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Lewis & Quark


The Future Part I: Intro

     As we rise from the ashes of endings, we should--need to--consider what comes next. We inevitably divide the fourth dimension into three parts. What has happened before. What is happening now. What will happen. The past. The present. The future. It is easy to study the past--most of the time. Typically, you can find a history book or a book written during the time for a dissemination of information during that period. It is even easier to study what is happening now. All one has to do is read a newspaper frequently, or subscribe to a news website. The only one of these that is obscured, that is uncertain to an extent, is the future. You can have decent certainty about what will happen next. You will probably wake up tomorrow morning. You will probably continue to eat. That appointment you made with your friend will probably occur.
     But those things change. As they move from potentiality to actuality, they happen in ways we don't expect. Maybe you wake up with your dog in your bed. Maybe you eat sushi instead of your normal fare. Maybe your friend brings along another friend. But even darker--they might not happen at all. You may not wake up in the morning. You may die. Your father or mother might lose their job. You could cease to eat. Your friend might get sick, and as a result, be unable to meet you. Everyone experiences the future. It happens to everyone. And in order to handle it, we need to think about it. This is what this four part series will be about.

  • Part I: Intro
  • Part II: The Particular Future
  • Part III: The Universal Future
  • Part IV: Outro
     Everything ends. But also, everything begins. My ability to say that lies in my certainty that there will be another day. The future is a concept, and it must be treated as such. It's not something we can touch. Although we could touch the things that are in the future, we cannot lay hands on the future as a physical thing. It is intrinsically a solipsistic, self-centered concept. In other terms, if there's no one to see it, it doesn't exist. The future is built on one very important concept. A biblical concept. "And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love" (1 Corinthians 13:13). Faith, love...and hope.
     The pessimist will not be able to handle the future. Optimists by default make the future, because pessimists never even try. Hope is what the future is made of. You don't know what's going to happen. You have a good guess at what's going to happen, but it's not totally predictable. You're alive today, you might be alive tomorrow. So you hope. You hope that things will go well. This being defined as what you want. You want something to happen with the future. Anything that you want to happen that hasn't already happened is in the realm of the future. But why the special attention? Won't a series on game theory be more practical? The future is so out of reach, and beyond our control. Didn't Jesus say to not worry about the future? "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble" (Matthew 6:34).
     But everything is inside the future. Even game theory. Everything you want to do is there. Everything you want to change. We all want things want to change. We all want things to improve. And that's the power in the future. Yes, it has untapped potential. Yes, it carries with it the promise of something different. But that potential, that difference, it what the future is about. We as humans desperately need to improve. It's not just grand technological ideas that must change--it's also each person. The believer--again, a detailed discussion of salvation is unnecessary. Salvation deals with the future in sanctification. It is the process of becoming more in line with God's will and law for morality.
     Many have attempted to abstract the concept of technology from philosophy in the future. That is not possible. In A Connecticut Yankee At King Arthur's Court, Hank Morgan attempts to solve the rampant corruption of the upper classes and the church through technology. It fails. Technology will not solve the world's problems. Actually, as more power is invested in the average man, the more likely he is to misuse it. With great power comes great responsibility (Spider-man, but it's true). The reason he cannot handle it is because he does not always know the right decision.
     The right decision is to seek after the right things--what God has prescribed as good, true and noble, etc. And when we want what is right, we should seek after it. There are only two things holding us back from what we seek. Ourselves, and our circumstances. And if we want it, we will not hold ourselves back, and our circumstances will bend before us. Machiavelli said that we must beat Fortune to succeed. He was right, in the barest sense.
     And if we succeed, we win. They do not say "to the victor the spoils" for no reason. Great leaders have always had, and will always have, vision. They will always look to something greater. Something better. It's like climbing an endless mountain. You hike higher, and higher, and you see the summit ahead, so you push yourself as far as you can go, and you reach it, to find it was only a ledge. The true summit lies ahead. And you will reach that, only to find it was another ledge. And so on until you die. We are always, we need to be always, looking to something greater. Should we ever be satisfied with wrongdoing? Or less than we could do? Satisfaction should only be true, be real, when perfection is achieved. Can we do anything less for our people, the human race?
     And these people are why we are driving farther. Jesus' commandments are twofold--to love God and love our neighbor. God is loved primarily by loving our neighbors. And that is the ultimate reason we seek a better future. For them--not us. If you could give your siblings a perfect world, would you do it? I am not suggesting to use any means possible to bring it about - to do everything you can. Don't compromise your morals. Change is political--but it is not. Change is emotional--but it is not. Change is intellectual--but it is not. It is an amalgamation of all these things. Trying to change other people is an expression of hatred. But changing yourself is an act of love. So that is where we must start. 
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