Thursday, March 2, 2017

Book Review: Answers, The Fundamentals of Rational Realism

In 'Answers, The Fundamentals of Rational Realism', Wayne Edward Clarke puts forward ideas and plans to deal with global problems that can help eliminate most of the unnecessary suffering in this world, and help usher in an era of fulfillment and happiness for all.
Author gives a good explanation for the great panorama of our history and prehistory. Imagine of a person from an old tribe taken directly to Florida to witness the launch of a space shuttle..then returned again as just as quickly and directly...Now imagine how that person will describe the experience to the rest of the tribe, with no adequate vocabulary to describe the experience. They could not help but describe it in terms of the religious and folk knowledge that they think with. Thus it was with our ancestors, in a less dramatic fashion. But come the modern man. All our questions of yesteryear are being answered from the viewpoint of reality. Questions like: How was I created? How was the world created? What is my purpose? What is humanity’s purpose? What happens to me when I die? Is there any chance to live on beyond my natural life, or to achieve immortality?
Then, the author says, we need to have "realistic institutions, facilities, and gatherings that was serving the functions, the questions of the past served. And he mentions of a church of Rational Realism, based on health, efficiency, safety, etc. explaining in detail, the organizational setup and functions. Laws are suggested keeping a rational view of its relevance. For example, "Nudity offers no harm or danger at all beyond the risk of frostbite or sunburn, or sexual temptation. It is unjust for it to be forbidden".
All other issues that continue to be present in our social transactions, especially the contentious ones like the use of drugs, war, policing, population control, etc. are discussed in the light of the proposed social tenets. How government will work, what will be the system of its formation, what shall be the policy when it comes to science and technology including our foray into space, are some of the points discussed in the next part.
The last part veers around the likely practical issues of its implementation. Author invites readers to contribute time and effort, or money, or materials, or the use of equipment, toward the implementation of these systems and institutions.
I found this a brilliant take on our past, present and future, and a novel approach to how we can make our future. One thing I must mention though. The author, who has found many of our past, more or less fixed institutions withering away in the great flow of civilization advance, should have given due attention for flexibility, while proposing fresh systems and institutions.