winterene (winterene) wrote,
winterene
winterene

Motivation

Years ago I came up with a purely rational basis for ethics...


http://www.starbuckseverywhere.net/Philosophy.htm

...but, in addition to weaknesses in the composition of the prose itself, my outline has a serious flaw, in that it is based purely in reason, free of emotion. History and science both tell us that reason alone is insufficient to motivate humans; thus, if the goal is to actual change things, something else is needed.

I think I might have something. This will not motivate everybody, but perhaps some people will understand this idea enough to make a commitment to positive change.

According to this article...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimate_fate_of_the_universe

...current thinking is that the universe will continue to expand forever, but that could change, and new evidence might be discovered that points towards an eventual collapse.

There is much greater evidence regarding what will happen to our sun...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_giant#The_Sun_as_a_red_giant

...and based on the current evidence, we have to consider the destruction of the earth as a plausible threat.

Shortening the timeline considerably, there is the possibility of an impact event that will destroy much of the life on earth...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asteroid_impact_avoidance

Finally, there are a series of threats, including global climate change, pollution, and the depletion of the earth's resources, that while not threatening the destruction of the planet itself, do threaten the survival of billions of humans and might necessitate leaving the planet and colonizing the moon, Mars, or other celestial bodies.

For anybody who does not believe that some higher power will save humanity from destruction, it should be clear that all of the aforementioned problems need to be addressed by a greater degree of scientific knowledge and technological capabilities than humans currently possess.

If one accepts that assumption, then one can apply logical thinking to arrive at the conclusion that following the principles that I outline (in the document linked at the top), of minimizing conflict and suffering while maximizing freedom and equality, will serve to accelerate scientific and technological progress.

The greater our level of science and technology, the greater the likelihood that humanity will survive cataclysm on earth, the outright destruction of the earth, or the destruction of the universe. It is possible that a sufficiently advanced technological capability will allow us to either prevent the destruction of the universe or find a way to preserve humanity even after the universe as we know it has ceased to exist.

I hope that this more tangible goal, of survival, will have greater motivational power than pure, abstract, rational thinking.
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