After the psycho hygiene system, here’s another idea that I posted to Google’s Project 10100. They collect ideas and will honor the idea that will help the most people. Practically, this means that the five best ideas are sponsored with 2 million USD on average, to be executed. It deals with settling a question that is currently the cause of many quarrels, from self murder attacs to even divorce. The question is: What is the truth about God? To settle this once and for all, I think we’d need to employ means that are different from just “revealed religion”.
If you follow this blog you’ll notice that this project is in essence exactly my Xpedition’s “Second Acts” project. It would be awful to get this sponsored 🙂 This would not mean that I can execute it myself, but in any way it would provide many valuable insights. If you like, read for yourself:
10. What one sentence best describes your idea? (maximum 150 characters)
Religious wars could be prevented by basing theology on rigorous scientific methodology.
11. Describe your idea in more depth. (maximum 300 words)
According to the world view of natural science, the physical reality can be modeled, that is, man assumes that it is “understandable” and that it does not contradict itself. The proposed models might be different, but at least there is the common search for the best one. However, in the realm of theology, mankind did not yet agree to undertake a common search for the best theological model, that is, a model for the spiritual world. (This is normally attributed to the character of theology as not being a discipline of natural science, but this is an error: theology claims to teach about a part of reality: the spiritual realm, just as natural science teaches about the material realm. A rare example for applying rigid scientific methodology to the spiritual realm is Princeton’s PEAR Institute (http://www.princeton.edu/~pear/).) Such a common search would, dismiss religious quarrels and wars in favour of a synergistic collaboration. Just as in science, there is collaboration, but no wars about scientific issues, though the opinions differ widely.
Therefore, this idea is to initiate a common, synergistic, worldwide search for the best (“true”) model of the spiritual world. This search should be promoted as the global search for God, and all people should be allowed to join.
12. What problem or issue does your idea address? (maximum 150 words)
Primarily, all religious wars (in the widest sense of the word, from interpersonal to international) that are caused by different (but mutually exclusive) theologies. This is, of course, conditional on succeeding to agree on a common theologic model, and conditional on teaching this model to the whole world. Religious quarrels belong to the most dispensable of all problems, as mutually exclusive theologies can be traced back to the lack of proper theologic cognition on at least one side.
13. If your idea were to become a reality, who would benefit the most and how? (maximum 150 words)
The greatest benefit is for those who are preserved from suffering in religious wars, because a “theologic standard model”, properly propagated through education, avoids religious wars as something needless. Suffering from religious conflicts includes bad economic conditions as their side-effects. This is often the case for ethnic minorities whose religion differ from that of their environment.
One could add speculations that there could be even greater benefits for whole mankind, e.g. if the findings from executing this idea include how to gain an eternal afterlife. But as this is conditional on yet unknown spiritual reality, it’s speculation yet.
Note that this idea is for the real long-term (min. 30 years to agree on a “theologic standard model” and 100 years for the findings to fully take effect). The amount of time that other scientific revolutions took to unfold in history (like Galileo’s world view etc.) makes one expect this time span.
14. What are the initial steps required to get this idea off the ground? (maximum 150 words)
Set up a worldwide, cross-discipline working group to start working on this project. Special ideas for publicity must be developed to avoid that religious fanatics, who have instrumentalized beliefs to reach personal goals, cause bad publicity.
Of course, initiating the project includes to set up workable criteria for the truth determination process. As the subject differs from natural science, these criteria will differ, but should be as dependable as the former. Some proposals: a worldwide database in the Internet, where everybody can contribute in wiki style. This collects all proposed religious experiences (scientific experiments are no possible method here, as supernatural encounters might be of historic, unreproducible character). Then Filter all collected data automatically, to apply rigid scientific methodology. This would imply identity confirmation, event confirmation with web-of-trust methods, etc.. By querying the database, the current scientific evidence for basing theology is on is accessible to everybody in real-time, through the Internet.
15. Describe the optimal outcome should your idea be selected and successfully implemented. How would you measure it? (maximum 150 words)
The minimum result is more peace in the world, due to less religious warfare. The maximum result would be if this project’s findings are that there is at least one benevolent, personal God and that there are ways to be in contact with this God. As, this would enable everybody to access the supernatural help of this God while living, and perhaps even after ones death.
On measurement. Religious peace can be measured by tracing an index, where incidents of religious war contribute to, according to gravity and length. Supernatural help can be measured by an “human development index”. Positive effects on an afterlife are beyond measeurement, if the afterlife is eternal.