Friday, August 24, 2007

Critical Updates

As close as Christianity is to my model of an ideal society, it does lack several necessary features. The most significant of these is the continuous collection and rigorous testing of the accuracy of information and validity of concepts that enable the effective and appropriate use of the information. If it were computer software, it would need the equivalent of a “critical update” of its information and algorithms, most of which haven’t been changed in some two thousand years. To carry this analogy further, the Bible implies that a critical update, perhaps even a brand new release, is due any time – to be delivered by the chief programmer Himself.

My ideal society would have a constant stream of such updates. Its successful functioning is ultimately dependent everyone having and sharing the most accurate information about their wellbeing. Reality-tested concepts about how the world works are necessary so that people (especially those filling the “central processor” role) can assess the most probable impact of actions on the happiness and longevity of everyone.

In such a society, faith has a role, but a psychological rather than an operational one (unlike Christianity, which uses faith, in some cases, to override observation). Faith would reduce stress by focusing on a common, positive future, but get out of the way when it comes to determining what we need to do to achieve it.

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