The ideas on this page are taken from the book 'Quest' by Wai H. Tsang, available from Amazon, Barnes Noble or Ingram
The Problems of this World Today
We face today an unprecedented set of problems relating to The Environment, The Coming One World Order and the ongoing process of Spiritual Decline. We stand at the Abyss, at the steadily approaching threshold of unimaginable chaos, calamity, death and destruction. But there exists a lasting solution to these issues facing humankind. It derives from the notion of the power of ideas and an idea so powerful that it’s effect upon the World will be most profound.
This chapter is about the problems that we, together as the human race, face in present times. It concerns some of the ominous circumstances of the current age that threaten not only the well being of collective humanity but also, perhaps, the very Environmental and Ecological systems that support life on Earth as we know it today. We’ll be showing that there exists an answer and an antidote to the ills of the Planet.
So what are these most significant problems of the World? I find it useful to group these very major issues into four broad categories. We'll list them here in outline and then elaborate upon them more fully.
The first category relate to the Environmental and Ecological problems of the World. Which includes issues relating to ecological destruction, resource depletion and atmospheric change, i.e. Global warming. I also included in this category the problem of over population which exacerbates these environmental issues though this might equally well be considered as a Social and Political problem.
The second category relates to the Problems in the Social, Economic and Political Spheres of human activity. Including problems relating to the 'Coming One World Order', that is the issues relating to the ongoing integration of all humanity into a single cohesive whole. We live in a World partly characterized, unfortunately, by corruption, oppression, exploitation, conspiracy and injustice. And a world riddled with division, conflict, terrorism and mutual distrust.
The third category concerns the spiritual problems of present times. This relates to the issues surrounding the process of Secularization and the reaction of Religion in the face of the rise of Scientific Rationalism, i.e. its falling away into Secular Humanism and degeneration into Religious Fundamentalism.
The fourth and final category concerns the problems of the age relating to the realm of ideas. That is the problems and puzzles which vex Scientists, Philosophers and Theologians. At first it may seem a little incongruous to consider these more academic problems in the same discussion as some of the more apparent issues mentioned earlier i.e. the Socio-Economic, Political and Environmental problems of this World. However as we’ll later be showing, there is a fundamental relationship between the more abstract problems in this World in the realm of pure ideas and those that might be considered more concrete. That is, we’ll be discussing how ideas can and do impact on human affairs in powerful and often determining ways. Towards the latter part of this Chapter I show how ideas, and one idea especially, have the power to potential produce a lasting solution to the problems of this World.
So we shall now examine each of these problem categories in more detail..
1./ The Environmental and Ecological problems of the times. A Planet in Peril
It is generally acknowledged that in the World today there are potentially calamitous problems relating to environmental destruction, resource depletion, global warming and over population. The natural resources of this planet, its forests, fisheries and crop lands are already being used at such a rate that is unsustainable. We are already using the planets renewable resources faster than what the planet can replenish. This trend is related to the ongoing and accelerating process of species extinction and the destruction of natural habitats such as the tropical rainforests, whole ocean ecosystems, rivers and coastal wetlands. This gradual destruction of the earths biosphere, its animal and plant species together with their complex webs of self sustenance, is certainly set to continue as human population growth and increased economic activity imposes more pressures on the planetary ecosystem. The worlds population at an estimated 7 billion people today, is projected to grow to over 10 billion people as early as 2050. This is coupled with massive growth in economic activity lead by the surging economies of China and India and further boosted by economic growth in the rest of the World as well. If the Planet is already struggling to cope with the demands placed upon it by the human race currently, when we also factor in these other considerations, then certainly we are heading for some interesting times. The United Nations Environment Programme and the World Wildlife Fund for Nature issued a joint report in 2000 that said, 'The World's seas, fresh waters, forests and croplands are being exploited at such a rate that nothing will be left by 2075'. Also food shortages and food price hikes that were experienced by the World in 2008 may be the shape of things to come.
