Our new universal religion, should one come to be, must be founded upon, and headed by, a purpose whose truth, simplicity, utility and appeal are unmistakable. It must be easy to understand, clear in intent, and suited to guide us all, collectively, to a better way of living. Should peace between nations be our sole desire, then our selection of purpose is much less critical—any that brings unification will serve. However, if we seek more, if we value a long and healthy future for our descendants and for Life, for centuries and millennia to come, then our selection of purpose becomes extremely critical. We must choose one consistent with and respectful of the reality thrust upon us by this universe, simply because we must formulate a guide to living in this universe, not to living in an afterlife. Thus, the behavioural creeds we author must be rationally constructed with this reality in mind. Our new religion must be founded upon what we know—rather than what we invent—about ourselves, our cosmos, our origins, and our future possibilities.
Only the meta-purpose we adopt must be an assumption, for the universe itself cannot be shown to be directed toward a purpose, and this actuality thus applies to all within. Once this single assumption is accepted, then only truth and logic must be used to deduce the behaviour required to attain our chosen endpoint—thus constructing exemplary commandments. Circumstances may be forcing us to repeat doctrinal steps originally taken many hundreds of years ago, however today we have a better grasp of reality, and can use confirmed facts in many places where our forefathers could only conjecture.
To become an influential factor in controlling exploitive excesses, our universal religion must become an incontrovertible part of everyone’s mind—perhaps, eventually, the mind’s most cherished Construct. A constant awareness that no act should harm Life’s continued evolution may be all that is needed. It may be enough for every child and adult to know that this responsibility is everyone’s responsibility, and that it preempts all other purposes and duties. Individual lives may come and go, but our hard-gained wisdom must continue. Our lives, and those of our ancestors, lose all meaning if our accumulated knowledge and understanding is not benefited from, built upon, and bequeathed forward.
(A postscript to this chapter titled Multi-year Targets is to be found at the end of this part.)
- Eventually we may draft an international code of ethics, and its acceptance and subsequent honouring may become an important rite of passage, perhaps marking the transition from infancy to adulthood (or, even, from nationhood to inter-nationhood). Such a code is likely to be similar to those that many professional organizations develop to guide members’ decision-making—the Hippocratic Oath, for example.
(This proposal would be similar to undertakings of the 8th and 9th centuries, when the Hadith was written to guide the behaviour of the many non-Arab converts to Islam. Coming from differing cultures, many did not know the accepted Arabic norms of behaviour, and needed some guidelines when the Koran was not sufficiently explicit.)