Tuesday, February 23, 2016

What's the Point?

Human minds evolved to create cultures.  These force individuals to make choices consistent with the moral vision embedded in that culture.  The outcome?  Teamwork, which allows us to reach goals otherwise unattainable.  Find details and documentation here --  https://www.routledge.com/products/9781598746785.

This blog explores implications of this finding for understanding ourselves and the world in which we live.  Like --

  • all human behavior comes from cultures, not "free will" or "rational choice" neither of which our minds allow.
  • different cultural assumptions produce different cultures.
  • cultural assumptions create moral visions that apply to specific behavioral domains.
  • all of us participate in many behavioral domains, so all of us participate in many cultures.
  • because cultures direct the course of human affairs, your cultures will take you to their destinations whether you like it or not.
  • if you want to reach a specific destination, you must pick the right culture; if you follow the dictates of another culture, you must change cultures or you'll end up at a destination you may not like.
  • all conflicts originate in conflicting cultural assumptions.
In short, cultures consist of a series of things that exist only by assumption and the moral vision implicit in those assumptions, which via evolved cognitive biases our minds tell us to do what we should and not what we shouldn't.  Nothing happens unless there's a culture to do it.  If you want to understand the origins of morality, how and under which conditions we treat each other well or exploit or kill our neighbor or family member, resolve conflict, heal from the traumatic stress that will otherwise kill us -- or merely puzzle out some of the confusions that permeate our world -- you must start with a critical analysis of the cultures that bear on specific concerns.   

This blog focuses on two practical issues.  

First, because human minds evolved to speculate about material experience, all human knowledge rests on assumptions.  Because assumptions, by definition, can't be proved, all human knowledge contains flaws.  The search for flaws created what we now call "science."
We will introduce and illustrate methods that allow us to effectively identify these flaws.

Second, because all conflicts and controversies rest on different assumptions, we will introduce and illustrate methods that allow you to identify cultural assumption differences and analyze their implications.

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