Another major problem that looms on the horizon and one that probably is already upon us and exerting its effects, is the phenomenon of Global Warming. It can be argued endlessly whether Global Warming is man made or whether it's a naturally occurring phenomenon, however the empirical evidence certainly shows that Global Warming is indeed occurring. This is made manifest in the melting glaciers and polar ice caps, the increase in hurricane activity (with category 4 and 5 hurricanes, the most intense, doubling in frequency over the past 50 years), changing rainfall patterns and of course the actual increases in measured surface temperatures.
The majority verdict of the scientific community points towards the notion that Global Warming is at least partly man made and brought about through the emissions of so called green house gases such as methane and carbon dioxide, which causes the earths atmosphere to retain more heat. Also based on computer climate models, it is projected that Global Warming will continue with potentially dire consequences for vast numbers of people living on this planet. These predictions vary with some scenarios describing temperature rises of 1 or 2 degrees centigrade coupled with sea level rises of 80cm or so. Other models predict temperature rises of 3 to 5 degrees centigrade coupled with sea level rises of 7m! At the extreme end we find truly doomsday scenarios where the earths atmosphere is changed to such an extent that it becomes similar to that of the planet Venus, with surface temperatures way above the boiling point of water, that is 250 degrees celsius together with sulphuric acid rain. Though seemingly far fetched, the world renowned scientist Stephen Hawking cited this scenario as a distinct future possibility.
Even without considering these future predictions we are already being affected by climate change in a way that is detrimental to human life and well-being. It is estimated that over 27,000 died as a direct result of the 2003 freak heat wave that was experienced over Western Europe. Those that died were many the very old and the very young. The deaths that have resulted from crop failures in The Third World, brought about as an indirect consequence of climate change, may number into the millions. Hurricane Katrina which a few years ago hit the Southern coastal city of New Orleans in the USA is estimated to have killed over 1000 people.
A problem that is related to Global Warming concerns the availability of water resources to the worlds people. It has been estimated by the United Nations that due to population growth, pollution and global warming the average persons water supply will be cut by a third over the next 20 years. This would be a major inconvenience in the developed and industrialized countries but in the Third World where 90% of the water supply is used for agriculture, the consequences will be disastrous. Even in Australia which at the time of writing this, is in a drought that has lasted 6 years, is facing the ruin of large swathes of its agricultural industry. It has been said by strategists that in the future wars will be fought over water, this most essential of requirements for sustaining life. For instance, King Abdullah of Jordan has said ‘future potential conflict in our area is not over land, it is over water.' It is a certainty that the problems deriving from water scarcity will increase sharply over the years to come.
Peak Oil, Peak Gas and Peak Uranium
A serious problem looming over the horizon is that of fuel shortages due to the peaking in production and subsequent decline in output of three of the Worlds most important energy sources, that is Oil, Gas and Uranium Ore. The Worlds output of all these commodities is described by what’s known as the Hubbert Curve, which describes how the output of each of these energy resources will peak at a certain point in time but thereafter production of the commodity go into terminal decline. At the same time the World demand for the same commodity will either grow or remain constant thereby producing a supply shortfall, pushing up prices and producing a state of scarcity for that resource. This can lead to Political instability, Economic problems and even War when countries use force of arms to try to secure their energy supplies. The dates for these eventualities are around 2010 for Peak Oil, though some commentators think we have already got there. The estimates for the time of Peak Gas range from around 2020 to 2030 and that for Peak Uranium at around 2025 to 2035.
2./ The Social, Economic and Political Problems of the World, And the Coming One World Order
Without a doubt, like no time before in recorded history, the world is becoming one place. This phenomenon is variously labelled the Global Village, the process of Globalization or the Coming One World Order. It is characterized by an integration and coming together of all the people and spheres of human activity around the world through trade, economic integration, political union and cultural exchange. This process of the coming together of humanity is facilitated by modern technologies such as the Internet, the Jumbo Jet and the other facets of the world logistical transport and communication system, which is gradually making into a single entity the entire human race.
