I am obviously not out to improve upon a best-seller status of a scientist who wants humanity to survive and be better off in the future. I simply want to quibble about his overall thesis that we (as humans, or homo sapiens) can be “gods” or even “Gods.”
As a practitioner of Advaita Vendanta (not a very good one, but I’ve read a lot and studied both science and the scriptures), I believe we’re already a “vision” of the eternal force that all cultures, in one way or another, keep pointing toward as being “goodness, truth, and hope.”
The difference between common sense Advaita Vedanta and Dr. Harari’s thesis in Sapiens and his blockbuster follow-up Homo Deus, is one of interpretation. In the holistic universe, there are no divisions between anything. With science, however, like the stuff Dr. Harari does (and many others on this tiny orb), the only “truth” can be seen through man-made tools and experimentation.
Advaita Vedanta teaches me that my senses are extremely limited and limiting. In fact, they are so limiting that I can never, ever know the True Magnificence of the Cosmos unless I accept the fact that we never had to “progress, kill, hate, or do all the other stuff we do” because of our divided conscience.
In fact, once we can “awaken,” we can see that all that we sense and experience is necessary to keep the entire “dream of God” going (our dream of God and God’s dream of us). It’s needed to make it all work.
Therefore, people who keep dividing things (like scientists and most humans) and examining things (like scientists and most humans), are not aware of the view of the whole while they keep concentrating on just the parts.
Although the “concentrating on the parts” is necessary, of course, it is never the “whole” until we can see like God does, which requires an act of “faith” and not “belief.” The word “belief” requires testing and science until it can be “proved” to other humans.
Faith, on the other hand, is letting go and being “at one with” the truth that everything is part of the miracle of the entire Cosmos–even the Cosmos of dreams and reality beyond the senses.
So, whether or not humanity turns into living miracles of technology and technologists that make a Paradise out of the planet Earth, planet Earth will still have to be destroyed, as this is the Natural Way.
It makes common sense to me that we, as humanity, could also destroy most or all of living things by blowing it up with the magnificent weaponry we’ve invented with science that has established the greedy hierarchies of power existing in Dr. Harari’s wonderful world.
In my faith, it matters not how we get blown-up. We still have to get blown-up. I would simply prefer a non-technology method of getting blown-up, but that’s just me.
Honestly, I haven’t read Dr. Harari’s books, so I can’t critique his logic and what he’s covered. Frankly, just seeing his chapter titles, I would have devoted a major amount of time to how much brain power and effort mankind’s overlords have spent on creating weapons (including biological weapons) to kill faster and with more devastation than at any time in history.
Are we coming close to eliminating those weapons and accepting climate science as a “truth”? I don’t see much evidence of that, as the social building blocks and the preferred nations, with the highest standards of living, are still living with high standards due to over-development and consumerism and not from cutting back and adapting. And the hierarchy of power is still concentrated on weapons and increasingly more powerful weaponry and tools that require the destruction of natural resources.
This, to me, is a daily nightmare if it weren’t for my “faith” that it’s God’s dream and not humanity’s dream that exists. Does Dr. Yuval Noah Harari believe in humanity’s progressive nightmare as well his scientific ideas and speculations of a progressive Paradise? I wonder.
If you’ve read both of his books (which I have not and will not do), then please comment and let me know. Frankly, his sub-title even bothers me for the second book: A Brief History of Tomorrow. To me, it would have to be very “brief” indeed, as I don’t believe tomorrow exists. Time, in fact, is a man-made invention that many physicists have shown (at least the ones I learned from at Caltech) probably doesn’t exist either. It seems that “time” was invented as a way to make existence even more confusing–but I suppose humans love complexities. I certainly do!
But these same scientists stubbornly hold onto their beloved “cause and effect” mantra, when I, as an Advaita Vedantist, leave that “scientific law” in doubt also. Why? Because human subjective observations–with and without tools to enhance our senses–are never, ever, 100% infallible. Ask any real scientist. They must have faith also that in this Cosmos, anything may be possible.