Monday 23 September 2019

Not even trying... not even Wanting to do the right things

When I wrote my 2012 book about the corruption of science, called Not even trying, my main argument was that the root of the problem was that the people who controlled science, the people who called themselves scientists, were Not Even Trying to be truthful and to discover the truth.

Therefore science was inevitably corrupt, in hundreds of ways - simply because it was aimed-at other things than those which science ought primarily to be aimed-at.

This is a very general phenomenon, increasing in strength and prevalence every year. In particular i applies at the societal level - and from there it permeates down to affect all other levels.

The fact is frequently neglected by those hoping for a positive change. If 'people' don't want positive change - where is that change supposed to come from?

Of course, there is a very influential school of thought that says Good can come, does come - and indeed perhaps ought to come - from evil intentions. This began with the Adam Smith-derived idea of free markets and free trade, whereby the selfishness and short-termism of actors in the 'marketplace' is supposed to yield long term group-benefit. Although Smith argued this only within a strongly Christian moral context, which was assumed.

Then came Darwin; who metaphysical idea of evolution by natural selection did not require any larger moral context; but asserted that the more complex and the higher, the more altruistic and the longer-term; could arise from purely short-termist selfish competition between reproducing entities - so long as reproductively-successful traits were inherited.

This idea permeated society generally, including science; so that it is assumed that it is The System which is moral, and not the individual; it is The System that sustains functionality independent of  individual personal aspirations and motivations.

In other words, here-and-now in this modern mainstream world; it doesn't matter what people think or want or how they behave as individuals; they may be as selfish, short-termist, or corrupt as is expedient in any given situation - because the overall functionality is located at the group and system level of things. The assumption is that good overall group-outcomes cannot come from individual motivations; one person cannot make a positive difference.

Individual belief is regarded as irrelevant, individual effort is simply futile - except insofar as it promotes or interferes with The System. The individual can only - on the one hand - give a 'good example'; or on the other hand encourage the forces that oppose ideology of The System, The Establishment.

That's where we are. Everywhere among the international and national institutions, organisations, corporations. Nobody wants to do the right things For Himself or Herself; instead people want The Right Thing to-be-done by The System. There is a cleavage between these vague wishful aspirations - which may be Good; and actual personal motivations - which conform to The System.

This is why I keep emphasising that - from where we now are; nothing Good can come without people First wanting it. And wanting Good not vaguely as a daydream aspiration but powerfully as a persona motivation. Because contra the metaphysics of natural selection, markets, and the like.

Since Good is an actuality, a reality (Good is taking the side of God and creation) - therefore Good results cannot emerge from nothing-but evil motivations.

The System can do more than harness Good aspirations and behaviours; it cannot manufacture Good outcomes from evil inputs.

At root, unless we each take personal responsibility; there can be no group benefit.

1 comment:

Rich said...

Spot on! Very well put