A brief search into the history of the Seventh Century (Bronze Age) will disclose a widespread religious belief in an antagonistic competition between the forces of light (goodness) and dark (evil). It was the Persian philosopher, Zoroaster, who is understood to have codified this belief and founded a major religion, Zoroastrianism.
In the present age we continue to witness the competing forces of dark ignorance and that of enlightenment. It is disappointing and agonizingly painful to observe that ignorance and superstitious belief systems not only persist but seem to have metastasized.
There is a heated debate between people, alarmingly aware of environmental threats to our planet and its atmosphere, based upon reports from our leading scientists to the effect that it is caused by the consumption of traditional sources of energy, like coal and oil, and others, who reject all scientific findings and wish to continue such consumption. People, concerned with such scientific reports, see man as the responsible trustee of our planetary health and champion alternative non-polluting sources of energy, like solar and wind power.
Concurrent with (and perhaps, related to) this vital debate is an even more fundamental antagonism which pits the value of man’s most precious natural resource, his human intelligence and capacity for reason, against the too resilient forces of ignorance and superstitious belief. The latter have unremittingly under- valued and deprecated, that most precious and valuable resource, man’s reason.
Indeed, most of our “mainstream” folks evince a devaluation and disrespect for the intellectual in favor of the knowledge-limited, but glitzy and attractive, “dude” or “diva.” (See: blog #29). The subject of science, the arts and the humanities, so vital to the development of the self and to the enhancement of life, go unexamined in favor of the worship of transient and ephemeral style and fashion, and the pursuit of shallow amusement. The latter choose to remain blind to the fact that the natural resource of human intelligence has unlimited potential for the solution of difficult problems, existential and otherwise, and exists as an available and renewable energy source capable of unlimited problem- solving and untold creativity.
The great English philosopher, John Locke, maintained that knowledge is gained through the accumulation of experience, rather than by vain attempts to consult external sources. Science, reason and logic, he reasoned, are the only true sources of our meaningful progress as human beings.
P. has consistently refrained, to comment on political matters. But recent events are so startling and alarming as to embolden his inclination to violate this consistent precedent.
A nominee to run for the highest office in our land is enthusiastically selected by millions of American voters, despite the evident knowledge that he lacks the requisite wisdom, intelligence and temperament to govern and occupy a revered place in our American history. More than embarrassing and shameful, it is a threat to our way of life and culture, our relationships with other countries, and to world peace. This result could only have been attained by the accumulated effort of our vast low information population who uniformly suffer from the chronic and contagious diseases of ignorance and illiteracy.
The medieval period is referred to by historians as the “Dark Ages.” This was a period of time famously featuring ignorance, illiteracy, superstition, atrocities and general social and intellectual decline.
“The Age of Reason” which followed in due course , ( “The Age of Enlightenment”) saw the questioning of despotic and institutional rule, overcame superstition and proclaimed the enlightened notion that humanity does best when it employs reason, logic and respect for empirical reality.
Thus, the lack of utilization of the unique, vital resource of brain power (reason) is a problem much more existential than the contested choice of natural power sources; it is no less than lethal. The choice between the relapse of a new dark age of ignorance, primitivism, fear and superstition and a bright world of enlightenment, of wisdom and intelligence needs to be carefully and wisely considered.