edge.org – question of the year 2005

“What Do You Believe Is True Even Though You Cannot Prove It?”

alun anderson: “Strangely, I believe that cockroaches are conscious.”

scott atran: “There is no God that has existence apart from people’s thoughts of God. There is certainly no Being that can simply suspend the (nomological) laws of the universe in order to satisfy our personal or collective yearnings and whims—like a stage director called on to change and improve a play. But there is a mental (cognitive and emotional) process common to science and religion of suspending belief in what you see and take for obvious fact. Humans have a mental compulsion—perhaps a by-product of the evolution of a hyper-sensitive reasoning device to serve our passions—to situate and understand the present state of mundane affairs within an indefinitely extendable and overarching system of relations between hitherto unconnected elements. In any event, what drives humanity forward in history is this quest for non-apparent truth.”

howard rheingold: “I believe that we humans, who know so much about cosmology and immunology, lack a framework for thinking about why and how humans cooperate. I believe that part of the reason for this is an old story we tell ourselves about the world: Businesses and nations succeed by competing well. Biology is a war, where only the fit survive. Politics is about winning. Markets grow solely from self-interest.”

douglas rushkoff: “I believe evolution has purpose and direction. It appears obvious, yet absolutely unconfirmable, that matter is groping towards complexity.”

rudy rucker: “Reality Is A Novel. I’d like to propose a modified Many Universes theory. Rather than saying every possible universe exists, I’d say, rather, that there is a sequence of possible universes, akin to the drafts of a novel.”

bruce sterling: “I can sum my intuition up in five words: we’re in for climatic mayhem.”

i don’t even know what i would have answered to this tough question. hmmm…
i am afraid my beliefs are so corny and so utopian that i’d rather not express them here.

now, how lame is that.

edit: okay, okay, here i go. please don’t laugh. i believe in true love. i believe in the law of karma, and i know that my karma, if such a thing exists, is shot. i believe “buddahhood” is attainable. i believe that human beings can reach enlightenment; that anybody can, within seconds, find absolute clarity and infinite love. i believe the church got it completely wrong and there is absolutely nothing after death. i believe that we have entered one last, very dark cycle that will end soon to give way to a much better world. and as i re-read these thoughts i notice how my beliefs are mostly about hope, desperate attempts to make it all worth it somehow. while maybe it just ain’t.

About Jan Zuppinger

Jan Zuppinger has been writing this blog since 2002. He likes to grow vegetables. He likes to eat them too. He has opinions on everything, but sadly no one cares. Jan Zuppinger is not joking, just joking, he is joking, just joking, he's not joking. *click.