However this coming togetherness of humanity is accompanied by a host of difficulties and seemingly intractable problems that derive partly from cultural, ideological and religious differences, but also from the perceived injustices of this world, its iniquity and the exploitative nature of some international relationships. Though humanity is coming together, we still live in a world of ideological and religious differences, mutual distrust and enmity. A world of racial and ethnic disharmony and one characterized by massive disparities in wealth and availability or access to the basic resources needed to sustain human life. These are the roots that give rise to some of the problems of the Coming One World Order.
This second problem category relating to the Coming One World Order really concerns all the problems of this World relating to issues of Political, Economic and Social organization and behaviour. This problem category would include problems arising from social divisions, either racial, religious or national etc. but also economic issues to with trade disputes, labour exploitation and Wealth or income disparity. Then are general problems relating to tyranny, oppression, social injustice and inequality. It is the case that the coming One World Order or Global Village can be accurately described as a Social, Economic and Political entity; naturally therefore it would seem sensible to group these Social, Economic and Political problems of the World under a single category. We’ll explore some specific problems which exist in this category.
We are faced with the problem of Global Terrorism which has been called the shadow of the process of Globalization. As the world is becoming one place, so it is that the effects of terrorism have global effects. Also it may be understood that the causes of this global terrorism are likewise global in nature, with disaffected individuals and groups caught up in ideologies of global scope and participating in causes that transcend international and even inter-continental barriers. We see this particularly in the Muslim world, where issues in Palestine, Bosnia, Afghanistan or Iraq can mobilize people on the other side of the world to want to make interventions. This process is followed by international powers such as the United States, which in order to protect its people and economic interests, is compelled to make its own global interventions to counteract perceived threats and in the process perhaps exacerbating the problems these measures were designed to remedy in the first place.
Globalization and Problems of Economic Integration
A major facet of globalization is the massive increases in international trade that we have witnessed in recent years. This process has been encouraged by institutions such as the World Trade Organization, boosted by regional trading blocks such as the European Union, the North American Free Trade Agreement, the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) and further facilitated by trade agreements between individual nations. The benefits of international trade are many, i.e. competition, lower consumer prices, increased consumer choice and the increased availability of goods and services.
So generally speaking international free trade is a good thing. There are however problems which accompany this increased global flow of goods, services, ideas and people. Even though international trade benefits the vast majority of people in this world overall, there will at the same time be winners and losers. In a globally competitive market place some firms, those that have the most attractive products and services, will see an increase in business. While those with products and services that are less appealing to the consumer will see decreases in demand for their output and will be forced to improve, diversify or else go bust. Also the same is true for entire nations. Countries which have established entire industries in for example coal mining, car manufacture or certain types of agricultural produce, may find these sectors of their economies under threat in a world market. Other nations may enjoy competitive advantages in these industries which allow them to produce more efficiently, more cheaply or to a higher standard, thus enabling them to win out in the market place. This competitive pressure is often cited as one of the benefits as firms and corporations focus their efforts on making their products and services better. The winner of this process is the consumer on a local, national and international level. However there are limits to how far individual firms and certain industries of specific nations are able to compete and so inevitably firms will go bankrupt and countries may have entire industrial sectors decimated. This results in painful transitions and people losing their jobs. Sometimes the effects can be severe causing mass unemployment and serious social upheaval.
One of the direct results of globalization and the international market is the flow of labour around the world as people migrate to find work. This mass migration of people is made up of those people going to countries where their skills are most in demand and those people who are escaping poverty and countries with high unemployment. This is accompanied by problems of labour exploitation and difficulties arising from the integration of guest workers into foreign lands. Also friction can emerge from the competition for jobs and resources such as housing, between local populations and the migrants.
There are many other problems relating to the planet wide economic integration, but it is beyond the scope of this article to go into all of these in any depth. A brief list of these issues might include things like unfair trade practices, tariffs, quotas and government subsidies.
