Stacks Image 818

Futurology (Philosophy of the Future)-Where is all of life and existence heading, and why?

Our futurology is a major element that drives our actions today, whether we prepare for a good or bad future or whether we see no need for preparation of any kind, se all have an idea of where we think the world and everyone in it is heading and even an idea of where we are heading. This affects how we see the world and ourselves interacting within it.

Much like world views on the whole, our futurology will largely be determined by either a theistic or atheistic framework. There really is no middle ground for the most part as this element of a worldview doesn’t cross over or “mix and match” with a partial theist or partial atheist position. For example - those who have a non-theist fatalistic futurology may fear the future and especially the inevitable: death, because it is the unknown, uncontrollable, and final end for them. Contrasted to this is the Biblical Christian worldview which directs its adherents to have no fear of death whatsoever as they believe that all will stand before their Maker in judgment but the Christian has trusted in the Son of that Maker for “salvation” so no fear is necessary - absent from the body, present with the Lord etc.

A classic philosophical position for a Christian futurology is known as “Pascal’s Wager” and it goes as follows:
  1. God is, or God is not. Reason cannot decide between the two alternatives.

  2. A Game is being played... where heads or tails will turn up. You must wager (not optional).

  3. Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing.

  4. Wager, then, without hesitation that He is. (...) There is here an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain, a chance of gain against a finite number of chances of loss, and what you stake is finite.

  5. And so our proposition is of infinite force, when there is the finite to stake in a game where there are equal risks of gain and of loss, and the infinite to gain.

There aren’t a great number of schools of belief as to futurology as it isn’t really a formal school of thought or branch of philosophy. However, below I’ve listed a key question to determine one’s futurology and how some of the various philosophical positions might answer that question:

  1. If circumstances remain as they are, what is the future of mankind?

    1. Fatalist – All events that are going to happen have been predetermined ahead of time so we should all just resign ourselves to our fate. “Everything happens for a reason!”

    2. Environmentalist – Mankind is raping his environment and is killing off his habitat, unless the government steps in and saves man from himself. We will all be destroyed with no future.

    3. Biblical – Mankind grows more corrupt every day and is storing up wrath for himself the longer he refuses to repent and return to his Creator. There will be Divine judgment on the earth.

    4. Atheist – Life on earth is all there is, so we should re-educate ourselves to live better and more productive lives & take care of the earth around us until the day of death where it all ends.

    5. Scientism – Through reason, logic, and use of scientific technology the world is being made a better place and will only be made better over time and evolution.

    6. Post-Modernism – Science and technology have been abused in the past and blindly following them will lead to a dysfunctional, unhappy, dystopian future

  2. Some common world views pertaining to futurology

    1. Fatalism - Philosophical doctrine holding that all events are fated to happen and that human beings cannot therefore change their destinies: e.g. Someone might feel that the Earth is dying, mankind is growing more self-destructive, the future looks bleak and there is little or nothing we can do about it is “fate” and we should just accept it

    2. Utopianism – A futurology and/or methodology whereby a “perfect” society is pursued by way of faith and hope. It seeks to build a world filled with happiness and freed from pain. Many experiments of utopian pursuit have failed as the goal is flawed in a definitional sense. “Perfect” has been discovered to be a subjective and not objective term and the practical building blocks for piecing together a “utopian society” come at the expense of those who must endure pain and hardship to build and maintain it and of those who disagree with the definition of “perfection”. Utopianism seeks to re-educate, suppress, and/or oppress those who would disagree with the utopian vision i.e. illuminati-like secret societies etc. nevertheless, despite the glaring contradictory methodology to pursue the ideology, the ends justifies the means to the utopian-minded individual. A “dystopian” society would be considered the opposite of a utopian society, whereby disorder and hopelessness rule the day. i.e. Mad Max, Matrix, etc.

    3. Solipsist - The future doesn’t exist at all as it is a construct of someone that doesn’t really exist in a world that doesn’t really exist.

    4. Hedonist - “Tomorrow we die” so therefore a hedonist lives every day as if it were their last - living for the here and now of self-gratification “eat, drink, and be merry” c.f. world view expressed in most Hollywood movies and pop songs

    5. Objectivist

    6. Optimism – Believes, expects, or hopes that things will turn out well Dumb and Dumber scene – “You have one in a million chance with me.” - “So you are saying there IS a chance!” - the ultimate optimist.

    7. Pessimism / Defeatism“Expect the worst that you might be “pleasantly surprised”

      1. The similar but not identical idea that life has a negative value, or that this world is as bad as it could possibly be. It has also been noted by many philosophers that pessimism is not a disposition as the term commonly connotes. Instead, it is a cogent philosophy that directly challenges the notion of progress and what may be considered the faith-based claims of optimism.

        1. ”But against the palpably sophistical proofs of Leibniz that this is the best of all possible worlds, we may even oppose seriously and honestly the proof that it is the worst of all possible worlds. For possible means not what we may picture in our imagination, but what can actually exist and last. Now this world is arranged as it had to be if it were to be capable of continuing with great difficulty to exist; if it were a little worse, it would be no longer capable of continuing to exist. Consequently, since a worse world could not continue to exist, it is absolutely impossible; and so this world itself is the worst of all possible worlds.” – Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, Vol. II, Ch. 46.

    8. Existentialism

      1. Involved in or vital to the shaping of an individual’s self-chosen mode of existence and moral stance with respect to the rest of the world

      2. 20th-century philosophical movement that denies that the universe has any intrinsic meaning or purpose and requires individuals to take responsibility for their own actions and shape their own destinies

    9. Nihilism - A belief that life is pointless and human values are worthless

    10. Absurdism

    11. Structuralism

    12. Egalitarian