What is becoming evident is that the tower is being built strong and tall, the foundations have been laid and another level of interpretation of reality has been developed, taught and accepted as truth.
Let us review what we have learned so far.
- We started with the awareness of self and the belief in our own inherent value and right to survive and flourish.
- We built on that an awareness of an unfriendly and even dangerous world of nature and other “wills” that may or may not value our right to survive and flourish as much as we do.
- Yet we need this world and we need the “others” in this world. We are dependent on nature (and others) when we desperately want to be independent and in control. We are unavoidably social (and corporate) by nature and necessity.
- Therefore, we have an obligation, an “ought,” towards others, again by nature and necessity.
- That “ought” has been grounded in a naturalistic, utilitarian social contractualism on the one hand, or systematized into religious belief in a transcendent ground for morality on the other.
- In either case, society or religion (or a combination of both) has attempted to provide a necessary motivation for morality (and the social contract and law) through a system of rewards and punishments and a belief (in the case of religion) in a just universe despite appearances.
- We have even considered the suggestion that the problem is within us, within our very natures, but we shy away from that bit of truth like a nervous filly on a frosty morning.
We have not yet reached the pinnacle of the tower, nor have we tried to open the gates of heaven. The workers are still busy with their labors and the architects are still pouring over their plans.
To change the image for a moment, the participants around the table are still discussing the nature and interpretation of reality and how we can deal with our differences.
Yes, no doubt. There is certainly more to be said.
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Footnotes and references included in the original manuscript.