Today I won life. Like all good games, you want to keep playing after you "win," and so the game becomes a series of victories, but today was clearly game point to the Good guys in the old tennis match of Humanism versus Christianity. The score stands, as it has for some time, at Humanism - 1,343,789,021, Christianity - ∞ .
I've been working for about a month on energy and economics. It seemed to me that there the problem lies, and that if we could solve the problems of energy and economics - the gathering of energy and the distribution of energy benefits - we could cinch the whole thing up tight! No one is hungry - no one wants - all is available - all is well.
Of course, to put that together, every human being would have to contribute to energy gathering and energy distribution - a sort of communism, if you will. Which happens to require universal participation.
This typically initiates my "gnash" reflex, but for some reason today...I just realized that it isn't going to work. All the effort and expense and Brownian motion of mankind - it's not efficient enough. The goal of humanism, futurism, communism, etc., is a closed system. The perpetual motion machine, perfectly efficient. And all these little "ism"s claim to be a path to a Perpetual Motion Mankind, provided everyone pulls together and puts their back into it.
Ben Bova, in his book Mars, talks about thermodynamics in a lovely homespun way. "You can't win, you can't break even, and you can't get out of the game." And where two or three humans are gathered for any reason, there is disagreement. Which then magnifies into dischord and strife. War. So, all the isms are fundamentally flawed - too much grit in the works, too much friction in the universe.
What we need, then, I reasoned, is something to believe in, a solution, which doesn't require universal human participation. Something that get us through the grinding ill, but doesn't need everyone's signature.
I started off pointing to religions in general - the Barkeep most rightly pointed out that Judaism and Islam may be exempted, the one promising reward only to a chosen people, the other's utopia requiring the religious conquest of the world. But, of the big five, Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism all have that vast uncaring about what others do.
In essence, as I told the Barkeep, I needed to remind myself that I was a Christian first and a humanist second. I have a lot of good humanist stuff - I like what we're about. But Christ is the centre. There can be no other path.
So, Sugarbutt! That for your futurism! Let's watch, and see who wins.
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