Implications of the Theory of Relative Understanding

My Theory of Relative Understanding is a hypothesis. It is an idea seeking proof, or disproof.

Yet it seems to me that it has not been disproven yet. And if the hypothesis is true, or even partly true, there are some pretty wild implications. The hypothesis challenges some assumptions.

For one thing, there is a lot we don’t know. Activity is happening all along all scales all over the place all the time and we experience a sliver of it. For us to pretend superiority over others is absurd. We don’t know what we’re talking about.

This is related to another implication, that we are different, not better. Long standing assumptions about human superiority over other living creatures is absurd and is at the root of our slow destruction of the Earth and perhaps destruction of ourselves. Similarly, long standing assumptions about one class of humans being superior to another class of humans has been terribly destructive, unnecessary, and simply ill-informed. From where I sit it is easy to harbor the illusion that I am better than another person or another species, but universally it is simply not true.

Another implication: there is no absolute truth, only shared experiences. There is no universal truth. We should stop fighting about who is right. Everyone is right, from their perspective. Letting go of the assumption that there is universal truth would liberate us in ways we cannot imagine!

And if this hypothesis is true then in the grand scheme of things there is no difference between living and dead. All things are alive. Things that appear dead or inanimate are simply alive at scales so different from ours that we cannot detect their life. What looks alive and what looks dead for one thing is not the same as how life and death look to another.

If this hypothesis is true then there is a god and it’s not what you think. Indeed, God is all the stuff that we can’t think. God is the stuff we can’t understand: fully present yet not fully detectable. For generations, religions have tried to rush into the vacuum of things we don’t understand with explanations of god and how god works and what god wants. Notions of god have been used to explain things otherwise unexplainable; and by the way, spun a little bit towards the self interests of the explainers.

This hypothesis implies a new notion of god: not necessarily that god is responsible for things otherwise unexplainable, but that many things are simply unexplainable. If you want to believe in god, just believe that there are things beyond your understanding. Accept that there’s a lot you don’t know and that in the grand scheme of things you are not superior to, or inferior to, anything. It’s called humility. More than any religion, humility is what we need.


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