Knowledge and Education based on All Relevant Evidence and Objective Reasoning
Imagine a very advanced computer system with human-like sensing, remembering and reasoning abilities but with keener
sensing skills, more accurate memory, and a reasoning ability without the inborn and learned biases of human minds.
Imagine that this computer system was given access to all our records of scientific experimentation and theories
and the detailed histories of our many human societies, systems of beliefs, etc., and asked to draw conclusions
about the laws of nature and how our biosphere and civilization came to be as they are today.
Unencumbered by inborn biases and learned beliefs the way humans are burdened, this computer system could
specify good approximations of key aspects of Perceivable Reality. Probably good approximations could also be made by
a team of good minds noted for their objectivity and reverence for learning about nature. Pythagoras, Aristotle, Leonardo,
Galileo, Newton, and many others come to mind. If they could be brought back to life and given the benefit of all the new
evidence generated since their time, they would realize that many of their past perceptions were flawed. Their new
perceptions about key aspects of Ultimate Reality would be better and would probably be similar because they would be based
on the same, up-to-date body of evidence.
It's nice to imagine the above great thinkers or a futuristic computer system providing us with good approximations of
the important Perceivable Truths, but what can actually be done now to help humanity think more realistically.
Isn't this very important if, as Socrates and others have said, knowledge is good and ignorance begets evil?
With the current ease of access to scientific evidence and histories of human thinking at generally reliable sources
(e.g. Wikipedia), intelligent and objective people should be able to arrive at perceptions of key aspects of
Ultimate Reality that are good approximations of the Perceivable Truths -- if the people have the time
necessary to understand all the related evidence. But few have the time and desire. Therefore, most are either unaware
or unconcerned about key aspects of Perceivable Reality or have rigid perceptions of reality at odds with Perceivable Reality.
Possibly a great opportunity for our civilization exists by having teams of objective experts from around the world determine
approximate Perceivable Truths for key aspects of Ultimate Reality. The outcomes of such a project are difficult to predict,
but they would probably be beneficial. They could encourage more learning and education based on broader bodies of evidence
and more objective reasoning and a realistic understanding of the uncertainties of our knowledge. They could help people see
their own beliefs in the larger context of Perceivable Reality. They could result in less self-centered thinking and behavior
at individual and group levels. The views of people in different cultural groups might become less incompatible, which could
lead to improved understanding and cooperation between the groups. Most leaders are familiar with Socrates' maxim,
"The unexamined life is not worth living." Perceivable Reality might encourage this examination process that can
improve the quality of our civilization.