Unexamined Assumptions that Perpetuate the Modern Worldview

We all live with assumptions about reality and our society that we aren’t aware of. The following is a list of some common unexamined assumptions that come from the worldview of the Modern/Industrial Era. After each one, I have put (in italics) a belief that is more aligned with the worldview of the Regenerative Era in social evolution that is just now emerging in this time of transition.

Notice which assumptions you hold. Also notice any assumptions that you hold emotionally even if you see through that belief intellectually. You may also notice that one part of you holds the Regenerative story in some arena and another part of you holds the Modern story. This is normal since most of us are between worldviews or stories and haven’t made the full transition to the Regenerative story.

Please also be aware of ways that you disagree with me about the Regenerative Era beliefs. I don’t believe that my answers are definitive.

General Assumptions

The earth is a dead hunk of rock.
The earth is a living organism, possibly a sentient being.

Reality is just an interplay of mechanical forces. Any meaning is something we humans project onto it.
Reality has intrinsic meaning and purpose.

The meaning of human life is to maximize our pleasure, comfort, power, and recognition.
The meaning of life is to use our gifts to participate in and contribute to the well-being of all and the evolution of human society and the universe.

You either believe in a human-like God or you are an atheist or agnostic.
The divine/spiritual/higher power is a mysterious unity that can take many different forms.

You either believe in evolution as blind chance with survival of the fittest or you believe that God created the world as it is.
Evolution can be seen as a grand movement toward greater complexity and autonomy, which may be the way that spirit is waking up to itself.

Science will eventually answer all questions about the universe.
Our current scientific way of understanding is limited in what it can comprehend. Other ways of knowing are needed.

Human beings are separate from each other and only connect with family and close friends.
Human beings are intrinsically connected to each other and to nature.

Our view of reality is the truth.
Our view of reality is a worldview that should be held lightly. Though it is probably more accurate than those of previous eras, it will be superseded by future worldviews.

Humans beings have a singular identity.
Human beings have a fluid identity. We can be identified with a part of ourselves, with our ego, with our underlying spiritual nature, with our ethnic group or race, with our nation, with all of humanity, with everything, and more.

Assumptions Related to Politics and Economics

Economic growth is a good thing.
Continued economic growth is impossible because of ecological limits. We must transition to a healthy steady-state economy.

The U.S. must compete with other countries economically and militarily to prevail.
The U.S. should cooperate with other countries to maximize global well-being.

People with political views that are different from mine are ignorant, crazy, or evil.
Some people with different political views may be well-meaning and have useful ideas for me to consider.

It is natural for corporations to care only about profits.
Corporations were originally chartered to be of benefit to their communities as well as making profits, and they should only be allowed to exist if they benefit their communities and the natural world.

People are poor because they are lazy.
Many people are stuck in poverty situations not of their own making.

Human beings are naturally greedy.
Much of the greed we see today comes from the structure of our economic system. Under a different system, people could be caring and cooperative.

Human beings are naturally warlike and violent.
We have so much war because there is yet no overarching world government to mediate disputes. People have to be trained to be killers.

A capitalist economy is the natural and best way for an economy to operate. If the government doesn’t interfere with the economy, then it works the natural way for the greater good.
Markets do certain things very well, such as improving efficiency and allocating effort and resources, but they naturally move toward monopoly and exploitation. And there are some very important things that they can’t do well without government supervision, such as taking care of the commons, the natural world, community, and people’s well-being. Furthermore, the government has provided massive infrastructure, research, etc. that has been necessary for the economy to be successful. Right now our capitalist economy is dominated by corporations and the rich, leading to massive inequality.

In order to have a free economy and individual initiative, we must allow some people to get very rich and others to be poor.
With a market economy designed in a healthier way, everyone could prosper.

We must keep creating more good jobs so everyone can thrive.
Because of continued automation, we are moving toward a situation where not everyone can have a job unless we all work fewer hours. We may have to find another way to determine who gets income and resources.

The stock market helps with the health of our market economy.
Stocks are only useful when corporations first borrow the money they need. After that, the stock market is just a huge gambling setup.

Assumptions Related to Social Transformation

Other than technological advances, society will always be roughly the way it is now.
Societies have had many different structures over the course of human history, and they will continue to change in the future.

Society can’t really change because human nature is fixed.
Our society is mostly determined by our worldview and social structures within the limits of human nature, and therefore it can change a lot.

The only way to change society is to get power at the top.
In the U.S., even the President and congress are limited in their power to change things. Social change often happens through social movements, which involve many people who don’t hold vested power.

The best way to create social change is to struggle, exert force, and defeat those in power.
Social change happens in diverse ways that we cannot predict or control very well. We can create a climate that fosters change, and even small acts can have large impacts. We can participate in change by flowing with trends that are moving in that direction.