Young Socrates is an ongoing series of essays and disquisitions that will seek to design an ideology that’s useful in people’s every day lives. Philosophies that are centuries old do not adequately provide guidance or help. The old icons like Socrates, Plato, Aurelius, or Voltaire are filled with concepts that are either outdated or conflicted.
Post-Modern philosophy is not about the meaning of the world around us, but instead it’s about the meaning and action of what we want out of the world around us, the active morality and ethics. Now and tomorrow.
Individuals are constantly interacting within societal and cultural parameters to carry out goals and meaning. The causes and effects of each action or inaction an individual makes is based on a set of ideals formed by morals and either. These ideals are the foundation of a person’s ideology, or philosophy.
We are in a new era where the industrial revolution in the 1800s have progressed humanity far more quickly and exponentially than ever before in our history, and it’s time to develop a new philosophy that don’t carry the baggage of a time long ago.
Young Socrates will be a beacon of an active philosophy, a core of concepts that are filled with ideas from cultures and society of today. A platform that will be relevant, concise, and always evolving, just like us.
The individual is the endpoint of this modern ‘Active Philosophy’. It is the biological and mental imperative to put oneself at the forefront of fulfillment and meaning. Live your life, and as we will see throughout the span of Young Socrates, helping other people will advance your own goals.
Humans have endured a complex and time-lengthy evolutionary process. Through special cooperation and extraordinary communication concepts such as language and knowledge building, our biology evolved to produce an emergent concept that we call consciousness. We have been a sentient species for several thousands of years, and throughout the entirety of our sentience, our species did not participate in Natural Selection.
Natural Selection, while a human-made concept, is a very real and scientific evolutionary mechanism. It is a theatre within an environment, of organic life, in which random convergence of factors yield genetic changes that are passed to future generations through reproduction. This is the process through which all life on Earth evolved.
Humanity is the first and only species to have surpassed Natural Selection, as our minds give us free-will. Our consciousness is an emergent property of various biological functions that result in human sapience. While we can not touch or locate the ‘mind’, we recognize it in ourselves, in others, and through the actions we take on our external environments. Our minds give us self-determination.
With the concept of self-determination, human reproduction, and our evolution, ceases to be random. Humans have a choice; a conscious decision regarding our actions that produces a series of unfolding consequences of those choices. Unlike in Natural Selection, we choose whether or not we reproduce and with whom. We are able to change our environment and adapt to new circumstances through the application of tools, observation of historical data, and utilization of prior knowledge to reasonably predict the effects of our actions.
There are many individuals that still choose to act based on their biological instincts without regard for other people and their own future. Humans still kill, steal, and deceive one another for artificial concepts such as the importance of territory or excessive acquisition of resources. These residual biological instincts are still present in all of us, and as a society, we must choose to cooperate and advance ourselves.
Our existence is predicated on advancement and evolution. There is no inherent war between us. There is the continued series of assaults and attacks against one another. Every day we have the opportunity to cease conflicts and all over the world there are people that refuse to do so. There are days where we come together in friendship and put aside our differences. People are constantly presented with decisions on how to act within society, such as the allocation of resources. As Natural Selection is no longer possible, we must move in to the next stage of development: our minds. Our brains’ emergent consciousness brought us to the advance culture we are today, and it’s our intelligence, mutual cooperation, and knowledge building that will allow us to grow. Through reason and philosophy, evolution is our purpose and meaning.
We’ve developed a society that values choice to mix with our logical deductive reasoning and chemical based emotion. Our culture can no longer effectively evolve by natural selection, as the weakest of our species can counter the strongest of them with tools invented in the wake of our intellectual capacity. As a culture, it is our mantle to carry in continuing our evolution, but in a new form of evolution that involves our intelligence and minds. In the strictest of senses, we are animals, however, our consciousness brings us above the statute of all living things. We cannot let our founded emotions give rise to the ego and pride or vainglory that allows us to rest on the laurels that our minds give us. We have no true competition in nature, as our ability to produce thought as individuals and as a collective species, allow us to conquer threats.
