What Can Any of Us Do to Address the Greatest Problems on Earth Right Now?
We live in a world with immense and seemingly intractable problems, most notably warfare, poverty, corruption, oppression, disease, and environmental degradation. Each of these problems is either caused or made worse by people misunderstanding, fearing, and hating other people. There is a tremendous amount of unnecessary conflict and suffering in this world, and there is a common root cause for much of it, which is that we lack mutual understanding, agreement, and cooperation. For example, even if someone is working on a basic problem in the world such as the climate crises, poverty, or infectious disease then their work might grind to a halt because of fundamental problems in communication and understanding. The truth is that we are not doing enough to try to address this root cause. In order to make progress in any of the areas mentioned above, we need greatly improved understanding and communication and a way to break free of our tribal, nationalistic, and partisan instincts.
We recognize that people who have vastly different worldviews are often unable to understand each other. Such disparate groups also have seemingly incompatible ethical and moral frameworks and contrasting political ideologies. They appear unable to productively communicate because of the mental walls that divide them. The problems are made worse by weaponized news, deliberately false information and hyperpartisanship.
These trends could lead us towards more conflict and instability with a continued rise of nationalism and autocracy around the globe. In fact, unless we take a serious look at how we are thinking and communicating, the very idea of free and open societies will be at risk.
Our mission, therefore, is to search for more effective techniques, better communication styles and new methods of dialogue in order to bridge this great divide. We hope the result will be better communication between people who hold opposing points of view, the goal of which is to bring about a more peaceful and prosperous society.
We recognize that human beings have differences in thought and opinions on all sorts of matters, but we also recognize that empathy and reason are the keys to forming a constructive middle ground where there is less conflict and greater peace. A fundamental purpose of this project is to explore and write about this process. It appears at the outset that this is a relatively unexplored area of human thought – a frontier where the mind meets the social landscape – and we accept the challenge of working in that area.
In order to have greater meaning, significance and impact, we intend to apply this new found knowledge and we have developed the following objectives:
1. Examining the Basic Building Blocks
We’ll start with understanding things we can all agree on – recognizable facts about what all human beings require to live and thrive. From there, we will research, write and discuss the historical roots or building blocks of our fundamental beliefs and how they came to be constructed into worldviews.
2. Seeking a Middle Ground
It appears at the outset that the frontier between the mind and the social landscape is important to our work. Delving into this area, we will focus on innovations in communication. We will research and write about potential new frameworks for productive discussions or ways of speaking that are conducive to good dialogue and agreement. Using methods derived from phenomenology, we intend to demonstrate all people, including even quite scientifically minded people and religious and spiritually minded people, can find common core values. We hope that this realization will serve as the basis for a more enlightened worldview. This construct can then serve as a bridge between people and lead to more social understanding and political harmony.
3. Final Application
What can you expect to see from all this work? Our discoveries will take the form of blog posts, videos, podcasts and the publication of the book series Seeking a More Enlightened Worldview. Volume 1 of this series is targeted for release by the end of 2020. We have a Kickstarter campaign where you can pre-order the book and contribute in other ways as well. If you would like more information about this project or you would like to be involved in some way, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.