The World Explored, the World Suffered Education Issue Nr. 25 December 2019 - Page 5

The Industrialised society's experiments in social engineering dominated by scientific methodology and scientific materialistic assumptions decoupled from both religious ethical theories and the ethical theories of philosophy that led to the concept of human rights eventually resulted in the bizarre totalitarian "experiments of Hitler and Stalin. Harari refers in this context to an experiment relating to human mentality but it is not clear, however, what he means. Is the suggestion being made that the Industrial Revolution changed our mentality? If so, Science, which was a precursor and one of the theoretical conditions of the industrial revolution must have been a contributor to this change. Does Harari mean that we shifted to a state of discontentment because of the new disenchanted world we were forced to live in? Harari argues that evolution has resulted in the alienation of the individual at the hands of states and market forces and thereby ignores the rational forces operating in Globalization processes since the time of the Enlightenment. These rational forces are in the name of freedom and work over the time period of hundreds of thousands of years on the time scale that the evolution of the brain operates. Harari’s argument is in the spirit of post-modernism and he argues that those who believe that life has meaning are deluded: In the ensuing discussion, however, it is suggested that any meaning that people ascribe to their lives is delusional! Psychoanalysis is the "science"(in the Kantian sense) of the states and processes of our mind and provides us with our best account of delusional states and processes. In this account, it is very clear that the delusional states of mind which schizophrenics, for example, experience, are primitive dysfunctional affairs in which there is an inadequate relation to reality. Suggesting that all ideas of a flourishing life or the meaning of life are delusional is a popular use of the term that undermines its more objective meaning. Of course one of the "mechanisms" of the schizophrenic's delusional state of mind is the "imagination" that other people, for example, are listening to their thoughts. Given that for this author human rights, money, the nation-state etc are figments of the imagination the whole account risks falling into a kind of psychological reductionism that serious psychologists such as Freud manage to avoid. Ascribing the term "delusional" to the meaning ordinary agents attach to their lives and the faculty of imagination as the source of important ideas and realities such as human rights and nation-states aims of course at inverting the image of reality in our visual systems: a state of affairs that no doubt will have the effect of creating a "strange" impression of our world. Worse still, we know from the result of experiments on image-inversion that the subjects concerned learn to live with the strange feeling that the world is upside down and in so doing the inversion inverts itself and everything "feels" normal. Such is the logic of feeling and the logic of imagination. The third essay is entitled “Intelligent Design” and opens controversially: A genetically engineered fluorescent green rabbit and a mouse with an ear on its back are cited as examples of the presence of intelligent design as a principle of life forms. Evolution, it is argued, as a biological limit and explanation comes to an end in the twenty-first century. This so-called principle of intelligent design is of course "scientific" intelligent design which raises the obvious question as to whether this is in accordance with the philosophical concept of intelligence. William James argues in his work "The Principles of Psychology" that the concept of intelligence is a descriptor of the "way" an intelligent life form does something or solves