Modern philosophy looks to two key elements for validation: The first point of acceptance is comparing the concepts at hand to a person or the set of ideas in our history. The second element depends heavily on the self, or the set of ideology that would give the most benefit to society. As such, philosophy has tracked a course of stagnation and wavering resolve in a vast array of poorly conceived sets of principles.
Modern and historical philosophy does not benefit society, and people study it as though a foreign entity to be proved and poked at. There is at least a dozen widely studied philosophical concepts, each with their own mutilated versions of validation. Many invoke the name of scarcely understood individuals that lived many centuries ago, and there are other ideologies that subscribe to supernatural elements such as creation mythologies.
People that follow these philosophies do not do so as a guide to their lives, but as an interesting element of our culture, an element that no longer has a meaningful place in their day-to-day activities. Philosophy can be a guiding force in our lives, that will lead us into the future where we find ourselves better and more fulfilled than where we first started.
Humanity has become stagnant in their collective mindset, and have not recognized our need to grow. Natural selection eventually leads to our conscious will, and with that, we have a choice to do nothing. Perhaps that is one of humanity’s greatest weakness, we are not compelled to grow and evolve any longer. That weakness also gave us our greatest strength; we can choose to attain knowledge. Knowledge is one of our best assets, it allows us to continue the evolution of our minds. With that growth comes advancement as a species, and it allows us all to pursue our own meaning of life.
The meaning of life is constantly in flux throughout philosophy and throughout the tenure of human thought. The study of the meaning of life is a fallacy. We are not guided as we were with natural selection and as all other living things on Earth are. The concept of conscious thought immediately surrendered universal meaning, and led to subjective fulfillment of life as well as individual motivation. One often overlooked fact is how humanity evolved through the animal kingdom so quickly in relation to the time life evolved on the planet: Cooperation.
It is our extraordinary ability to cooperate within communities, nations, and globally that allows humanity to enact its will. It allowed us to create tools, pass down the knowledge for our generations to work with them and make them better. Whether it is a stone wall, scribes, books, and now the internet, designating information is tool most valuable to us. Without a pervasive and continual base of accessible knowledge, we would not be able to utilize new tools and advancements, nor would we be able to pass them to other people and generations for them to improve on our work.
It is okay to not have the knowledge before you, it is fine to not understand a thing or an idea. It is an extraordinary situation to not know or to not grasp something. In that moment there may seem to be an infinite amount of answers and an unfolding of boundless opportunities.
There is a curiosity that is imbued in each of our minds that leads us to ask why. Why is a thing the way it is and not like something else? Why are some truths not unlike another? Why do I exist, why do we exist?
Within the storm of ignorance there will always exist the possibility that there will be a resurgence of knowledge. The evolution of our minds depends heavily on our curiosity, the acquisition of information. This day, more than any before us, the resurgence for knowledge is strong. The passions that sway us, whenever we know more about the universe around us, are in an ending drive to excel and a nearly autonomous will to become better.
Young Socrates, and this new ‘Active Philosophy’, are for those in society that want to become better than they are now, to have their future secured, to have loved ones and neighbors succeed equally as well, but above all, live in a way that fulfills their emotional and logical goals. What you do today will very much affect those around you, more so if you hold a position of authority, and it will give affliction to all the tomorrows in your life. Trying to foresee the effects of a proverbial butterfly’s wings can be daunting and lead to errors that you may not have realized could cause such alterations in your goals.
There are many thoughts and theories about our morals and ethics. The branch of the human psyche falls under philosophy. We have been given so many variations on the matter, it’s difficult to find a definitive set of morals for us to follow. Religion, economic classes, and fictional literature all try to put forth their idealism for humanity. None of them have stayed with us through the generations, whether they have been banned by the state, deemed sacrilegious by spiritual authorities, or those ethics are now thought to be dehumanizing, there has always been a call for a static set of morals to guide not just the current generations but all the future ones as well. More importantly, society imposes morals and ethics without always a good reason. Let’s explain and map out these reasons.