Mountain Math Software
home consulting videos book QM FAQ contact

PDF version of this book
next up previous contents
Next: Political and economic institutions Up: Values and evil Previous: Feeling versus thinking   Contents

Culture and values

As mentioned in Section 9.6 the full spectrum of our evolutionary past is reflected in what Jung called archetypes[31]. Because of their universal nature, archetypes are a starting point for cultural values. The problem of integrating the disparate and often conflicting forces that motivates us is complex. We need to create a coherent sense of the world and our place in it that is a reference point for decision making. It can be an ideal we strive for like the good life that Christianity promotes or the complete cessation of striving that is the Buddhist ideal. It can be material success that seems to be the religion of many people today. It is something we choose because it fits (however awkwardly) our instincts and place in the world.

This individual system must function in a wider culture. Common to all cultures is the existence of some codified value system. Just as an individual needs a valuing system to make decisions so does a group. Such systems are older than humanity. Value systems are needed for any animals that at times act collectively to defend themselves, obtain food or care for their young.

The construction of such value systems is the greatest practical problem facing humanity today. Wars are fought over conflicting values. What resource we devote to protecting the environment, combating AIDS and educating the impoverished all depend on our values.

As globalization increases a world government is just beginning to impinge on national sovereignty as for example in the World Trade Organization and the World Court. A unified world is essential to prevent war, deal with our global impact on the environment and, in time, eliminate world poverty. But a world government could impose limits on creativity with no competing governments to pursue the path not followed.

We could repeat on a global scale the historical mistake of China. It was far ahead of the rest of the world, but squandered its lead because of dictatorial decisions to cease developing some technologies like ship building [18]. A global government that restricts some paths of development will have no countervailing force to correct the problem.

The key to avoiding this danger is an objective system of values that establishes in a testable verifiable way the boundary conditions that support unlimited creative evolution. Such a system might obtain the same wide spread acceptance as science through its demonstrable practical value.


PDF version of this book
next up previous contents
Next: Political and economic institutions Up: Values and evil Previous: Feeling versus thinking   Contents


Mountain Math Software
home consulting videos book QM FAQ contact
Email comments to: webmaster@mtnmath.com