How Do We Design a Sustainable Society? | Dr David Skrbina
Dr David Skrbina joins us to discuss how his theories of panpsychism can help redesign society to achieve peace, homeostasis and sustainability
On this episode of the BEST MEDICINE Podcast...
Our Guest: Dr. David Skrbina
I read "Panpsychism" leading up to our conversation (at my nephew's suggestion)- and it completely revolutionized my ideas as it pertains to philosophy of Mind.
I highly recommend the book for anybody interested in learning the history of metaphysics and consciousness.
I had Dr Skrbina on the show to discuss his views on "How do we design a sustainable society?"
How Do We Design a Sustainable Society?
Have you noticed how our society faces near-catastrophic system errors more frequently as of late?
Worrying about our careers, families, and health should be more than enough to keep us busy - but we can not help but shake the question:
"If this is a game of musical chairs and the music is almost up, should I be living my life this way, or preparing for something else?"
Dr David Skrbina is here to speak with us about how we might design such a society that doesn't prompt these fears in us.
Why is modernity unstable?
Dr Skrbina and I are far from the first people to point out that modernity is broken.
Alienation, abstraction of value, decimation of health, constant challenge to natural social impulses...
Modernity is unstable because it's not built to respect certain natural laws.
Dr Skrbina shares that the level of scale we've achieved with technology has brought us to a point of crisis.
Tribes and pre-modern civilizations were able to exercise their will to power without facing catastrophes of ultimate consequence.
The entire human race would never be threatened from an error of leadership or system design before.
Additionally, due to the levels of alienation that come from modernity, we are no longer living in a society that "elevates" the human soul - taking it from the jungle to living within social contract.
We are now at a point where the alienation is so severe for so many people that we may be re-entering a tribal, or "jungle" dynamic.
And those who amassed power despite this (the large corporations/financial players and governmental leaders) are now concerned with repressing and controlling the populace via means of technology.
This is symptom management.
It is necessary to give a type II diabetic person their insulin. It is also necessary to question the mental and lifestyle framework that lead to them giving themselves obesity and diabetes.
Merely giving them insulin without helping them heal their minds and lifestyles is "symptom management." It's a way to milk the patient for more money without fixing the root of the issue.
At a social level, this is using force and power to control negative social appetites rather than adjusting incentives and systems to allow healthy dynamics to emerge.
Modernity's massive scale and unnatural lifestyle have alienated us from the social contract and sent us back to the jungle.
The rulers of modernity use technology, money and media to suppress the populations growing resentments.
This makes modernity unstable by definition.
It can not last.
From consciousness to conscientiousness - how "Eco-ethics" will help redesign our society.
"Homeostasis" is not a static state that an organism or system can stay in. It is a range of states which must be modulated by altering affinities and repulsions. Society is no different.
Schopenhauer and Nietzsche pointed out that "Will" was at the core of all things.
Skrbina calls this "panpsychism." Its similar to the ancient Greek idea of "nous" or the element of reality which is intelligible and behaves as if it were intelligent.
In this sense, I asked Dr Skrbina how we may move from this state of chaos back in the direction of ethics.
Or, to move from consciousness to conscientiousness.
Mere consciousness is merely to be alive and to have Will. Conscientiousness is to add the dimension of self-reflection and ethical intention to consciousness.
Dr. Skrbina pointed out that there's a presupposition in the entire field of ethics which might damn it,
When we study ethics we study "what actions might individual humans, or social groups, take that will create better outcomes for individuals and society?"
This is hardly a BAD intention - but it's not fully conscientious.
We are forgetting nature.
If we act in such a way that is good only for human beings, we run the risk of acting in a way that is bad for the other occupants of our planet.
Necessarily, they will become antagonistic towards us and shove us back out of homeostasis.
We may certainly choose to value our lives above the lives of insects. But if we create a world where insects can't live at all, the food chain collapses and we shall starve.
To add ethics back in to our society properly, we have to do with the new discoveries of science - that we are a VERY delicate portion of a larger system called "Earth," not necessarily the sole inheritors and rulers of our planet.
In order to do that, we must extend part of our concept of "equality." (No, not equity in the social justice sense.)
We must extend the idea that we are not the Gods and rulers over nature, but merely cohabitants of nature. This links to panpsychism as it requires us to see the element of "mind" (or some might say "soul") within all things.
I'm certainly not advocating anybody turn vegan or turn off their gas.
However, as a society we must design systems better.
One step in the right direction is allowing us to return to the social contract by creating incentives that balance human interests out.
But the step after that is to balance all of human interests in harmony with the larger ecological and biological system we find ourselves in.
Anything less is symptom management and runs the risk of collapse.
Reminder - I am taking telemedicine appointments at WellspringCare.org
You DO NOT NEED INSURANCE to "see the doctor" (so long as the doctor is me, or one of my colleagues at Wellspring).
I like to consider this my small part to rebalance the incentives and move us towards social homeostasis.
If you're interested please join me for one low, fair, flat fee (no hidden adjustments),