Some believe that the future of metaphysics lies in the triumph of anti-religious atheism, that religion is a passing phase of humanity soon to be replaced by the one true way of Science, whose truth is self-evident, and those who do not trust in their version of Science will be swept away by the tides of history, and marked as fools. Such people are entitled to their beliefs.
Some believe that the future of metaphysics
lies in the triumph of an individual religious doctrine, that physical
existence is a passing phase of humanity soon to be replaced by the union with
the divine, whose truth is self-evident, and those who do not trust in their
version of God will be swept away by the tides of history, and marked as fools.
Such people are entitled to their beliefs.
Some people believe that anyone who claims to know with certainty what is going on has a screw loose. Such people are most certainly entitled to their beliefs.
I hope that the future of metaphysics lies
in humanity accepting that we are all free to believe whatever we choose, that
our gloriously varied belief systems are unique, wonderful, and worth
protecting, and that no single metaphysical view can be allowed to persecute
(or, for that matter, systematically harass) a different metaphysical view.
I hope that the future of metaphysics will bring peace between science and religion, perhaps by agreeing to enforce Popper’s Milestone, perhaps by simply accepting that science is not a body of knowledge or an absolute ideology, but a collection of experiments, data and theories proposed and maintained by people that requires interpretation by each individual in the light of their own beliefs and experience.
I hope that by learning to respect each
other’s metaphysical choices – and non-choices in the case of agnostics – we
can move beyond fighting over metaphysics and perhaps begin to solve our social
and environmental problems, battle natural disasters instead of rival nations
and ideologies, end war (maybe…), end persecution, end poverty, end hunger, and
move together in a spirit of love and unity. Not, perhaps, without arguments
and disagreements, and probably always under the threat of terrorism from some
violent malcontent, but perhaps, just perhaps, without any more wasted effort
trying to convince each other that there is only one way, and that somehow it
is possible to know with certainty what that one way is.
You can choose to believe in whichever future of metaphysics you like… so the question must be: what kind of future do you want?
Next week, it's back to the humdrum game design and Temperament theory posts. But stay tuned - sometime around March we'll be beginning the Ethics campaign. Hope to see you there!