The Phenotopian Canon. (#1 draft)
(for Phenotopians – followers of the Phenotopian ”faith” – don’t take it to serious :-)
Even though many Homo Sapiens individuals are reclusive, operate best autonomous and are happiest (or least depressed) in solitude, a wast majority of this species are social and collective creatures. Many prefer to more or less organize their everyday life in patterns together with others, even outside their privacy realm or family structure. It can be around all kinds of topics, interests and desires, and the biggest one is RELIGION.
People like to gather around ethics, rituals, traditions and common rules; it makes life more ”understandable” and for some it’s the only way to know what to think and do when it comes to some situations, thoughts and topics. For some it’s a way to feel secure, for some it’s just fun. For some it’s a life saver, for some it’s just cultural surface and entertainment. For some it’s enjoyable oppression and for some it’s power and money. For the faith-professionals, religion can be just a job, an income and maybe a career to a more comfortably life.
To realise that you are a biological robot can be frustrating or even frightening. Fore others it does not change anything emotional or practical, but it gives life a new dimension and they think about it a couple of times every day (like some think about death often, some almost never). Some may want to gather around this knowledge – like religious people gather around their common mythology – and this Canon is for them.
Lets build a regulated culture – some kind of liturgy – around the fact that everything is causality and that there is probably no SPIRIT or MEANING with our existence – or ANY existence. And instead of making up yet another saga around this existential question, let us just gather together around the fact that there is no Free Will, and the causality parameters will in time show if there will be such gatherings. Here is some of my suggestions for the basic foundation for this new assembly, the assembly of robots who knows that they are robots…this is what a specific series of causes and effects since the Big Bang made ”me” write exactly NOW:
(it will partly taste ”political”, but that’s just because applied ethics on a society IS policy – wether the ethics comes from ancient mythology, greek philosophy or Enlightenment, etc)
This is our belief right now and every time science tells us something else we will adjust this belief to the new facts. To be corrected by science is a bliss and should be celebrated with a ceremony of freely chosen form and size (i.e. fireworks or lightning a candle in silence…or baking a nice cake…or mint a coin…write a poem…).
First there was NOTHINGNESS. About NOTHINGNESS we can’t understand anything. Our brains can’t grasp NOTHINGNESS. It’s just a word and the same goes for ETERNITY. It’s just words. Do not bother about those concepts if you don’t want to. It’s probably a waste of time and life to bother about this kind of impossible tasks – like pulling your own hair to lift yourself of the ground.
Then came ENERGY – we call it the BIG BANG and there was TIME and MATTER as we know it. Since then it’s all just CAUSALITY – nothing more, nothing less; CAUSALITY. We call it – everything all together – COSMOS (or UNIVERSE if you prefer).
WHY this chain of events – and this series of energy redistribution – CAME TO EXISTENS we probably can never know. The concept ”why” (in this context) only exists in our brains, it’s a neuro-electric ”pattern” and the concept may not exist at all outside our brains. ”Before” and ”after” this COSMOS – before/after this TIME/MATTER we exist in – is probably beyond our ability to do any scientific investigation. We suppose that the brain – a part of Cosmos – only can investigate Cosmos. Cosmos can only understand Cosmos. Or maybe we can fruitfully research ”why”, ”before”, ”after” and ”eternity”? Maybe not. Maybe…
Anyway: what we have is Big Bang. That’s our Genesis.
From there EVERYTHING – big and small – HAPPENS because it HAPPENS. It’s all PHENOMENON. That’s why we call this place PHENOTOPIA. Phenotopia is our perception of COSMOS.
In COSMOS there is no room for FREE WILL. Everything is CAUSALITY and this Canon is a result of that too. It happened. This canon was inevitable like everything else. If you are reading this right now was also inevitable. How you interpreters this information, all your thoughts about it and what you think and do the next second is also inevitable. Like the weather and the birth of a new star…and the punctuation mark – the period dot – after the last letter in this sentence. If I had left it out, that would also have been inevitable.
