example by finding and eliminating errors. It is a sphere of physical realities, functional theories, and applicable mathematical equations. It delivers pragmatic results: rockets that send humans to the moon, surgeries that heal, skyscrapers, the Internet. An important feature of the Physical sphere of reasoning is its dependency on what, who, when, and where you are. Imagine the Physical sphere of Columbus compared to that of the average human today. The security provided by the high bar of entry into this sphere also makes it difficult (though not impossible) for false ideas or mani
pulated evidence to creep in. Yet another important feature is that the ideas in this sphere are constantly being adjusted and adapted as new knowledge enters it. Nothing is permanent. For example, Newton’s laws of physics had to adapt to the arrival of quantum mechanics. The virtue of this lack of permanence is that it allows for progress—the evolution of knowledge. In this way, the PSR mirrors the principles of evolutionary biology, as our genes themselves evolve from generation to generation. Guided by both internal and external principles, the PSR constantly interacts with the much less certain Logical and Metaphysical spheres. The Logical sphere of reasoning (LSR) is the sphere where ideas are considered and evaluated to determine whether or not they c
an be placed within the Physical sphere of reasoning. This sphere is where hypotheses are tested. Although full of uncertainty and doubt, this sphere relies on sound logic, scientific methodology, and reliable perceptions in order to arrive at valid conclusions. Due to the uncertainty of the concepts being evaluated in this sphere, there is always the possibility that personal biases, deliberate manipulation, or simple lack of information might lead us into error. Therefore we have to be careful to only hold tentatively any ideas that are in this space. Here’s a simple example: If we see an apple on the table, we can pick it up, taste it even, and thus verify it is an apple. So, it belongs in the Physical sphere. But if we imagine there might be an apple waiting for us on our desk at work, where we left it last night, we can’t know it for certain (someone may have eaten it). So that idea of an apple that we only contemplate rests in the
Logical sphere. Other ideas in the Logical sphere include the possibility of microbial life on other planets, or the health benefits of certain traditional medicines that have not been rigorously tested. It also includes new ideas in subatomic physics, predictions about the stock market, and most other economic predictions. And it would include unscientific but still potentially testable ideas—conspiracy theories, the existence of fairies, heaven and hell, even God. We can perhaps see why our current thinking is often in turmoil: because we fail to clearly distinguish between ideas that have been val- idated, and those we hold due to belief. When our beliefs conflict with the facts about reality, all too often we choose the familiar over the rational. The desire to impose our personalized beliefs on others has been the cause of much human conflict and suffering. But there could be great social utility to this distinction between spheres: That which is in the Physical sphere has been thoroughly tested, and so those ideas become a common ground that people can agree is true. Clarifying difference between the spheres can give each person a better possibility of recognizing an error of reasoning, and adjusting their understanding to better fit the facts. ***
The Metaphysical sphere can also be called the sphere of the unknown. It includes the whole great realm of existence that humanity has not yet contemplated, explored, or discovered. Meta-physical literally means ‘beyond the physical,’ and so we can take it to mean that which is beyond the Physical sphere of reasoning. In this sphere lie our future discoveries and unthought-of experiences. Since we have not yet thought what is in this sphere, we can’t really call it a sphere of reason. Yet the ideas we generate about the Metaphysical are vital to humanity. As George Bernard Shaw wrote: “Some men see things as they are and say, why? I dream things that never were and say, why not?” By contemplating the Metaphysical, we create, invent, i
magine, and conceive new thoughts. One advantage of including the Metaphysical as a sphere is to es- cape from reductionism. A reductionist mindset asserts that only the physical exists. If something can’t be tested and validated by science, it can’t be considered real. But such an approach can easily also be responsible for clouding our imagination and hampering progress. Just as we are developing a new understanding of a perceptive evolution, so too our own ideas about reality are constantly evolving. The Meta- physical forms the substrate from which these new ideas come into our minds. It gives us mental material with which to think new thoughts and stimulates our mental evolution—most vitally in response to new challenges in our human environment. In this way, the Metaphysical can be seen, like the other two spheres, as an actively evo
lving sphere, wherein the previously unperceived is turned into the newly perceived. There are endless unknown answers, unimagined and unformulated questions out there in this Metaphysical sphere of our existence. This vital sphere interconnects and interacts with the other two spheres, and we simply cannot evolve a sound epistemology without it. To further clarify: The idea of a Higgs boson particle used to belong in the Metaphysical sphere (MS)—an unthought-of unknown, until Peter Higgs thought of it. As soon as he thought of it, the new idea shifted to the Logical sphere of reasoning (LSR), where it was studied, debated, and tested. As soon as it was validated, the idea moved to the Physical sphere of reasoning (PSR), where it is now taught in physics classes as a fact ab
out the world. However, as the realm of subatomic physics so well demonstrates, just because an idea is in the Physical sphere today doesn’t mean the idea might not be sent back to the LSR tomorrow as new evidence comes into our awareness—or entire new paradigms. So even the Physical space of our knowledge remains unfixed, and constantly adjusts to new information. This is essential if it—and we— are to continue to evolve and adapt.
The significant adjustments that scientists now witness in our genome, interlinked and continuously interacting with our epigenome and environment, also reemphasize the importance of the yet unimagined in a rapidly evolving world, where we all need to adjust to a progressive science.
Perhaps it's time for us to now make an effort to understand.