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by: John Renesch,
type: Articles
in: 34 Consciousness

If we decide we want a secure, peaceful and sustainable world, we have the skill and wherewithal to pull it off. But the first step is to choose. We must decide the promise of humanity is important enough to stand for it. Then we need to insist upon optimizing the likelihood of that promise being realized, change our ways and begin living, talking and working in ways that support its probability. THEN, we get closer to answering the question of who we are and start acting more consistently with what we want.more....

by: Chris Thomson,
type: Articles
in: 34 Consciousness

I believe that lack of consciousness and intelligence is at the root of most, if not many, of our problems, be they personal, organisational, national or global. If this really is the deeper cause, then becoming more conscious and more intelligent must surely be the deeper solution. That has to start somewhere. It will have small beginnings. It will take time to become well known. But when it does, I think it will be unstoppable. I am convinced there will come a time, perhaps not too far in the future, when working on our consciousness and intelligence will be a normal part of our lives, and of our education, and that this will be reflected in our lifestyle, our culture, in everything we say and do. You might think this unlikely, but, ultimately, we will have nowhere else to go. All other "solutions" will be found wanting.more....

by: John Stewart,
type: Articles
in: 34 Consciousness

Are we organisms that are forever constrained by their biological and cultural past? Or can we become self-evolving beings—organisms that are able to adapt in whatever directions are necessary for future evolutionary success, relatively unfettered by our evolutionary past or by our previous life experiences? This article argues that humans can develop such a capacity to transcend human nature, and that the next great evolutionary challenge for humanity is to do so. The paper suggests that the practices and tools that will enable humanity to make this transition are to be found in the practices and teachings of the world’s religious and spiritual traditions. There is an urgent need to integrate these into modern scientific psychology.more....

by: John Stewart,
type: Articles
in: 34 Consciousness

If the evolutionary advantage of consciousness is that it "improves the capacity to develop novel adaptive responses", then further improvements should continue to offer an advantage. One of the specific improvements needed, according to the paper, is the ability to prevent goals supported by the "hedonic system" from controlling sequences of thoughts and behavior. Interestingly, the author concludes that this is exactly what organized religion has been trying to do for thousands of years. This could mean that beings (humans or robots) with consciousness augmented by religion have an evolutionary advantage. Like Daniel Dennett, Stewart believes scientific study of religion should be a priority of scientists.more....

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