FREE WILL is just an illusion automatically produced in our neuro-electric bio-machine called The Brain. The sens of agency – a ME – a SELF – looking out into the world convinced of autonomous behaviour and actions in this world – is all just an illusion. CONSCIOUSNESS is an illusion, a kind of self-replicating neuro-chemical loop…or…well, it’s as mysterious as NOTHINGNESS and ETERNITY, and science maybe able to describe more about this phenomenon called conciousness and it’s built-in delusion of Free Will in the future. And the question WHY we have this delusion – why evolution have promoted this robust psychosis – is very interesting. And if a vast majority of Homo Sapiens has the same revelation as we have – that we are just robots – will that change the evolutionary path for the species in the long run? What happens when all – or most – robots realise that they are robots? Will this ever happen? I believe that it will be ignored, but that’s not a dogma; you can believe what you want and hope that it will have an impact on civilisation and make it better and even reduce the man-made sufferings on this planet.
Most basic religious ethics are just formalised emotions we have in our mammal DNA. Ethics came FIRST, religion LATER. Our moral is genetic. Murder – for example – is repulsive for most people, with or without religious rules or laws. And no one have to ”learn” NOT to torture children. And many good laws in civilised world are NOT from religion, they exist DESPITE of religion. Laws against rape for example. Laws protecting children (sex, marriage, etc). Laws against slavery. Laws against oppression of ethnic groups and sexual minorities. Laws against death penalty. Those laws comes because we are better than the old religious dogma. We are more good and descent than the gods in most religions, especially compered to the god in the Bible and the Quran.
So, forget the false notion that religions made us civilised. Religion is just a culture part of the wast human project called civilisation. Civilisation can be measured by how far it reforms BEYOND and DESPITE religion. Some religions have so much darkness in them that it have taken civilisation hundreds of years of suffering, hardship and struggle to clean up mankind from the evil dogma in religions. The struggle continues of course and some forces want to go back to the darkness, but I believe that the Enlightenment is inevitable and will cover almost all of mankind some day. The only thing that the dark forces can do is to slow down the cultural evolution – or even reverse development and periodically stall it at an earlier more primitive version – but in the long run the Enlightenment will come to a wast majority of all societies on this planet.
The sad thing is the horrible harm and pain that those reactions against Enlightenment causes. Generations miss the chans to a descent life because those dark forces fighting the inevitable – but that’s inevitable too – until causality brings the light to all – or at least to a wast majority of Homo Sapiens. Life IS a lot of suffering, but we can never accept all this UNNECESSARY suffering produced by religion, prejudices and lies. Suffering that have no other cause than brain ghosts. Invented suffering, man-made deliberately pain and sorrow. THAT’S the ENEMY…maybe the only objectively common enemy.
As a Phenotopian I suggest some basic ethics:
All ethics should be based on NATURE and REASON. If there’s a conflict between natural order and reason (and to avoid naturalistic fallacy), the rule should be; maximise happiness for maximal number of individuals and minimise suffering for maximal number of individuals.
UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a descent platform. It still misses some important topics – sexual natural rights for example (i.e. homosexuality is a part of nature) – but it’s a developing document and a good basic stand for a descent human being. Just because some nations in darkness stall the development of this document, we Enlightened should just go forward and hope the losers catch up some day.
What you THINK does NOT count – only ACTION counts. It’s what you DO that effects the REALITY. Only actions can be reached by law.
Body and Brain belongs to the persona inside that body and brain. Whatever that persona does with that body and brain – that does not harm any other living thing – directly or indirectly – is beyond any law.
Individuals aspiring for happiness and ways to satisfy desires and emotional needs – in ANY form – is a PRIVATE matter and if it’s no force, coercion, oppression, harm and suffering for another animal (including Homo Sapiens) involved – it’s nothing we – the external people around this individual – have ANYTHING to do with. It’s NOT OUR BIZNIZ. We can THINK and TELL anything we want – of course – but we should not ACT on it as a collective.
