Speculation on Some Unusual Implications of ESP

As explained on this Web site, the book Are You There? is concerned with two questions: (1) Does ESP occur in the commonly understood sense of that term? (2) What does the occurrence of ESP as a spiritual phenomenon imply about atheist materialists who believe that man has no soul? The answer to (1) is "Yes." The answer to (2) is "They are mistaken." In this essay, in the hope of stimulating discussion, I shall speculate about several possible implications of these two findings of Are You There? 

Sectarian War or Ecumenical Peace

Theologians today seem more concerned with history than with truth--more concerned with the distant past than with the nature of God, on which they differ, or with the danger of war, to which their differences contribute. The causes of war are many: economic, ideological, theological, and the evil nature of most of those who desire and attain power. These causes relate directly to the present and only indirectly to the past. Such being the case, undue emphasis upon history is an evasion of responsibility. Because mutually contradicting beliefs about God cannot all be true, one wonders why theologians of differing faiths do not agree, at least privately among themselves, that some of their beliefs might be wrong and then attempt to minimize their differences and lessen the danger of war.

In the light of past experience, this might seem an unpromising proposal were it not that there are experimental phenomena, including ESP, that are spiritual in nature and that are largely unexplored. Their exploration may ultimately alter the nature of all religious beliefs. 

What might scientists think of such an idea? Seventy-one percent of National Academy of Sciences members say that they do not accept the reality of ESP because "The phenomena do not fit into known science." (Joyride to Infinity, page 342.) That is a strange reason to come from the leaders of science. I am confident that theologians can think more logically than that.

An interest by theologians in ESP, if only as a possibly spiritual phenomenon, could strengthen rationality in religion as well as science. Such an interest might lead a few responsible but misguided members of The National Academy of Sciences to publicly attack ESP. This, in turn, might end the conspiracy of scientific silence about ESP, which has been contrived by the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal. (See pages 27-34 and 73-75 of Are You There?)

On the Physical and Spiritual Aspects of Slavery

Anthropomorphic religions were created by primitive man in response to his spiritual experiences (including psychic phenomena) coupled with the exigencies of the physical world in which he lived. Like the animals from which he was evolving, man lacked the brain structure and knowledge to survive and prosper except by robbing and killing or enslaving competing creatures. Killing and enslaving were necessary and not blameworthy at this stage of man's evolution.

As his practical knowledge and conceptualizing ability grew, man slowly modified his religious beliefs and activities to conform more closely to physical and spiritual reality. For example, the Hebrews made what may have been their greatest contribution to Western Civilization when they decreed the observance of a Sabbath. This separated physical and spiritual activities and made possible the later development of Western science. Another giant step was taken when Christianity discarded Roman slavery. 

What is the status of slavery in today's world? In general, the morality of slavery in any era before its legal termination, which occurs at different times in different cultures, is a matter for debate. As a rule, slavery is not terminated until after it has become immoral. Without doubt, the importation of Negroes into the United States as slaves was immoral. However, eliminating the enslavement of Africans by other Africans in Sub-Saharan Africa today is, for logistical reasons, beyond the capability of the industrialized countries.

Reparations were due to the emancipated American Negroes and, in a limited way, were paid. But what is due, one may ask, to those who subsequently were born free? If the descendants of freed slaves have fared poorly, is that entirely because of opportunities denied them? Can the answer to this question be inferred from the achievements of the most successful of the descendants of freed slaves? Can it perhaps be inferred from independent measures of Negro genetic competence? This topic has been debated at length. For information, see The solution of America's race problem must conform to both spiritual and physical reality.

Involuntary Indenture in a Global World

In the Eighteenth Century, unable to tolerate the cognitive dissonance between their growing knowledge of the physical world and the varied beliefs of proliferating religious sects, the most competent scientists of that day relieved their distress by declaring the spiritual realm to be nonexistent. They have persisted in denying the evidence, including ESP, of a spiritual reality. Their philosophy of life, in its practical aspects, has been adopted by most of the Western world, even by people who practice established religions. The disastrous results of this philosophic maneuver are becoming more evident every day.

The financiers and politicians who are most skilled at lying or manipulating money attain the highest power and determine the policies of the country. By the doctrine of materialism they are freed from all responsibility for the welfare of others. They can believe that there is no rational basis for unselfish behavior and no universal obligation on all persons to assist one another.

Acting ignorantly and in their own interests, financiers, abetted by politicians, and under the banner of globalization, have created economic imbalances nationally and worldwide. They have little understanding of technology, sociology, and the range of human individual differences. As materialists they regard all humans as of no intrinsic importance. Power and monetary profit are their only criteria of success. 

In the technically advanced countries globalists are shifting the middle class into the lower class and the lower class into unemployment. In the Third World they are destroying stabilizing cultures and offering false dreams of wealth instead. Globalists ignore the finite limits of space and natural resources. They know little of the history of the rise and fall of past civilizations. They have initiated unsustainable processes that within a few years must lead to the worldwide collapse of civilization. 

Child Suicide and Adult Nihilism

The rise of child suicide has been blamed upon many things, ranging from the availability of guns to the depiction of violence as entertainment, but it has never seriously been associated with the philosophy of materialism. 

The basic tenets of materialism are that there is no reality except matter and that there are no moral imperatives save the pursuit of personal pleasure. For some children and adults who are more insightful than most and can recognize the ultimate futility of materialism, the response to living in a materialist environment may be one of despair and anger.

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