Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Truth is Dead

Never has there been so much technology available to the world for the purpose of ascertaining the truth.  What just a few decades ago someone might have had to go to a large university library to learn is now available in seconds online.  Information is not only readily available: it is endlessly sorted and aggregated and indexed to where we can find the exact passage we want in moments, rather than spend hours searching the petabytes available at our fingertips.  Our robotic probes search out the darkest recesses of the solar system, our telescopes find new extrasolar planets every day, our particle colliders probe the most esoteric properties of matter and energy.  We discovered more new species in the last year than in all the years before that combined.  The human genome has been mapped, and gene therapies are already available.  We converse with friends, family, and colleagues across the globe as if they were down the hall.

I could go on, but in short:  more information is available to more people than ever dreamed of by our ancestors, and it can travel around the world in a fraction of a second without any significant cost.  Not to mention the amalgam of phisolophical thought from the last 10,000 years, which is just a drop in this ocean of information.

And yet, the human race has never had more diverse opinions.  For all our ability to share and investigate ideas, we agree with each other less than ever.  Apparently, the human quest for truth has only navigated away from it.  The religions of the world, all hawking "absolute truth," have done little to resolve their disputes, and seem uninterested in any related pursuits.  Even the sciences are filled with preconceived notions and academic elitism, a whole group of people dedicated to the study of truth and yet unwilling to let go of their unsupported beliefs.

Why do we defend those beliefs that are most suspect more than any others?

I'm not ranting against religion only here.  I myself, a self-proclaimed disciple of truth, believe tons of things I can't really support, and I'm  uncomfortable questioning them.

If no good for finding truth, what good is humanity?  We're just a precocious breed of naked hominid that figured out fire, but still jumps at shadows.  We'll drag our myriad superstitions to the stars with us if we can, populating but not enlightening the galaxy.  Pathetic.

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