Before moving to Part Two, it may be helpful to summarize a few of the points that have been made in the past three chapters. The following are important.
The universe’s causal construction dictates that inhabitants who think and act rationally have a greater chance of surviving, procreating and succeeding, than those who do not. This, in turn, has favoured the genetic continuation of mutations which help minds to work in this manner.
Practical problem solving and decision making entails consulting external environments to find the criteria that acceptable solutions must meet, then consulting the mind’s internal environment to find what personal purpose is sought.
Moral problem solving and decision making entails consulting the mind’s own environment to find both the criteria for acceptable solutions, and the purpose being sought. Mental environments are always invented ones (composed, as we saw in Thinking, from linked memories of perceived events, experiences and learnings, all tinged by the choice of words used when envisioning them consciously), and have no reality outside the minds of those who subscribe to them.
Religious environments are made real to individuals through faith or belief. Belief provides a feeling of certainty; however this exacts a price. Belief can cause us to ignore, override, or transcend some of the more substantive reality that constitutes the rational universe we inhabit. In time, this may lead us into grey pastures.
(A postscript to this chapter, Purpose And Meaning, is to be found at the end of this part.)