Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 15, Issue 1/2, 2005

Wisdom: Research, Education, Implementation

J. Z. Hubert
Pages 93-104

Replacing Mythos by Logos
An Analysis of Conditions and Possibilities in the Light of Information-Thermodynamic Principles of Social Synergetics and of Their Normative Implications

Religions, ideologies try to give a complete vision of the world a vision containing both its origin, explanation and a “normative kit”: a collection of precepts and rules, which should regulate human activities and behavior. Their synergetic meaning is clear: if embraced by all they allow for development of strong synergetic effects on the social macro scales (i.e. beneficent to all members of society). These in turn may lead to creation of order and beauty, of intellectual, spiritual and moral development within men and in society. In this consist the elements of their natural—i.e. not explicitly reasoned out—wisdom. However, as they contain also some elements of harmful consequences—at least if they are literally accepted and in a fundamentalist manner practiced—they cannot be universally accepted. But—rejecting them we lose also the important sourcesof natural—or should we say instinctive—wisdom. Could the solution of this contradiction, of this one of the basic human sources of suffering be looked for in the modern science of complexity? Synergetics and the sciences of complex systems in general offer a solid scientific base for a meta-philosophical, universalist intellectual framework. Its offspring the social synergetics offers concrete propositions of optimized social structures. Optimized in the sense of espousing (and further developing) the main synergetic effects with being at the same time free of the negative “side effects” happening when religions or ideologies are the source of synergism. Finally a connection is discussed between the presented ideas and the concept of “love of wisdom”. The term “love of wisdom” may be understood as striving not only to possess a “sound and serene judgment regarding the conduct of life” but also a practical ability to act according to that judgment. This ability may be also expressed using the information-thermodynamic concepts of synergetics. Indeed without the ever continuing negentropy transformation neither survival of a complex system like man or society nor its continuing development—uncovering of all his “hidden potentials” is possible. To assure maximization of this transformation process creation of strong synergetic effects—of reinforcement, of positive feedback—between all human beings—i.e. not excluding any nations, any social groups, and any individuals—are necessary. Acting towards local and global realization of such a structure everywhere on our planet constitutes the essence of social wisdom. Removing all obstacles towards this goal—obstacles existing on the intellectual, emotional and spiritual level—should be one of the most important tasks of various institutions, of state structures, of purified from mythical elements ideologies, of man oriented sciences and above all of the modern universalism. Thus striving towards its realization is an expression of the love of wisdom. Of wisdom once based on the elements of mythos and now regained in the full light of Logos.