When institutions we used to support succumb to scandal, policies we used to endorse lead to unintended outcomes, and long-established scientific theories are questioned, it can leave us wondering what to do next. Holding on to failed ideas too long is the root of much of the world’s suffering. When all our idols are gone, what is left over? What can give us hope in the midst of uncertainty? I write this book to propose a model for viewing the world. It is the only thing I have found to make sense of my life and some of the things I’ve been through. I believe I have done nothing short of discovering a form of morality that even relativists can endorse, a form of spiritual awareness that even atheists can understand, and the first step to solving every societal problem.
In this book, I systematically destroy every finite idol chapter by chapter, until only the true God is left over.
The Best Policy: Starting with politics and economics and then generalizing to policies of all kinds, I show that going too far to one extreme causes one set of problems, while going to far to the other extreme causes a different set of problems. Trying to split the difference only gives us the problems of both extremes, and doing nothing only means that others will step in to do something. For every bit of advice out there, there is an “expert” predicting disaster if it is followed. Maybe they are all right.
The Perfect Party: Focusing on building a true democracy, I show that knowing how to vote is difficult and a system of perfectly fair representation is impossible.
The Ideal State: Focusing on creating checks and balances to create a corruption-proof government, I show that such a thing is also impossible.
The Best Argument: Focusing on the use of psychology to change hearts and minds, I show how frustratingly unpredictable and irrational humans really are.
The Last Resort: Resigning to the fact that the system has already broken down, I discuss violent revolution, pacifistic self-sacrifice, and civil disobedience, and why each of them only sometimes works. None of them are expected to work under the current circumstances.
Taking Care of Number One: Resigning to the fact that we can’t change the world, I float the hope that we can at least change ourselves only to mercilessly shoot that down too.
Cracks In The Foundation: Asking what morality is, I come to the conclusion that both relativism and absolutism must be false.
Amazing Grace: Finally discovering hope in the infinite complexities in the structure of reality itself, I explain that the answer to everything is already here; there is nothing more for us to do.
The cover art represents life. Life is a vexing puzzle. When nothing we try to solve life seems to work, we might be tempted to smash it with a hammer.
I visited Triple Creek Nature Preserve in Riverview, Florida to see what was there and I saw what was there: mud and butterflies.
Starting in the parking lot, I was surrounded by insects. There were love bugs, dragonflies, grasshoppers, and mosquitos. I was deafened by cicadas. Butterflies decorated the sides of the path. There were also many birds, including a group of woodpeckers.
I took a grassy path through a dry area with quick ants. Some of them had built an anthill over two feet across. The path eventually led me under some trees, into a large muddy area, and finally to an impassible creek of blood next to a mossy tree.
Returning to the anthill zone, I took a different grassy path. This one also led me into the woods to a creek, but this one went under the road and it was the color of tar.
Finally, I came to a waterlogged field full of butterflies. I made a video of my adventure, but the filesize was too big for my webhost. Watch it on YouTube:
My name is Dan. I am an author, artist, explorer, and contemplator of subjects large and small.