The Global Conspiracy and Potential World Tyranny
We'll now talk about another major issue in relation to the Coming One World Order. It concerns the distinct possibility that all of humanity is being brought together into an all encompassing and planet wide tyranny. This is a serious problem if the entire human race is brought under the control of a tiny self serving minority at the expense of individual freedoms and the greater good of the majority. The modern economic system is one where the rich tend to become even richer and further consolidate and extend their economic power through the exercising of political power. In a world where political power is increasingly self serving, gained through financial power and used for financial gain, then certainly it is true that economic power also buys political power. It would appear that we are perhaps heading towards a corrupt One world tyranny, headed by a dynastic elite, who may one day have total control over the Political, Judicial, Economic, Law enforcement and Military institutions of the entire World; perhaps even key Religious ones as well.
This may seem the stuff of conspiracy theories but without a doubt economic and political advantage is gained through unscrupulous and devious means which have to be kept secret from the wider public. For example, through the creation of wars accompanied by lucrative sale of arms and/or financing of these conflicts; through the over throw of foreign governments followed by the installation of 'friendly' regimes and also through the formation of secret societies and cabals which serve the interests of its members at the expense of non members and the common good. However it is true that a part of the human makeup is a certain fixation on power, influence and status. And certainly humans spend a lot of time, energy and resources to come up with ways and means to gain power over other humans. So if we take this human tendency, extrapolate it to a global scale and take it to its logical conclusion, then it is not unreasonable to conjecture that there are those who, if given the opportunity, would like to rule the World. Also given that the World is gradually becoming one economically and politically integrated unit, together with all the ingenious, corrupt and conspiratorial means through which power may be obtained, extended and consolidated; then an evil self serving world tyranny is definitely a distinct possibility.
3./ The Problems of this World relating to Belief and Ideology: The Universal Decline of True Religion and the Rise of replacement Doctrines
We turn now to consider some of the difficulties of this World relating to matters of Religion and Spirituality. Of course all through history there have always been problems associated with Religion. What makes the present situation unique are the unprecedented conditions which have come about through the equally unprecedented rise of Scientific Rationalism over the past few centuries, accompanied by emergence of the modern technological age. Taken together with the Coming One World Order and the environmental/ecological problems of this World, then these are circumstances in which the religions of this world find themselves. So we'll be talking about the spiritual problems that have arisen from this overall context.
The rise of Scientific Rationalism and the emergence of the modern technological age have in turn instigated a process that sociologists call Secularization. This is characterized by a falling away from Religion and an increased tendency towards Atheism and Agnosticism, i.e. an increase in the number of people who no longer believe in God or else don't know one way or the other. So in various parts of the World we have seen a decrease in the numbers of people who would consider themselves religious in any sense of the word. The rise of Scientific Rationalism can be seen as a challenge to traditionally held assumptions about life, the world, existence and even morality. This has lead to a state of affairs sometimes referred to as the Postmodern Condition, which is characterized by a sense of uncertainty, nihilism or meaninglessness, doubt in traditional values and also a certain feeling of malaise. The age of reason and the advancement of science has led to the abandonment of many of the beliefs and tacit assumptions that made life meaningful and gave a sense of purpose to a lot of people. Some of these beliefs, especially in the religious context, also gave people a sense of security and a certain comfort. At the same time, while these existing beliefs became discarded, nothing satisfactory came along to replace them. Science gave us a cold and sterile clockwork universe and the loving creator God was replaced by Darwin's Theory of Evolution working through the process of Natural Selection with nature all red in tooth and claw. Ourselves the chance outcome of a long series of cumulative changes brought about through random mutations in our genetic material. The scientific world view is one devoid of purpose, ultimate meaning and one with no room for traditional ideas about God.
Spiritual Longing and the 'God shaped hole'
It was the French Existentialist philosopher Sartre who coined the term 'The God shaped hole'. It describes an essential aspect of our being that demands some sort of relationship and understanding of the eternal and transcendent. It cannot be satisfied with worldly success, material possessions or Scientific Rationalism. When this need isn't met then we are left with a feeling of incompleteness, unease and lack of fulfillment. Religion was famously described as the 'opium of the people' by Karl Marx, but it is also perhaps a very necessary opium or balm for easing some of the pain, anxiety and suffering of the human condition.
