The Essence of Luckism

Why did I design a new fundamental belief system?

I began with the premise that the present belief systems are not working as well as they should (I refer to various forms of government, science, various religions, various economic systems.) They all tend to cause too much harm to the world because of their tendency towards totalitarianism, their conflicts within and without and their unending mistakes. In fact, the most exact and objective system of them all, Science, has reached the conclusion that it is impossible to know everything and control everything because the world is structurally built on chance and uncertainty. Nevertheless, all the prevailing systems continue to try to dominate with dogmas based on illusory certainty.

The second premise is that those who recognize the problems in the world are usually at a severe disadvantage because the organizational forms they take do not have the same weight in society as the dominant big systems.

In these circumstances it is the obligation of intelligent designers to try to design better fundamental belief systems. Better means weightier, based on an idea at least as weighty as those underlying the other systems.

It seems to me that one of the biggest, and most verifiable ideas in human civilization is that there are things in the world permanently beyond our knowledge and control. When primitive humanity was awed by lightening and theorized gods as the responsible parties this can be considered an early speculative and unprovable attempt to explain the unknown. These speculations continue to have a hold on the human mind because of their conformity to analogies the mind can make to worldly realities.

But now that we have reached the limits of knowing physical reality we must acknowledge that explaining the unknown by means of analogy to existing realities is no longer adequate. We no longer can know or control or even speculate in the old ways. We must accept the presence and operation of the unknown in our lives and give up the idea of controlling everything.

I hasten to say this is not a passive acceptance of everything. We must realize we have reached close to the limits of understanding and certainly close to the limits of controlling the fundamental materials of the world. So our restraint will be still operating at a relatively high level of control. The big question is always how much to interfere with the operation of natural chance? How much control should we try to exercise? I emphasize “try” because we can never achieve as much control as our selfish desires would like. Chance will always produce results we have not expected.