By Pierre Belhomme
Mankind seems to admit its own fallibility which seem suggested to include human perception and the limitations on first-hand knowledge. These fallibilities seem to render human assessment to be somewhat unreliable. Nonetheless, humankind also seems, at times, to operate as if infallible, perhaps simply in order to move forward with the decision-making relevant to daily life.
Impact on Community
Mankind's apparent claims of authority in the face of its fallibility seem to have resulted in the establishment of fallible systems, whose impact on communities seems reported and personally experienced to include community dysfunctions such as dramatic economic resource imbalances, intense conflicts, negative emotions and impaired personal health.
Community members have recently been increasingly characterized as expressing anger, confusion and fear about the state of community. Perhaps some of the dissatisfaction is attributable to the unrealizable expectation of strong, successful communities built upon fallible foundations.
However, an understandable reason for community hesitancy in embracing this theoried fallibility seems to be the dependence communities have developed on its systems. Perhaps it might be very disconcerting, disorienting and even debilitating for community members to realize that the systems they depend on for their livelihood are incapable of providing the expected support.
The Path to Moving Forward: Intellectual Growth or Acknowledgement of A Supernatural Authority Figure?
How then do communities move forward? It seems two schools of thought exist. Some seem to believe that humankind has been developing and will continue to develop needed answers until, perhaps, humankind has them all and is no longer fallible. Others seem to believe that humankind is intrinsically fallible and dependent on a supernatural being to whom mankind owes its existence, who requires acknowledgement of its authority and from whom, alone, mankind receives the keys to mankind's success. The two theories seem potentially mutually exclusive. If the second theory is correct, the success of community seems ultimately to depend upon community members consulting this supernatural being regarding achieving individual and community success.
Complaints About A Supernatural Authority Figure
It seems that some reject certain aspects of such a relationship with such a supernatural being yet construct similar relationships among themselves. For example, some seem to reject a supernatural being who would insist on acknowledgement of its authority yet also seem to often establish community leaders upon whom they confer authority and toward whom they require acknowledgement of that authority.
Another seemingly inconsistent perspective seems to reject the establishment of guidelines by a supernatural being while sanctioning establishment of guidelines for self and others.
Another seemingly inconsistent perspective seems to question both the establishment of guidelines and the allowance of misfortune. This mix, however, seems to offer both guidelines for avoiding misfortune and the freedoms to abide by and/or not to abide by those guidelines.
Trading Riding for Driving
Perhaps the main issue is a desire to be one's own ultimate decision-maker -- a reasonable objective if humankind truly is and perhaps a maddening and self-destructive objective if humankind actually isn't.
Even if humankind isn't its own ultimate decision-maker, I seem to recall the Jewish Old Testament as describing the supernatural being as granting humankind a very wide range of "acceptable" decision-making, not to mention an even greater range of decision-making forecasted not to result in success. Secular human history seems to corroborate this account by reports of humankind's tremendous current and historical accomplishments and failures.
Assuming successful community is the goal, if humankind will eventually figure out all the answers, well... If not, and a supervisory supernatural being exists who requires acknowledgement of its authority and is the key to community success, perhaps community individuals should consider that dialog. Based on history and current events, it seems, the sooner, the better.