What I’d like to explore now is this erroneous mentality that so often comes up in group discussions, which essentially states that because we are a part of Nature, we are also somehow beholden to follow Nature’s primitive laws of Natural Selection, kill-or-be-killed and ‘survival of the fittest’, etc. This is what is known as a “Naturalistic Fallacy.” Are we really to derive our morality from Nature? Are we not, as sapient humans already choosing to carve out our own path and deny the primitive survival inclinations, by taking control of evolution and rejecting Darwinian laws (which have no intrinsic morality of their own, but instead only work to ensure the survival of a species).
Contemplate with me for a moment. Right now, for the first time in our planet’s history, a Life form has evolved that can consciously direct its own evolution—for better or for worse. No longer are we beholden to the urges of instinct or limited by the conditions of our environment. Instead of becoming a stronger or more agile primate, we’ve developed our brain capacity and acquired the ability to manipulate our environments, to grow food, build machinery and incorporate technology into our lives in order to meet our needs.
We are no longer subject to our instinctual urges and desires, but can rise above our more primitive aspects, by using imagination and cultivating our powers of reason and logic; showing self-control, discipline, discretion and restraint. We can think and dream and ponder in abstraction. For the first time in our planet’s history, a species now controls its own environment and can direct its own evolutionary path.
I know that many of you out there may be cynical and pessimistic when it comes to this, even misanthropic to some degree, but I know this in my gut; we as humans have the chance to end all violence and cruelty, prolong our lives indefinitely… and eventually, overcome aging and death. The technology is already out there to stop the aging process and it lies with the Telomeres. And as far as death, it’s simply a matter of growing organs and eventually full human bodies, via stem cells and the cloning process.
And please don’t misunderstand me… it’s not that I’m denying evolution, what I’m talking about IS the continuing path of evolution, it just takes on a different form, through us. Likewise, it may appear unnatural or seem to go against the ‘natural order’ of things, but so did every other advancement and achievement we’ve ever made that’s allowed us to get to this point. It looks different, because it expresses different priorities and uses different methods, that’s all (research “Tranhumanism” for a better understanding of what I’m talking about).
Some may disagree, but I believe it was the crowning achievement of evolution and Nature to develop and attain a brain capable of morality, with the ability to think, reason and judge between what is life-supporting and health-promoting (good) and what is harmful, destructive and chaotic (bad). It is completely up to us, so that means we can change the way society works, it just takes unity, cohesion and a solidified purpose. You have to remember, things only appear chaotic and broken now, because the rest of Life has not yet evolved to the level of consciousness and awareness that we have (or the best of us have anyway), that’s why there is still pain and death… and among societies—selfishness, evil, greed and suffering.
When it comes to the harshness and bitter cruelty of Nature, as highly evolved, sentient organisms, we are no longer subject to Darwinian evolution, but instead have begun to decide our own evolution, via medical advancements, the advent of technology and sophisticated social structures. As such, our task should be to rid the world of pain and suffering (which we are already doing within human societies and through civil law, civil rights movements, conservation, environmentalism and animal rights groups).
To use our power and influence as the dominant organisms on this planet to protect and care for all Life, not ignorantly accept the brutal patterns of Natural Selection, competition and “Survival of the Fittest” as the ‘wisdom’ of Nature (Social Darwinism is what influenced Hitler and this is not at all what our connection to Nature as evolved beings would currently imply). Competition, violence and cruelty were just the primitive means by which Nature has brought us to this point… but now, the Universe, through us, is also capable of sparing Life and minimizing suffering, helping those with sickness and disease and allowing for a more peaceful, compassionate and loving world of co-existence and symbiotic relationships.
Contrary to what is commonly thought, there are more instances of cooperation, altruism and symbiotic relationships in the animal kingdom than there are rivalries and competition. If we were to follow Nature’s laws, it would be similar to what the Nazi’s tried to implement (Eugenics), e.g. the elimination of the elderly and the handicapped, the mentally challenged, the sick and disabled (Survival of the Fittest, remember?) We’d be tossing babies with defects off the cliffs like the Spartans did in the days of old. Or we would simply let the elderly and the disabled die off and not offer them any help or assistance… THAT, was Nature’s way before the development of morality and reason.
We’re in a completely different paradigm now. Just think about it… we are a manifestation of Nature, but we have evolved past the point of following Nature’s primitive paths that got us here. It’s up to us to determine our continuing path now, by implementing kindness and compassion, empathy and reason; exhibiting altruism and engage in symbiosis with the natural world and the rest of the planet. We are animals, no doubt… but we are evolving animals. I believe, in time, humans will collectively evolve to the point where we are no longer forced to kill and ingest other organisms to sustain ourselves, but will eventually be able to draw our energy directly from the sun or the atmosphere, similar to the way in which a conductor draws electricity from the ionosphere or the magnetic field of the earth.
I know it sounds crazy, but if you think about it, what is the purpose for consuming anything? It’s to draw out all of the vital nutrients and vitamins and minerals and assimilate them into ourselves. Well, as we evolve in terms of moral and ethical progression, there are many ways in which we can bypass this process and get what we need directly from the source. We are already moving in this direction with the Vegan movement, which is the most ethical stance to take in terms of minimizing suffering… but this is just the beginning. One day we will look back at the torture and wholesale slaughter of so many millions of animals in factory farming and see it as a bitter and egregious atrocity… just as we do slavery and mandatory child labor now.
Listen to what Dawkins and Krauss have to say about morality in their many lectures. This is what I would like all other Pantheists to focus on– the exponential shift away from bigotry, racism, violence and unnecessary cruelty to other animals. Despite all the violence and chaos we see every day on the news, as a whole, I believe human beings are becoming more compassionate, more empathetic and more loving and accepting of one another. Since the Enlightenment, through various social movements, children are being given more respect, minorities are receiving fair treatment and equality is on the rise. Wildlife conservation and environmentalism has expanded and there is greater ecological awareness than has ever existed before.
Of course we still have a long, long way to go, but because of technology and the near-instant access we now have to so much information through the internet, we are evolving morally and ethically, at an exponential rate. Some of you may have already heard my theories about how we are collectively moving toward unification and global cohesion as a species. Is it possible, in a generation or two, to end all human suffering? Through permaculture, hydroponics and the redistribution of vital resources, I believe we can effectively end world hunger and provide every starving or homeless man, woman and child, clean drinking water, adequate food, clothing and shelter.
Already scientists have discovered how to lengthen telomeres and extend human life and advancements in genetics, biology and medicine are yielding astounding results in terms of integrative, bio-technologies; exoskeleton suits that will allow paraplegics to walk again and artificial limbs and prosthetics for amputees that are already at Star Wars level. The future is now. I believe we are moving toward a higher consciousness and I believe Biopantheism can be an integral part of this evolution.
If this philosophy could spread and grow to influence the world, I see a glorious future utopia on the horizon—but we MUST educate and inspire others in order to motivate this kind of progress. Awareness must come first, in order for these changes to occur. I have devoted my entire life to this and I have a very clear vision of what we have the potential to achieve. I see a world where ethics, philosophy, science and reason are the foundational guidelines of civilization. A place where art, imagination, creativity and ingenuity, are the highest goals and concern for the common good is endorsed, promoted and practiced by all. A world where altruism, kindness and love are paramount and morality and values no longer need to be taught, because they are intrinsic.