Premises for a Healthier World?

An attempt to determine some basic assumptions that provide foundations for cooperation among humankind.

1. "Reality" is a subjective perception. It is not fully accessible. There is no one accessible true reality. Humans are limited to using their own perceptual abilities, and these are, by nature, specific to that human. They are necessarily, then, limited, biased, conditioned by education and subject to great misunderstanding.

2. Due to the subjectivity of all human perceptions, it is remarkable that we agree upon almost anything. However, it turns out that we have many common general  interests. Among them are the desire for a “good life” of some sort, the desire to be loved and/or respected,  a desire for family of some sort, and usually a desire to contribute something to our community or culture. These may manifest in a variety of forms.

3. We are social animals. We are interdependent by design or nature, needing others in order to achieve more complex goals. While a few of us may be able to survive off the land … most need, and see the value of, a life with higher goals than survival … hence … we learn we must interact with others in mutually beneficial ways. In short, we learn that we need help to do many things and that we need to help others if we hope to be helped ourselves.

4. Expanding in scale from the simple perceptions one, two and three … we may see that all people depend on one another … that all people have subjective perceptions of Reality, that all people must interact with one another in mutually supportive fashion so that all people may have at least a modest chance for a comfortable life and general happiness.  

5. Recognizing that reality is and can only be perceived in a subjective manner, we necessarily have to give up the notion that OUR REALITY IS REALITY. Our reality is an image we create in our minds, highly colored by our experience, early and ongoing education (informal as important as formal), the zeitgeist of our culture, our specific immediate interests, long-range goals, etc. Comprehending this deeply, we can leave off with the age old effort to try to get everyone to believe exactly what we do, see exactly what we see and admit that our version of reality is THE TRUTH. It cannot happen, will not happen and world wars are the extension of this ridiculous mission to get people to submit to MY PERCEPTION AND TO MY VIEW OF WHAT SHOULD BE!

6. Rather, time is productively spent finding ways where your perception and mine are compatible, where yours might enhance or extend mine and vice versa, where I can learn from you and you from me. We may look for ways where we can support one another, focusing more on what we have in common than on what divides us. Importantly, accepting that we are different instead of trying to force everyone into our pattern… we can come to appreciate the diversity, and find ways in which all the variations of human manifestations can co-exist in healthy, mutually sustaining, creative and productive ways.

I think the six premises listed provide a basis for individual, small group and macro scale interactions, if understood, adopted and maintained.  What would be your handful of operative premises for a better planet, for better relationships? What do you think of these six?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Michael McClusky September 29, 2012 at 02:29 AM
@Brian Carlson I am an ex-Republican, but I can tell you this: there is a social virus out there that is destroying peoples' lives by the millions. It is this insane desire by some powerful people to forever sit on a mountain of astronomical wealth and forever want that mountain to grow regardless of the consequences. The worldwide repurcussions of this is self-evident. Unless this virus dies, I see no great improvement on the world stage.
Luke September 29, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Feyerabend was sort of an anarchist philosopher of science. I heard he is a good read while smoking weed. But since I've never smoked weed, I tried to like him anyhow.
Brian Carlson September 29, 2012 at 03:54 AM
Michael M... I have to agree that the discrepancy between the extremely wealthy and billions of poor is a blight, a travesty and one of the great problems that face us.
GearHead September 29, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Brian, just because we rarely agree doesn't make me a bad guy. Someday an adult beverage is in order. I'm an omnivor that way, but guessing Lyle is into white wine. All good!
Brian Carlson September 29, 2012 at 11:09 PM
GH, you are on.


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