In response to Wonderism and atheism, Fred Werther writes:
I would prefer that wonderism is as politically neutral as possible.

Again, Fred brings up a very important issue. I would have to agree with him.

Of course, I have my own political views, and I imagine some of that might seep into my defenses of wonderism. But again, I want to stress that my own variation of wonderism may not (more likely, will not) match other people's variations of it.

There are just two caveats that I would add to that.

First, there are some political philosophies which just won't work within a context of wonderism. If your political philosophy favours terror in the face of the unknown, it is by definition not compatible with wonderism.

Second, the wonderism I promote will always be compatible with foundationism (more info coming), which means that it must conform to the minimalist principles of constructive dialogue, such as non-violent resolution of conflict, evidence-based reasoning, and the upholding of basic rights and freedoms, such as freedom of speech and expression.

As long as it's compatible with foundational wonderism and foundationism itself -- which most political philosophies probably will be -- then I don't see why wonderism should have much to say about it.

Personally, I'm pretty far on the lefty side of things, but I could imagine wonderists who are very conservative, libertarian, centrist, etc.


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Tags: conflict resolution, constructive dialogue, evidence, foundationism, freedom, neutrality, philosophy, politics, rights, wonderism

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Replies to This Discussion

"I would prefer if wonderism could find ways that made all these as reluctant as possible to hijack wonderism as a tool for them to fish for members to their extreme views."

Well, in terms of violence, there are two ways I can answer that. First, the minimalist philosophy of foundationism, which I use as a base for wonderism, is about non-violent resolution of conflict, so my version of wonderism will never endorse violence like the groups you mention. Second, I see violence as inherently about terror. Sometimes violence is necessary in self-defense, but when it is used as a tool to influence others, that's basically terrorism. I mean, I don't see how you can get around that. Wonderism is intended to be anti-terrorism. Not just the obvious kind of terror, either, but the more insidious kind, like oppression, authoritarianism, theocracy, etc.

I agree with you, we should try to ensure wonderism can withstand such hijacking. In fact, I'd say this is one of the most important things the philosophy should do.

"My gut feeling is that some Pro Life supporters could say that they wonder about the unborn child rights and so on."

People wonder about all sorts of stuff. Wonderism, though, is taking that wonder and applying it over and over again, fearlessly. We should not stop at 'wondering' about our pet political agendas. We should wonder if we might be wrong about our political biases. We should wonder if the science says that aborting fetuses below a certain age could not inflict suffering because of a lack of a brain. We should wonder if the evidence shows there's no such thing as a soul. Etc.

Perhaps you're saying that we should develop more formal structures for wonderism, like an 'immune system' against ideological take-over? I would agree. I'm not sure where the cut-off point should be. Is the 'choosing wonder over terror' test enough? Maybe not. Maybe that's only a starting point, and to get to foundational wonderism you need a few more basic ideas/principles.

I'm open to suggestions. I think this is a very important aspect which needs to be worked out. I want wonderism to be anti-dogma without becoming a dogma itself, and as safe from hijacking as we can make it. If we are looking for inspiration for ways of doing this, two things come to mind: Science, and open-source.

"Humans have a tendency to defend what they see as identity."

Yes, I agree. I call this ego, and it, too, is usually based on fear of the unknown, i.e. terror. I hope wonderism can help break down these ego barriers. One example of how this can work is the example of science vs. racism: The science shows there's no such thing as distinct human races. When you really take this idea to heart and appreciate it, it can change your perspective on your personal 'identity' and the 'identity' of people you previously referred to by racial labels. I used to think I was a 'non-racist white guy'. But after taking the science to heart, I realized that even that notion was based on racism. There are no races, so how can I think of myself as a 'white guy'? Now I reject racial labels. I'm a human who happens to have pale skin with low pigmentation. As a short-hand, we can say my skin is 'white', even though it's not really. It's like calling hair 'blond', no big deal. But my identity has shifted from 'white guy' to 'human', and now I share that identity with all humans, instead of an artificial ego about 'race'.

Similar shifts in personal identity can come from realizing that all humans are apes, that all humans are animals, that all humans share a single planet, that the entire planet including humans came from material out of a star/supernova, etc.

I hope wonderism helps break down ego identity barriers rather than create new ones. Of course, the label alone is used in many ways as an identifier. I am a wonderist. But, as I've said elsewhere, I consider people and their beliefs to be distinct. I am not my wonderism, and my wonderism is not me. Being a wonderist does not become my personal identity, it more describes something that is true of me, like the fact that I have white skin, or brown hair, or don't believe in any gods. These are not who I am, but what I am. Not my identity, but just accurate descriptions of me. Maybe we should discuss ego more, and how to keep it from becoming a fear-based controller of one's actions.

"So we need a kind of agreed upon minimal basic or default interpretation along the way you already suggested."

Yes, this is something that needs to be fleshed out more. I agree.

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