“The moral shift from anthropocentricity to biocentricity is not psychologically impossible for human moral agents to accomplish… Nothing prevents us from exercising our powers of autonomy and rationality in bringing the world as it is gradually closer to the world as it ought to be.” – Paul W. Taylor, Respect for Nature (closing paragraphs).
In the last two posts I discussed the first two of three key decisions facing a person considering taking up a cosmic purpose, (1) whether to adopt one; where I concluded adopting a cosmic purpose in tandem with a societal purpose seems optimal, and (2) what cosmic purposes one may pursue; namely advancing our knowledge of Nature or elaborating, preserving, or boosting its constituents. Now we examine factors in choosing among various roles.
As with societal purpose such decision criteria will fall into three main categories: individual, external, and intrinsic. In the case of cosmic purpose, there is a unique individual factor – the matter of altering one’s mindset to actually care deeply about non-human reality. I believe Paul W. Taylor (see epigram above) would say the first step is to psychologically overcome a purely anthropocentric or humanist attitude to reality. Thus the first decision factor is which human chauvinisms one believes one can surmount.
Additional individual factors can again be subdivided into two types: (1) physical and (2) mental. Physical factors may demand greater consideration should one choose the sequence of societal purpose followed by cosmic purpose as one will be older for the latter. Significant limitations should be infrequent for the healthy, though as I know from personal experience, one is less giving of one’s time as the candle burns lower. Moreover major contributions in pure science and mathematics typically emerge from a younger brain.1 Other decision factors regarding physical health and mental aptitudes are not fundamentally different then in the case of cultural purpose.2
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1Consider that Isaac Newton was only 23 when he developed his calculus and laws of motion and gravity and Albert Einstein was only 26 and 36 when he published his theories of special and general relativity.
2See blogs titled Purpose and Cultural Reality – Decision Factors published 12/15, 12/17, and 12/20/2021.