In recent times, study after study has demonstrated the power that Religion has to help people cope with stress and adversity. Many psychiatrists and psychologists have come to accept that having a religious belief is one of the best predictors for people making a full recovery from clinical depression. Furthermore it is recognized that being actively involved in a religious faith is also an important factor that helps prevent people from becoming clinically depressed in the first place. The celebrated psycho-analyst Carl Gustav Jung once said that the primary cause at the heart of many of his patients' mental problems was a lack of a religious outlook. The World Health Organization estimated a few years back that in a world of 6.7 billion people, perhaps 1.2 billion or so were suffering from a diagnosable psychiatric problem at any one time. Most of these will be stress and anxiety related. Could this be partly symptomatic of the process of Secularization and the malaise of the post modern condition? In years to come when the people of the world are faced with the accumulating problems of this planet then surely the need to fill the 'God shaped hole' will become more and more apparent.
The Scientific World View and Problems with it
Along with the process of Secularization described earlier there are problems associated with the Scientific World View that is closely associated with it and which has largely put in motion the process of Secularization in the first place. So we now discuss certain beliefs that have become strongly associated with the Scientific World View but which are not necessarily implied by Science. For instance most Scientists take the position that the Universe is purposeless and devoid of ultimate meaning. Apart from leading to Existential Nihilism which is the view that life as without meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value. Worse still it can give rise to Moral Nihilism where morality is seen as mere human construct and therefore completely arbitrary and mutable. But when these commonly held views are coupled with a narrow and limited perspective on the Theory of Evolution that is dominant in the World today then this can generate or exacerbate problems in the Social, Economic and Political realms of human existence. This dominant view of Evolution sees the emergence of life and its gradual transitioning over time into new forms and species, as a complete random and purposeless process; and where the only dynamic at work is the ‘Survival of the Fittest’ and the idea of ‘Selfish Genes’.
It can easily be shown how this misguided, one sided way of interpreting the process of Evolution, will almost inevitably lead to a lot of adverse effects on the affairs of human beings. There is the real danger that the widespread adoption of the idea of ‘Survival of the Fittest’ and ‘Selfish Genes’ as the belief about the real nature of things, may encourage selfish behaviour and even promote conflict. The doctrine of Selfish Genes is merely a conjectured facet of the broader theory of evolution which is itself incomplete, and one which completely ignores the complementary role played by the process of cooperation and symbiosis. When the selfish genes idea and the notion of ‘The Survival of the Fittest’ is mistaken to be all there is to the process of Evolution and as immutable truths about life then some unhealthy ideas can emerge as a natural consequence.
For instance, in the field of Evolutionary Psychology, which tends to adhere to the Selfish Genes point of view, altruism has been explained as merely existing to serve the function of helping one’s own genes to survive. So the idea goes, when we feel an inclination to help somebody then this is because that other person would in a lot of circumstances, possess many of the same genes that we do and when we’re helping that person we’re also promoting our some of our own genes. So therefore altruism makes more sense if we help those who are more genetically similar to ourselves over those people who are less so. i.e. if we believe this then we should of course favour ourselves first, then members of our immediate family, then our clan and then our race in that order. Of course this is the perfect scientific rationale for selfishness, nepotism, racism and corruption.
It is informative to note that Nazis were influenced by ideas about Eugenics or ‘racial hygiene’ which derived directly from a narrow Materialistic interpretation of Evolution and Darwinism. Unless this viewpoint is balanced by evolutionary perspectives that emphasize co-operation and mutual codependency, then this one sided way of looking at things will most certainly lead to more greed, selfishness and corruption in the Social, Economic as well as Political realms.
