“I the Lord search the heart,
I try the reins,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.” -Jeremiah 17:10
According to Prophet Jeremiah, consequences of behavior are more important than behavior itself. That admonition thousands of years ago is consonant today with a derivative of modern Biobehavioral Science — the Science of Human Behavior. So, from that perspective let’s begin with a look at a political event of today — campaigning for the presidency.
This year hardly has begun. Already in the surrealistic world of American politics, Democratic candidates are queuing to occupy the Oval Office. Among the men, two Jewish billionaires. Four women, one not a Caucasian and possibly in the lead. Given that for some time the Democrats have been emphasizing “identity-politics”, does it not seem reasonable that everyone can comment about identities?
Now, hearken back to 1950. How would folk in those days regard the political behaviors just cited?
Whatever your political or theological orientation, ask yourself the following: Overall, is this nation better off for the changes since 1950? Strip out personal opinion; abstract ideology; and technical innovations, e.g., computers and televisions. The fundamental question remains, As a consequence of human behavior, do most Americans have a greater or lesser sense of well being today than they had in 1950?
The four, secular cornerstones of any society are government, law, education, and medicine. Ask yourself the following: Have the consequences of the actions over the years strengthened any or all of those cornerstones?
If your answer is “Yes”, fine. Then, ask yourself, As an American citizen what can I do to further the strengthening for an even better tomorrow — whatever your definition is of “better”?
If your answer is “No”, not so fine. Then, ask yourself, As an American citizen what can I do to reverse the damage for a better tomorrow*?
*”Better” is the comparative form of the adjective “good”. For a scientific definition of “good”, see the chapter in the novel, Inescapable Consequences, entitled “Human Purpose and Meaning”.
Underlying this exercise is a thesis; namely, as a nation we Americans are not going to survive and prosper by seeking only The Who — some charismatic character who singlehandedly will save us from ourselves and others. Neither are we going to survive and prosper by concentrating on The What — some magic bullet of program and policy that will resolve all our problems instantaneously.
We shall survive and prosper only through The How — the means by which we select those who govern us and the means by which we decide which policies and programs to support. What are those means? There are three, and they are defined by the guidelines of the Scientific Method; namely, specificity, objectivity, and accountability — all anathemas to politicians of today.
“Life outside society would be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” -Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)
Since the 17th-century, what agency primarily has improved our lot inside society? Science. Why, then, are we so reluctant to employ the Science of Human Behavior?
In these United States of America, certain commercial entities are employing Biobehavioral Science to control your behavior surreptitiously; e.g., social media and video-games. Abroad, the Chinese are employing it to promote their version of the Public Good — and trying to export their brand as a model for others. Should we not be employing it here to promote our version of the Public Good — and export our brand as a competitive model?
“But man has still another powerful resource: natural science with its strictly objective methods.” -Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936)
The Science of Human Behavior can offer us a basic blueprint in harmony with natural law to fulfill the goal of having a better tomorrow; one promoting the vision of our Founding Fathers with traditional American ideals and values and fostering individual liberty — liberty characterized by moderation, prudence, and charity. We, too, can achieve our version of that better tomorrow by employing The How of Science to transform abstract goals into scientifically-based and scientifically-directed, operational reality. Then, we can judge our actions by their consequences.
Whatever your personal perspective, you will find such an amicable blueprint in the recently released novel, Retribution Fever. Given current trends, ignore it at your peril.