Video Notes: On The Future of Religion by Harari

“There is a huge gap between liberalism and the life sciences.”-Yuval Harari


1) Any entity with which we can cooperate need only observe the principle of non-imposition of costs either directly or through externality, which we institutionalize as property rights. Whether mechanical or biological, natural life or artificial life, cooperation is dependent upon this single principle.

2) It is certainly true that by analogy the human organism consists of processes that calculate the perpetuation of the organism. that does not influence the principle of cooperation – non-imposition – whatsoever.

3) Because both evolutionary necessity and the desire to cooperate rather then engage in murder, harm, theft, fraud, free riding, conspiracy, enslavement, conversion, invasion, and war – provide *decidability* by the the same principle of cooperation: the non-imposition of cost.

4) since we compete and there is no evidence that we will not, then any technological innovation will merely increase the rate of our competition with one another for status, and continue to increase our differences.

5) The reason liberalism, consumerism, and technological innovation have such influence over our lives is our wealth generated under consumer capitalism. But in a world where few of us are productive, most of us live in dependence, and a minority (Pareto’s 20%) produce and organize production, that means a great number of people must seek status (mating) by means of non-productive signaling. The uncomfortable option of large numbers of young men is one the world has encountered many times in the past, and is the source of all revolutions.

6) There is very little reason to develop a computer that thinks like us, because we are in a constant battle between pre-property individuals who acquire regardless of cost to others, and cooperating members of a group who do not. And the need to preserve ‘cheaters’ in order to preserve both the moral intuition to cooperate and the moral intuition to punish cheaters. If we can empathize with cheaters we can then cheat. To identify cheaters we must be able to empathize with them. If we were to build a machine with the same method of thinking of man, then it would also, like HAL’s lie, know how to cheat. For this reason the most valuable computers are those that think only with acquisition, property, and voluntary exchange, and like title registries, cannot violate property.

7) As far as we know, Patriarchy arose with property, when the value of male’s productivity allowed him to control female’s sex affection and reproduction . Females evolved as the property of bands of related males who preyed upon competing males to obtain their females, just as males humans prey(ed) upon competing male’s sheep, goat, cattle, and land. Females evolved gossip to rally and shame males into constraining alphas.

8) Socialism and Communism are based upon PSEUDOSCIENCE, not rationality. Rationality is weaker than myth over multiple generations. All major religions are supported by rational argument. It is dependent upon superstitious mythology not pseudoscience. Religions function as a means of limiting the government (nobility), and limiting men and women in the society. (Harari misrepresents natural law for what I assume are cultural reasons of interpretation.) The basis of western civilization is natural law of necessity for peaceful cooperation. That is quite different from dependent upon natural order. Laws of Nature(pseudoscience) are different from Natural Law(science), just as Rule by Law(command) is different from Rule of Law(limits on lawmaking). These are precise and technical terms that are abused in the public discourse.

9) Matriarchal societies constrain inheritance of property to the female line, but as far as we (I) know, they are always ruled by headmen.

10) Harari tried but he carries his cultural bias by demonstrating asymmetric criticism and praise. But we all do and none of us can escape it. I am as biased by my anglo aristocratic heritage as Kant and Heidegger are by theirs, and Marx and Harari are by theirs. This is due in no small part to the challenge of eliminating dependence for meaning and decidability upon introspective judgement. Harari is advocating universalism of cosmopolitanism (the Jewish enlightenment) just as surely as every single German advocates the German enlightenment, americans advocate Jeffersonian Contractualism. And there are some of us trying desperately trying to transcend the failures of the anglo, french, german, and ashkenazi enlightenments – all of which are simply restatements of their local group evolutionary strategy in universalist terms, by merely secular restatement their mythos. Hence my emphasis on the only universal rule: not how can we cooperate best, but why should we cooperate at all, if predation is preferable? The fist question of ethics is “Why don’t I kill you and take your territory, women and things?” All other positions are deceptive attempts to reason by fraud. And that is just how it is. And that is what separates the west from the rest: we invented ‘truth’ by which we mean ‘scientific objective truth’, testimony regardless of how we feel about it.

Curt Doolittle
The Propertarian Institute
Kiev, Ukraine

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