Beyond Beliefs

Beyond Causality

Beyond Consciousness

Beyond Histories

Beyond Individuality

Beyond Knowledge

Beyond Language

Beyond Memes




'Since the eighteenth century European enlightenment, a belief has grown to the point where it is now so all-pervasive, and so fundamental a part of the Western world view, that one is generally considered mad if one questions it. This is a belief that has proved so powerful and useful that virtually everyone in the Western world accept it without question. Even those who try to maintain a belief in "God" tend to place more actual faith in this new belief for most practical purposes.

'I am about to reveal what this fundamental contemporary belief is. Most of you will think it is so obvious a fact that it can, hardly be called a belief. That, however, is a measure of its extraordinary power over us. Most of you will think me a madman or a fool to even question it. Few of you will be able to imagine what it would be like not to believe it, or that it would be possible to replace it with something else. Here it is: the dominant belief in all Western Cultures is that this universe runs on material causality and is thus comprehensible to reason. Virtually everyone also maintains a secondary belief that contradicts this - the belief that they have something called free will, although they are unable to specify what this is - but I will deal with that later.

'We spend billions every year indoctrinating our young with the primary belief in material causality in our schools. Our language, our logic, and most of our machines, are built largely upon this belief. We regard it as more reliable than "God".'

Peter J. Carroll