If the pursue for happiness is harmfull for that person herself, anyone can of course engage and ACT to HELP that person, but that’s another thing – to act of love and care is also in our DNA. But we can NOT use force, coercion, oppression, harm and suffering to stop a person to harm herself. Communication is the only tool in this matter. THINK and TELL.
Exceptions for mentally disabled humans follow the best science and jurisprudence we have at any given time. When can the Collective intervene and break the individual rights to help or save a mentally disabled human? This is a grey zone and a very delicate and difficult area with no given standard for every case. The Collective shall not economise the effort to come to the best and most descent and good decision for every mentally disabled person in every single individual case. This must be permitted to cost in every level, be a priority. Arbitrary and sloppy processes in this area is fatal for our Civilisation. Every case is in fact about ourself (we, the sane), our rights and their value.
The human goal should be to have as few laws as possibly for adult humans, but when it comes to children we should not be afraid to write laws, because history and reality shows that children have to be PROTECTED, they have NO POWER. To fully trust parents is an evil game with terrible consequences. Here the price is to high for autonomy, parents can NOT do what they want with their offspring. There is no better reason for writing laws than to protect, educate and encourage children. ALL children.
IF we should at all HAVE a STATE (which we probably must because of the huge number of humans in collectives), it’s purpose should be based on protecting children and designing the society for the benefit of children and the future they are going to live in. Children’s happiness and well-being is the best cause to ever build culture and societies. ALL the rest is secondary. Adults – the POWER – should go to extremes to customise reality to be as good as it can be for children. That’s the road to a better society for EVERYONE. When an adult sacrifice something in his/her own life for a child, it’s making the adult a greater person, he/she becomes a REAL and IMPORTANT man/woman. THAT’S ”making a difference”.
This is a truth for a collective too. We should measure a civilisation after how the children are treated and how we shape their prospects. All the rest is secondary.
TRADITIONS, MANIFESTATION & LITURGY
Our symbol is dominos falling, any variation. Or just one domino. Any number. Any colour.
For convinience, practical and economical reasons we just ”steal” days and dates already in use since the previous religious influx to the region we live in (they also adapted too existing pagan days/dates/season/symbols/etc). So, in muslim, christian, jewish, hindu, etc, regions we follow local calendar when it comes to holidays. It’s up to local congregations to rigg all this, I just give an example for how it could be in a country/society dominated by christian traditions:
1. The darkest day of the year is celebrated (a pagan tradition), it can be adjusted to the Christmas days of course (like they did in Viking land). But to celebrate on the actual darkest day/night is of course more stylish. This is the REAL New Year shift and it’s a nice cosmic marker, and it’s (in many ways) important for Homo Sapiens (and other living things), at least if they’re not living very close to the equator.
2. For devoted followers there will be a weekly celebration – on Sundays of course. Why not. Your congregation can pick any day, or many days. Why not every day? But seven day weeks, twelve months years and 24 hour days is already here and almost a global standard, so to use that is rational…and we like to be rational and use our energy where it matters. Anyway; nothing is rigid when it comes to the surface, local and individual creativity is not only allowed, it’s encouraged…if you ask me.
3. Midsummer (also a pagan tradition) will be the BIG thing in my opinion. This is my personal contribution as Swede as I am. I think it’s a nice thing to celebrate the brightest day on the year (for most humans on the planet I suppose) – if there is anything at all worth to celebrate it must be this; the SUN. But skip it if you – or your local Phenotopian congregation – don’t want it. Maybe some think the darkest day of the year is the BIG thing – that the darkness will turn and from then it will gett brighter – or maybe some congregations consider BOTH equal important. Maybe there will be some intricate and hot liturgic debates about that – meta nonsense that make some people happy. I don’t care. It’s all inevitable anyway whatever happens.