Another of the spiritual problems of the modern age I'd like to discuss now is something of an opposing response to the process of secularization brought about by the rise of Scientific Rationalism. We are talking about the rise of Religious Fundamentalism particularly in Christianity in the West and in Islam in the Middle East. If the New Age and the rise of various cults is characterized by a search for alternatives then Religious Fundamentalism may be seen as a retrenchment and an attempt to maintain the status quo, indeed to preserve the past. If the discoveries of
Science and the onset of the age of reason forced a reassessment of Religion, its ideas, institutions, rituals and beliefs; then Religious Fundamentalism is a total denial that there is anything amiss with existing assumptions and long held articles of faith. It is reaffirmation of traditional dogma and an unwillingness to question existing tenets as a resistance to the progression of modernity and the steady advancement of human understanding.
Indeed Religious Fundamentalism goes much further than merely insisting on the preservation of existing religious doctrines. In many cases Religious Fundamentalism asserts a literal reading of scripture as the absolute truth without any room for flexibility of interpretation. So for instance a Fundamentalist Christian will more often than not believe in the idea that the world was literally created in 6 days and that there was literally a Garden of Eden where lived Adam and Eve and from whom every human being alive today is descended. It is a view of religious scripture which does not recognize the usage of allegory or metaphor in the conveying spiritual and metaphysical ideas, and certainly not in the respective texts of the Fundamentalists i.e. Bible, Koran etc. This Literalism is also combined with a belief in the infallibility of canonical religious writings. The Religious Fundamentalist sees books like the Bible or Koran as the direct words of God without any recognition of human mediation and therefore unaffected by human imperfection. This Literalism, the literal interpretation of religious scripture as the infallible word of God, because of its denial of allegorical or hidden meanings, is therefore also a denial of the higher truths contained within the World's religions. Instead, put in the place of higher truths are the fantasies and fairy tales which were really invented to suggest indirectly these transcendent truths about ourselves and God. This situation is akin to an unwavering fixation on the finger instead of the object towards which the finger is pointing. In this way the Religious Fundamentalist may be ever hearing but never understanding and ever seeing but never perceiving.
It has been suggested that the rise of Religious Fundamentalism derives from a need in people for certainty in reaction to the metaphysical doubts, moral uncertainties and questions raised by the rise of Scientific Rationalism. So instead of a questioning of faith and revision of dogma in the response to scientific discoveries and a rational analysis of religion, we find in Religious Fundamentalism a strict adherence to what are believed to be certain and infallible views derived from religious scripture. Religious Fundamentalism is therefore characterized by a complete rejection of any revisionism. In fact quite the opposite, we see a desire to return to the 'Fundamentals' of a religion, those ideas, customs and moral perceptions which are deemed by the Religious Fundamentalists to form the original basis of their religion as they see it. What is more, sometimes in its extreme form, Religious Fundamentalism manifests itself as a backward retrogression, which seeks to turn back time and to practice a certain religion as it is imagined to have been practiced at around the time of the original founder. So a case in point is the fundamentalist movement in Islam called Wahabi'ism. This highly puritanical sect in its tenets and codes of behaviour, tries to recreate Islam as it was at the time of Muhammad, rejecting all innovations and later additions to the faith. The irony here is that to a large degree, the teachings of Muhammad were progressive and forward looking as it is generally the case for all the great spiritual teachers. Seen in this light Religious Fundamentalism can therefore be the very antithesis of what is one of the purposes of religion, i.e. the advancement of humankind towards perfection. Also, where true religion is characterized by tolerance, compassion and peace, all too often Religious Fundamentalism is characterized by intolerance, enmity and conflict. And so it is that Religious Fundamentalism, while giving some of its adherents a sense of certainty, purpose and reassurance, at the same time can work against the ideals of progress, harmony and integration.
