Full fathom five thy father lies: Of his bones are coral made: Those are pearls that were his eyes: Nothing of him that doth fade, But doth suffer a sea-change, Into something rich and strange. Shakespeare, the Tempest.
Of great forces right and wrong the simple words of that song ring true. For in those words of past recount the wonders of fears and dreams come true. We are in a time of great upheaval, not of simple tidal changes, the constant ebb and flow of lunar forces but of tsunami waves of change that will affect the world in whole.
The weather is changing, the political world is fluctuating, the monetary standards are in a state of constant flux and with these changes are once simple moralities have become complicated affairs of selfish choice and the greater good.
Christoph Adami, professor at Michigan State University studied the differences between the selfish and the cooperative and concluded that eventually the selfish would die out due to evolutionary forces that support a more cooperative nature within us all. In evolutionary terms were probably talking ten million years, give or take a few hundred thousand here and there in order for man’s innate selfishness to abate and be replaced with a willingness and desire toward teamwork.
That great sea-change may be related to that moral ideal of cooperation versus teamwork. Societies cannot exist without cooperation, agreement and consensus, including laws that regulate, standardize and homogenize, leading many free thinkers to believe that their freedoms are at stake. It must be understood that certain universal laws must be obeyed in order to retain the rights of choice and freedom.
Gravity is an easy example and one that everyone has to obey. Standing on a cliff we all have the choice to jump or not, but once the choice to jump has been acted upon the choice no longer exists and the freedom to choose is gone taking with it a level of autonomy and the liberty that obedience offered.
Choices are in fact a point of time that regulate our lives, moving us forward, backward or perhaps to the side of what many believe is a predestined and planned existence. Predestination is a position of omniscience that allows one to see all, past present and future but only from the perspective of he that sees and knows all, suggesting that there is a God.
Others believe in a chance only existence where nothing is planned, nothing is foreseen and all is random and arbitrary, suggesting that man’s life, his dreams and achievements, his failures, loves and memories are nothing more than an energy fluctuation in a continuum of biological coincidence.
That sea-change may be within the chasm that falls within these two divergent thoughts, the planning and all-knowing God and the unsystematic, chaotic happenstance of a minute existence. The world seems to be dividing between these two factions with a multiplicity of options creating a gray area of uncertainty with only a few choosing one or the other substantially. Will we act selfishly or cooperatively?
We do not live in a black or white world anymore. The grayness of our lives is a profound testament to the uncertainty of everything including our basic moralities that were once defined and simplistic. Now our moralities are subject to personal interpretations and conditional desires not based on foundational principles, but florid and liquefied situations that change with the tide. Moralities by definition establish order and cooperation between right and good conduct and those actions that are not. What we have lost is the ability to define and support those good and right conducts and with that loss our ability to progress toward freedom based on making those right choices.
As this sea-change occurs we are enslaving ourselves to the random acts of others without consequence simply because we don’t want to offend the “rights” of another to do as they please. Anarchy is the sea-change that is coming and with it the tidal wave of discontent, disorder and eventual destruction.
It can be stopped; we don’t have to follow the historical path of all other civilizations. We can alter our path by choosing correctly; having faith that there is a God (and that he does know our past, future and present) and that His morality should be used to establish our moralities. We have the inch in some secrete lab, we know what a pound is and we even know the difference between right and wrong, all we have to do is agree to abide by those standards.
The cliff may be there but we don’t have to jump, we still have the choice…