Volume 3, Issue 3 
3rd Quarter, 2008

Awaken the Universe - Introducing the Order of Cosmic Engineers

Philippe Van Nedervelde

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In the end, the ultimate arbiters of this conflict of interests, which really boils down to a deeply rooted conflict of worldviews and belief systems, will obviously and naturally have to be the elected legislators as well as the judges of the many national jurisdictions of this planet.

That is not to say that there IS a great deal that the stakeholder organizations present at this gathering can do to influence and shape the societal debates which will yield relevant legislation and jurisprudence.

One specific course of assertive action, and in my view a very big part of the solution, which we assembled here may come to have direct control and influence over, seems to lie in the pro side -that's us- doing a far better job at communicating the overwhelmingly great value as well as major moral, ethical and philosophical justifications of greatly extended life spans, or rather, "health spans" to be fully precise.

This is something we need to do with words and images which are readily accessible and understandable as well as acceptable to the contra side. That is, "acceptable" at least in the "live and let live" sense that they accept and respect that we who wish to extend *our* health span indeed do so at our convenience and discretion and naturally without reducing *their* lifespan as well as without harming them in any other concrete way.

I would argue that this critically important job of communication has so far not been done well at all.

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It is vitally important it be properly explained that the higher purpose -and hence one of the key moral justifications- of the extreme extension of one's life span is to enable long-term personal quests towards answering the big perennial, existential questions: Why do we exist? Why do we exist here and in this way? What are we? What is this reality? Where does everything come from? Where is everything going?

A key beneficial role in this communication effort and by extension in the arbitrage of this conflict may be played by a new type of organization ideally suited for this purpose. Let me explain. It will initially seem like a digression, but please bear with me.

If the potential for successful progress at a quest towards answers to the big existential questions by a single highly determined human individual can in certain cases be phenomenal, how phenomenally much more successful progress may then be achieved by a GROUP of singularly determined individuals pulling together, pooling their resources towards the shared goal of the pursuit of these answers... and the execution of their implications, if any?

Since the dawn of mankind, many such groups of people focused on answering those big existential questions have been formed.

Today we know and label such groups by names including "religions" or cults, physics and chemistry research labs, and university faculties or departments specialized in astronomy or philosophy.

Over the past ten millennia or so, many such organizations have come into being. Most have come and gone; a good number are still with us.

Since the Enlightenment, we have entered an era in human development where there is an ever-growing perception that religions and cults have by and large outgrown their original evolutionary usefulness. They used to provide worthwhile evolutionary benefits by strongly tying groups of people together. The etymology of the word 'religion' itself testifies to such.

To so many human individuals craving meaning, craving answers to the existential questions, craving philosophical as well as emotional crutches to carry them through their days... religions provided a mostly hospitable and supportive community, a tightly knit social circle of shared beliefs.

The ever more impressive achievements of the application of the scientific method by scientists in their physics and chemistry research labs, and in university faculties or departments specialized in astronomy or philosophy, have been increasingly eroding the beliefs upon which those religions and cults are based.

While this erosion is successfully ridding us of the dirty bathwater that religions and cults have come to represent, it has unfortunately also been throwing out the proverbial baby.

The result today is that while ever more individuals are gratifyingly freed of the burden of unscientific religious beliefs, the coldly mechanical rigors of the prepositional logic and mathematics of science have left these persons without a genuinely loving, warm, hospitable, supportive community of people focused on pursuing the answers to those big existential questions.

Emotionally, the children of the Enlightenment feel like lonely, abandoned, and painfully unloved orphans, denied the existential comforts of tenderly loving and doting parents or at the very least an entourage of kindly hospitable relatives.

To date, the children of the Enlightenment lack a community, an organized group featuring the ready "huggability" of a tight religious community. The social beings that we are... are sorely missing the warm and fuzzy feelings associated with this huggability factor.



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