Below is from something I wrote in 2016 titled Prologue. This is presented without changes. When it was written I had not come back to Christianity, backslid for thirty years. Ayn Rand influenced many of my philosophical views, and though I’ve moved beyond some of the core principles asserted in her philosophy, almost all of what it written below is still what I think today. Also, I read it again and would not overuse adjectives to the extent that is in the piece, but for this they won’t be removed either. There was too much to do today for a brand new post.
It is said that someday Robots will take over human beings. To the thinker, this becomes a conflicted view given that the thinker tends to put his mind above all else. But man as the creator of the robot, would have to provide the robot with the ability to think. Has anyone ever been taught to think? Does anyone need to be taught to think? Are there books that literally teach man how to think? Who will teach robots how to think?
Actually, these are loaded questions. Obviously there were times when man could think and times when man could not. But the times when man could not think, societies remained stagnant and superstition made the laws. In a thinking society, morality stands in the way of war, so only powerful individuals or oligarchs tend to start them. What was war like in those times? Can morality exist in a non-thinking society?
What would a non-thinking society look like? Would there be written laws? There would be laws, but they would be made up by those in control. The society would not know the difference between a good law and a bad law, because that would require morality. Can one think logically without morality? Morality is the distinction between right and wrong. What is right and what is wrong? Logic dictates right and wrong, and without logic, there can be no morality. And just as physical laws cannot be broken without consequence, the inability to recognize a physical law then means that laws can be bent, and therefore should not be considered laws (a moral view of law as I see it, and a dilemma in society today).
I believe that a society’s laws are a good indicator of a thinking society. The basis of law needs to be morality. But there is more to morality than just logical right or wrong. There needs to be a universality to this logic. A consequence needs to be applicable to all in fairness. This is not to be confused with an egalitarian view of society, but rather a universal view of right and wrong.
In order for a universal right or wrong to truly exist, every one needs to be able to determine right or wrong. In a non-thinking society that is not possible.
I believe that we need to learn in order to assemble a thought. One can learn by observation, whether we use vision, hearing, smelling, touching, or tasting. Our minds can make a distinction. In philosophy, epistemology is the science of knowing. Human beings can create and deconstruct complex thoughts. So in a thinking society, teachers speed up the process so that a humans can learn thoughts of others.
But does this mean that we are taught equally in society? Humans have the ability to piece together either complete or incomplete thoughts. That means that a human can also question what is learned. Each of us learns bits and pieces of information just through environmental variables that are not equally shared with everyone. In a thinking society, a person can acknowledge when a thought does not make sense. In a thinking world, the individual is recognized.
Learning is the pathway to knowing, however learning can become a pathway to believing, a substitute for knowing and possibly a misdiagnosis of non-thinking.
So far I have described what makes up a thinking society, but a perfect thinking society has never existed. Man is capable of being honest and being dishonest, not only to others but also themselves. We tend to deceive ourselves and others to a certain extent and we also tend to be better than everyone else. With education comes answers to society’s problems. Look up the term “sophomoric” to understand what education can do to a human being. We have created erudites, intellectuals, academics, and so on who seem to know enough to place themselves above others. This comes in the guise of higher education, but only when education as a whole has diminished. The wise man doesn’t necessarily have a degree.
Man’s capacity for learning seems to vary, but environmental phenomena can help or hinder one’s ability to think at the same level as others. We have created a monstrous indicator called the intelligence quotient, or IQ to determine who is smart and dumb. We have also handed out diplomas and degrees to reward those who pay the price and accept the knowledge of others who received diplomas and degrees in a chain of learning that can help or hinder thinking. Perhaps I’m being too cynical in describing the problem, but a society of educated intellectuals do not necessarily mean a society of thinkers.
So a society of believers can be built upon a society that provides everyone with education. The level of this is variable depending on the core education that is received. This is an introduction into a scale that I will use to demonstrate the path that societies and civilizations take from creation to destruction. This is not purely my own observation due to the problems of environmental variables that have hindered my learning ability. In the United States of 2017, there is an abundance of information that bombards the brain and there is not enough time to process that information, especially after living on this planet for fifty-seven years. I can be totally wrong.
So far the philosophical aspects of thinking and the use of education make up two of the pillars of society and one certainly impacts the other. But politics, economics, medicine, science, and technology are also impacted throughout the lifetime of a civilization. There are variables to all of these. And links. The philosophical variable may be the most important. I mentioned epistemology as well as distinguished a separation between knowing and believing. Metaphysics plays a huge part because the ability to think comes directly from this part of philosophy.
Look at it like a scam. How susceptible are you to scams? Knowing what is a scam many times comes from experience. But a society that is high on knowledgeable thinking can make it hard for the scammer. A highly-believing society makes one more gullible to a scammer. People take advantage of this – especially in politics, education, economics, medicine, science, and technology.
I view these variables of society as waves separated by time. The waves exist in a scale. This scale has a high side to represent a society of knowers and I’ll call it “Reason.” The low side of the scale will represent a society of believers and I’ll call that “Religion.” At no time will I use the term religion to represent people who congregate in a faith system. I’ll use “the church of” or “faith” to represent the faith systems. Faith is one of mankind’s basic traits and there is no individual in existence that doesn’t follow a faith system. At no time ever will this change in a society.
There is a time when all of the waves trend downward. That leads to the end of society and thus likely, the civilization. Any danger faced throughout the civilization comes to a head, and it’s likely that total destruction is the result at the very end.
I have thought about how to write this book. I chose to write a tale to demonstrate how fiction and non-fiction books don’t necessarily separate fiction and fact. Providing a story makes use of practical methods to get my theory across to the reader. I hope the reader can use this to see the world we live in today.
Can man create robots that take over humans? Perhaps this cannot be answered.