The concern for the future of humanity is becoming more imperative as exponential technology brings us to the brink of the most fragile time in human history. Existential risk is a matter that is necessary to contemplate proactively rather than in a reactionary state, especially if intentions are to ensure continuance into the far future; a sort of insurance for humanity. However, what is mankind really trying to do? It is commonly advised to begin with the end in mind, however, there doesn’t seem to be a legitimate end goal besides a desperate cling to survival. Living without a purpose is simply existing, which seems to be the current state of our species. What are we existing for?
If we are referring to the whole of mankind rather than the specific individual, it can be commonly agreed upon that we simply have no concrete conclusion for why we are even here; or why anything should exist at all. This is in part due to the fact that we don’t even seem to have a complete understanding of what the universe actually is; why things behave the way they do. The fact that this is unknown would, by definition, imply that the relevance of everything that we do is also currently unknown. Thus, the logical progression would begin with acquiring the information necessary to discover what this nature is that existence seems to abide by. Then we can assemble the right question pertaining to the reason behind this phenomenon that we refer to as the “universe.”
By starting with this end question in mind, we can identify to the best of our current knowledge, the information that would be necessary to know before answering it. Regardless if it seems possible or not, we must consider it necessary for the time being. This would likely result in a series of questions, pushing the boundaries of our scientific and philosophical capabilities. This process would certainly be subject to change as new breakthroughs advance our understanding of the universe. However, the fact of the matter remains; it would be the most efficient direction relative to our maximum capability.
The next step of the progression would be to identify how we would theoretically be able to acquire the information to answer these questions. What would mankind need to build, explore, or expand to, in order to acquire this information? Even if the prediction involves seemingly impossible endeavors, the fact remains, that this is the most accurate direction and prediction that we have to go off of, thus, anything else would be, by definition, acting out of ignorance. The inevitable truth is that we are deciding our path right now. Everything that we are currently doing is moving us down a path toward a future, whether we like it or not. If we have to travel one, it might as well be the most efficient, relative to our capability and knowledge. Anything else would be deliberately wasting precious time and resources, thus, the only sensible option is to act in accordance to the best of our knowledge.
Once we have identified mankind’s necessary future endeavors, we will gain an understanding of the type of world that we need to build. The general idealistic future has been established, thus, we can establish a path that will most efficiently lead us there. All aspects and necessary advancements should be made to coincide with present day practicality. Our current way of existing requires certain necessities (energy, food, transportation, etc.). Advancing these general categories of human living should be done in accordance to what we will inevitably rely upon in the future. This end goal should be made priority right after taking into consideration what is necessary for our current state. Nothing extreme should be sacrificed for this theoretical future, because its accuracy is unknown. However, if we are going to advance, let us do it in accordance to what will most efficiently bring us to our end goal.
Choosing a random path (random future) may still advance us, but it will not be in the ideal manner regarding what we are trying to achieve. For example, it may seem easier to maximize the usage of fossil fuels in the modern age, however, it may be made apparent that solar energy is all that will matter in the future. So, within practicality, maximum efforts should be made to further the advancement and implication of complete solar energy usage as fast as possible. This would be the most efficient path for mankind to travel on towards the ideal future. Anything else would be a waste of time and resources in the long run. This idea should be applied to all aspects of humanity, allowing for us to get to our destination as efficiently as possible. We will save waste that is naturally associated with having to change systems of operation down the road. All of the research and progression that we are making today and onward will build upon itself allowing for long term compounding. Eliminating irrelevant endeavors now, allows for more focus and advancement to be made in areas that are relevant to the necessary future.
The ideal situation would be to eliminate all unnecessary progress and, by default, leaving only that which is necessary. This would in fact be the most efficient path, relative to the accuracy of our predicted ideal future, which is all that we can do. Of course, this must all be done in accordance to what will ensure the survival of mankind’s current situation, so practicality will certainly bottleneck the process, however, it is still maximum efficiency relative to what’s realistic. It would be exponentially more effective than our current method of progression, which seems to be solving problems only as they arise with no general direction. We certainly want to ensure the progression of a quality life for humans, but ideals are not being prioritized to shape the future that will be the most beneficial for the accomplishment of our end goal. The path should be that which encompasses both aspects of these ideals. Once the general direction, relative to our knowledge, is considered and put in to practice secondary to our immediate necessities, we are on the most efficient path.
The progressive thinking of this institute will inspire and ensure the masses that they are a part of something bigger than they could literally imagine. Ambition and motivation would skyrocket, as there is now a collaborative approach toward a common end goal. The uncertainty regarding the meaning of life has been removed, as it can be commonly understood what mankind is trying to accomplish and how we are going to do it. Although we cannot directly pursue the actual end goal, we can pursue the first practical endeavor that lies on the path of maximum efficiency. Which, by definition, is all that’s possible.
A broader outlook on our direction would establish a collaborative approach toward a common goal, instilling an unbounded level of dedication through the reorientation of human motive. Selfish instincts lose their appeal when the irrelevance of their function becomes understood logically in the grand scheme of things. This would excel our rate of progress significantly, as it is the selfish nature of man that currently bottlenecks efficiency. The understanding of a common direction would encourage one to act in accordance to the long term goal of mankind. Currently there is no legitimate direction, as it is assumed that our future is simply unknown. The common outlook is to simply adhere to one’s personal end goal, because there is simply nothing else to adhere to. This results in minimal regard for humanity’s long term future. Beginning with a common end in mind will allow for the logical deduction of a general direction for practical action. Until then, mankind remains enslaved to its instinctual nature of survival, rather than directing fate with the foresight of thoughtful action.
The default goal is that which evolution has decided. When one lacks logical understanding for the reason behind their instincts, they become enslaved to satisfying it with no rational limitation. This results in a very selfish path in line with our biological intentions of reproduction. Though instinct is necessary for the continuation of the human species, it should not be the sole determinant of our decisions. The utilization of abstract thought is what allows us to advance in more efficient manners.
The problem we face as humans is that we are capable of understanding the inefficient nature of our instincts, however, we are still bound to their urges. The selfish gene remains, and we can’t escape it, however, we have learned to understand it from a logical perspective. There is no longer a need to kill each other off to force natural selection. We have established a civilized way of life, in which everyone can contribute somehow toward the common progression of mankind.