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In interpersonal relationships, pain is often caused without intention Remember that this solution must be a comprehensive one. Our intention buster will catch negative intentions but much of pain of world is not caused with direct intent. Romance is a terrific example of a realm where pain is often caused without intent.
The real problem: lack of empathy The real problem with this solution is that first, it does not allow one to develop empathy and to learn about effects of our intentions and actions. Second, it assumes that problems of world are always a result of negative intent. The problems of world are often result of people taking actions without understanding their effects on other people. Thus, we need to increase empathy in world to prevent people from taking actions which harm others.
Attempt 4 -- The Eye for an Eye Empathy Inducer Suppose, one were to take a banana from over supply caused by our previous attempts and play a trick on his/her neighbour. The neighbour suffers a terrible spill as result of slipping on peel and injures his back for 3 days. The empathy inducer will make sure that perpetrator suffers a similar fall causing 3 days of similar back pain. Surely our perpetrator will never attempt another such trick? This is a case of Mutually Assured Consequences between perpetrator and victim.
What if perpetrator is prepared to endure consequences? Well what if perpetrator in future becomes really angry with someone? Now, we’re talking blood boiling angry. The perpetrator knows that it will cost him 3 days of pain to cause his enemy to slip using a banana peel, but who cares? It’s worth it.
We’d hope that people would soon realize that it’s just not worth it to endure pain of hurting others and look to correct their problems through other means. However, one taking such an assumption does not understand power of hate and determination of those thus poisoned.
The real problem – lack of caring The banana peel example is a trivial one, yet we have built our ‘security’ policies around a mutually assured destruction. In general, we have sought to secure our world by assuring death of our enemies. This clearly wasn’t last word in security because enemies have emerged who care not about death. They are willing to endure ultimate consequence of killing another, their own death. In general, people often don’t care about consequences (to themselves) of their actions.
Attempt 5 – Make people care How then do we make people care in general? We’re not talking about suicide bombers anymore and we’re not trying to figure out how to make them care about losing their lives. The solution to that one is comparatively simple: convince them that there is no reward for their actions.
The harder question is how do we make people care about others in general across board? We need full spectrum caring from caring about littering by throwing banana peels on ground to caring about others and effects you have on them.
Eliminate Opiates Afterlife Get rid of notion of an afterlife or some other time/place where everything will be ok. This obviates fierce urgency of here and now. At very least, make it clear that problems must be solved here and now, and not later.
Deities No need to erase concept of God here, but it is necessary to erase notion that we can ignore problems we have with our neighbours and deal with God directly. It must be made clear that our purpose on this planet is to deal with problems of this planet.
False deities It must be made clear that contributing to your 401K will never assure you peace and security. This is an opiate and a distraction from true problem at hand.
Blood is thicker than water There should be priorities for our caring for people in our lives. However, our ultimate happiness will come when water thickens to something close to blood.
Realize that this is a prisoners dilemma It’s crucial that we realize that our actions contribute to a sort of social inertia. It is this social inertia which ties us together. We must come to realize that if we act negatively, we invite others to do so. If we act positively, we promote people to do same. While we may not immediately see results of our positive actions, we are building towards a critical mass of positive people who will be able to reshape world. Truthfully, our only lasting legacy is our contributions to this world.
An example would help Perhaps if world could be shown a community where they care for one another, then people could see, by contrast, dark world they currently live in. If such an example were available, perhaps this would help people see errors of their ways.
Am I my brother’s keeper? “Am I my brother’s keeper?” This was answer Cain provided God when He asked: “where is your brother” (knowing full well he was murdered). This embodies ‘I-thou’ and ‘us and them’ philosophies that have plagued this planet from time immemorial.
There have been numerous examples of strong comradery that develops out of situations where a group of people have each others lives in their hands. Such comradery is common in military for example. If we could extend this comradery and cause people to realize that they have other peoples’ quality of lives in their hands, we may very well solve world’s problems and cause people to care. Thus, we must always answer: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” with ‘Yes.’
This work is a thought experiment into how to improve the world. Martin Winer is a computer scientist by day, developing www.rankyouragent.com, and a social scientist by night. You can contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any suggestions/comments.
http://members.rogers.com/mwiner/fixworld.htm has the formatted version for ease of reading.