The weekly ceremony – the Sunday (or any other day, maybe Friday or Saturday in Jerusalem) Phenotopian gig.
Indoors or outdoor. Doesn’t matter. House, apartment or city park. A congregation can rent or buy a place, or even build a special place with unique design; Phenotopian architects can have a lot of fun, of course. Maybe there will develop a special Phenotopian style. It’s all up to the local congregation. A homepage for a local congregations is – of course – recommended.
It may be a max two hours ceremony (Not to long, just my humble suggestion. Maybe 52 minutes and 34 seconds is perfect?). It should start with an opening by the ”priest” (a ”sermon”), we can call him/her ”MasterVox” or just ”Vox” (a voted position). He/she opens with a ”sermon” when everyone is gathered and relaxed in their seats – or lying down – or standing (individually facing any direction they want). It can be something like this:
Greetings in peace.
By unimaginable amounts of parameters and unimaginable numbers of causalities – in macro and in micro – and the unimaginable number of combinations of cause and effect – we are exactly now all here together at exactly this place in time and space.
The traces for us being here now – and why I’m saying this now – and every thought and emotions in all our brains now – goes all back to the Big Bang. And no other force than cause and effect where involved to make this happen, it’s all just energy exchange and if you think this is beautiful or trivial is just a neurologic constellation – a feeling – in your brain and you – your feeling of agency – did not create that feeling either.
Love and compassion seems to be very important emotions for a vast majority of Homo Sapiens individuals. We believe that those emotions are forces that have had a huge impact in our evolution as a species and our way of creating civilisation. Causality through a bio-system we call Evolution have made us – and many other animals – sensitive for love and compassion and it seems that behavior in this fashion is fruitful and prosperous for us all, it’s like natures strange inverted entropy where the result – the final sum – is more than the merged input. It seems that Cosmos – manifested in our bio-system – have embedded a vast redundancy of love and passion, and it’s up to ourself to discover and release this huge power.
So, moral came first, religions later. Moral is in our DNA, or else it would not exist – of course. The moral well is inside almost everyone, some brains are wired different (psychopath’s e.g.) but they are rare. Religions are – amongst many things – collections and regulations of the moral codes we already have inside us from birth. The sad thing is that many religions also pollute their moral code collections with unnatural and more or less malignt – or even evil – rules and laws. Most religions also have this bizarre notion that everything is fixed in time, that there is no cultural evolution and what was said thousands of years ago must still be valid. In short; most religions despise the nature, mankind and science.
We are NOT that religion. We are not a religion at all. We are Phenotopians and we are who we are and the only fundamentals that links us together is:
1. The revelation that there is no Free Will. Our selfness notion – or consciousness – of Free Will is just an illusion. Consciousness itself is an illusion. We – our selfhood – is an illusion who experience an illusion.
2. IF there is a MEANING and/or a REASON for Existence, anyone’s speculation are equal. So far.
3. We regard Science as the only source we have to find objective truth, it’s the only well we can gather around when we need the grounds for understanding, organising and regulate our common zone; the Society.
Full stop. (= ”amen”).
Then MasterVox gives place for – if scheduled – the ”special” of the day. It can be anything; a band playing, art show, a stand up comedian, a speech from member or guest, demo of new cool video game, scientific thesis…
Finally people can stay for discussion or social mingle or…just look at people and wonder how they ended up there at exactly that moment.
That’s all for now. I’m working on a ”prayer” too, a short one that can be used every time as an ending of the ”sermon”, before the ”special”. Of course anyone can contribute with ”prayers” (poems), artefacts, symbols, songs (”psalms”), etc. It’s up to the congregations participants/members to decorate the Phenotopian activities.
The only wish I have is that every congregation is a democratic entity, but I can’t even decide that. It’s not a centralised organisation, not an organisation at all. And…what ever happens happens…it’s causes and effects from now on forward. Time will tell…as they say…”time will tell”, that’s a very Phenotopian statement.