This is my answer to the questions: Is there a science of cooperation? What does this science have to teach us? which were posted on: www.facebook.com/cooperationscience .
Science has 2 primary definitions: one is a tool to seek truth; the other is a collection of knowledge resulting from using the tool. There is a large amount of research about cooperation. There is a large body of collected knowledge about it. What is missing in this collection is the wisdom to produce a cohesive summary.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of disagreements in the research. WISDOM is needed to recognize false assumptions, false processes and biased conclusions to dispel the disagreements and resolve the conflicts between the studies. Anyone willing to take the time can read such an analysis in my books or skim the concepts at A3society.org.
What led me to devote my life to studying this was the peace movement in the 1980s. There were 40+ peace groups in Boston at that time. PEACE groups!! They couldn’t get along with each other. They couldn’t COOPERATE. If someone couldn’t use this blatant irony to get to the bottom of failed cooperation, then, I felt, all was lost. It took me 20 years, and some outstanding luck, to stumble on the answers. But, its done!
a. Humans have been led to believe they are above other animals; that we don’t share many CRITICAL behaviors with them. To believe that, in the face of all the observations that show otherwise, and to “deny” the related drives inside ourselves, MOST of human culture has created a psychology of DENIAL. This psychology is nothing short of an insanity. (read about the Seven Deadly Sins – which have NOTHING to do with religious sin )
b. As religion changed from being synonymous with individual nations to small groups living side by side, a “mechanism” was needed to limit fighting. This was a “societal philosophy” we call “freedom of belief”. While the modern world holds this as a “positive cornerstone of democracy”, it is actually a tragic hidden chasm! Because as long as everyone is able to believe “anything they want”, there can be NO METHOD to find TRUTH. And if we equate “truth” with “reality”, then, again, we produce a society indistinguishable from an insane asylum.
c. Until we face these two contradictions, there is no chance we will ever resolve it.
d. How humans learn language is not well understood. Most popular theories begin with a basic assumption that the basis of language is LOGIC. What if that isn’t so. I claim it isn’t. When this is followed rigorously, it shows that human languages are based on what I call SINGLE SENTENCE LOGIC. Think, politicians giving a speech. Sentences only have to have sufficient internal logic to stir emotions. Opposites ATTRACT! ( magnets ) Opposites REPEL! (oil and water ) Human speech is essentially “rap music” without the rhythm. Until humans are able to deal with logic over large complex concepts, no resolution is possible either.
THIS IS WHAT THE SCIENCE HAS TO TEACH US.