Furthest Right

Humanity races from one excuse to the next

You know that New Age thing that people do?

January: I’m really into disco Yoga. Not only is it exercise, but it’s a better way for humanity to live.

March: Disco Yoga is antiquated. I’m really all about kumquat Pesto. It’s fair trade and that’s not just food, but a better way for humanity to live.

Every new trend starts when one person, looking for something to talk about, finds an undiscovered possibly cool but probably just like everything else thing.

They and their friends surge into it, and make it popular. But any activity is its people, so soon it’s all the same people involved.

Someone notices, and everyone flees to the next big thing.

Throughout human history, the treatment of ideas is not much better: a trend occurs, people milk it for some centuries, and then they pollute it with their own bad logic and it is cast aside.

In 2008, Christians comprised 76 percent of U.S. adults, compared to about 77 percent in 2001 and about 86 percent in 1990. Researchers said the dwindling ranks of mainline Protestants, including Methodists, Lutherans and Episcopalians, largely explains the shift. Over the last seven years, mainline Protestants dropped from just over 17 percent to 12.9 percent of the population.

Thirty percent of married couples did not have a religious wedding ceremony and 27 percent of respondents said they did not want a religious funeral.

About 12 percent of Americans believe in a higher power but not the personal God at the core of monotheistic faiths. And, since 1990, a slightly greater share of respondents — 1.2 percent — said they were part of new religious movements, including Scientology, Wicca and Santeria.


So in the quest to explain the invisible order that unites our world, science is still lagging because it addresses only the immediate, and people are trying out various religions including the newest, atheism.

Why is it a religion? Because it places religious faith and reliance on individual and science to explain what a philosopher or theologian needs to, which is a complex arrangement of abstractions; the self/science folks dumb it down into the dubious explanation.

They will, of course, replace themselves with fundamentalists, who outbreed them.

But basically what we’re seeing is trend-hopping.

Garrett Hardin explains this best:

The tragedy of the commons develops in this way. Picture a pasture open to all. It is to be expected that each herdsman will try to keep as many cattle as possible on the commons. Such an arrangement may work reasonably satisfactorily for centuries because tribal wars, poaching, and disease keep the numbers of both man and beast well below the carrying capacity of the land. Finally, however, comes the day of reckoning, that is, the day when the long-desired goal of social stability becomes a reality. At this point, the inherent logic of the commons remorselessly generates tragedy.

As a rational being, each herdsman seeks to maximize his gain. Explicitly or implicitly, more or less consciously, he asks, “What is the utility to me of adding one more animal to my herd?” This utility has one negative and one positive component.

1) The positive component is a function of the increment of one animal. Since the herdsman receives all the proceeds from the sale of the additional animal, the positive utility is nearly +1.

2) The negative component is a function of the additional overgrazing created by one more animal. Since, however, the effects of overgrazing are shared by all the herdsmen, the negative utility for any particular decision-making herdsman is only a fraction of -1.

Adding together the component partial utilities, the rational herdsman concludes that the only sensible course for him to pursue is to add another animal to his herd. And another; and another…. But this is the conclusion reached by each and every rational herdsman sharing a commons. Therein is the tragedy. Each man is locked into a system that compels him to increase his herd without limit–in a world that is limited. Ruin is the destination toward which all men rush, each pursuing his own best interest in a society that believes in the freedom of the commons. Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all.

The Tragedy of the Commons

Rather than abandon religion, which serves vital unscientific roles that science cannot serve (and no intelligent scientist will claim it can), we should make religion evolve to fit a sensible, natural and long-term worldview.

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