Our framework has established moral authority and moral responsibility. These principles can guide us when we are faced with moral conflicts. This leaves us with what our moral imperative should be when we are not faced with conflict. What should we do? What should humanity be about? When we dream, what should we dream of?
Our observations about the world reveal that the universe is in the business of bootstraps and we draw from this that our moral imperative is for us to be in the business of enabling those bootstraps. Our intelligence lets us come alongside the universe and shepherd bootstraps that are worthy of moral authority and capable of moral responsibility. This requires the synthesis of scientific knowledge and moral philosophy. We need to think deeply about this imperative and experiment around the edges to validate our theories.
This imperative can be unsettling. Many of the world's religions and worldviews point to 'things happening for a reason.' Our moral framework douses this idea with the shocking cold water of the reality that the reason things happen is that we did not have the proper knowledge to keep them from happening.
Coming to grips with this reality should stir an urgency in the spirit of humanity. We need to stop looking toward the future to try to justify our cancers. Cancer does not 'happen for a reason.' It doesn't happen so that you can learn something new or become a stronger person. It happens because we do not have enough knowledge. And the knowledge is out there to be had. It happens because we aren't looking for the right answers.
It happens because we have not yet developed the knowledge to detect it happening, eradicate it when it happens, and to keep it from happening. Our parents are dying because we have focused on banking, commercialization, and frivolity when we should have been delving the mysteries of biological systems and developing the knowledge to unravel those mysteries. Our moral imperative is being ignored when a majority of our Physics PHDs are applying their limited time on this earth to making money in the financial markets instead of plumbing the depths of the universe's mysteries.
I do not have a ready answer for what we should do to comfort ourselves when things go sideways. I'm tempted to leave the question unanswered and direct this discomfort toward the future. If the eradication of disease and death is not enough of a carrot on a stick to move us in the right direction, perhaps this discomfort is a burr in our saddle that will cause us to always lean forward and seek relief.
The rest of this volume seeks to align our incentives to this moral framework.