The New age and Occult
With the abandonment of many of the traditional religious beliefs held by a great many of the people it is natural, considering the spiritual needs humans have, that new ideas should emerge to take their place. The past few centuries have witnessed a rapid proliferation in the number of new religious movements, sects and cults. The weakening hold that traditional religious institutions have had over people as a direct result of the challenge of Scientific Rationalism, has led to opportunities for new world views and beliefs to flourish. While from the time of the Enlightenment onwards, many have opted for an Atheistic Secular Humanist outlook, at the same time many others have rejected this world view absent of spirit and devoid of God. Instead this longing for an alternative spirituality has led to the popularity of the New Age, the Occult and other spiritual movements in the form of fringe cults. There is diversity here that is myriad and would comprise things like Theosophy, Mormonism, Scientology, Moonies, Witchcraft, Wicca, UFO cults, Satanism to Magic, Fairies and Crystals energies. While benefit may be derived by some of the adherents of these sorts of beliefs, at the same time all that glitters isn’t gold. While religion and the spiritual outlook has always involved a degree of suspension of disbelief, and an openness to unexplained mysteries taken on faith, some of the ideas making the rounds on the New Age circuit or the world of Cults, lend credence to statement by the writer G.K. Chesterton who famously said that, ‘When a man stops believing in God then he doesn’t believe in nothing, he believes in anything’.
Also, a flaw in the whole New Age enterprise is that due to its rampant commercialism and fixation on material gain, there is a tendency for the prophets of the New Age to tell people what they want to hear rather than what they need to know, in order to sell more books, workshops and merchandise. All too often New Age gurus are less interested in freeing the Spirit, rather more focused on liberating the contents of peoples wallets.
Taken together these spiritual problems of the present age, i.e the falling away from religion into Atheism, the emergence of Religious Fundamentalism and the degeneration of spirituality into certain aspects of the New Age and the world of Cults, can be seen as a general decline in World Religion. The age of reason and the rise of Secular Humanism has brought with it an age of spiritual darkness, as characterized by the process of Secularization, the rise of Religious Fundamentalism, Cults and fringe Sects; along with the superficiality, not to mention the crass commercialism of the New Age.
4./ The Problems of this World in the Realm of Pure Ideas, i.e. in Science, Theology and Philosophy
The problems contained in this fourth and final category seem a little abstract and less immediate than those of the first three. However as we will be demonstrating later in this Chapter, there is a tight relationship between the Problems of the World in the realm of pure ideas and the more apparent ones facing humankind. For there is a causal relationship between what exists in the realm of pure ideas and the other problems of the World. In that abstract ideas become formulated into Political, Social and Economic Ideologies which in turn can give rise to the corresponding Political, Social and Economic Problems of the World, and in turn the Environmental and Ecological ones.
But what are these problems in the realm of pure ideas. They are comprise the as yet unanswered questions in Science, Philosophy and Theology and some of them are also the deepest puzzles that have occupied human minds since time immemorial. Questions such as what is the meaning of Life, what is the Nature of God, the nature of Existence, the puzzle of Time, the mystery of the Beginning of the Universe and the Nature of Consciousness and the question of Epistemology or what is knowledge, etc. More recent big questions in the Realm of Pure ideas include What is the relationship of Mathematics to Physical Reality, What is the destiny of the Universe and the exact workings of the process of Evolution of life.
We have just presented a survey of some of the major problems of this world today. We discussed problems that fit into four broad categories, firstly the problems relating to the environment and world ecosystem, secondly the problems concerning Social, Economic and Political matters including the coming One World Order. Thirdly we talked about some of the major Ideological Problems including the spiritual problems of the current age. In our fourth and final category we listed some of the outstanding and most major Scientific, Theological and Philosophical questions that are still waiting for an answer. We explained how what happens in this more abstract realm of pure ideas affects the formulation of Ideologies which in turn can impact on the Social, Economic, Political, Environmental and Ecological Problems of the World.
Of course it would be quite an undertaking to present an exhaustive list of the worlds problems. What we have tried to do is to describe some of those problems which are most global in scope. We could also include issues such as Nuclear Proliferation or the emergence of super viruses and their potential for causing pandemics that could kill many millions of people. Though our survey is not exhaustive, nonetheless it does cover a very significant proportion of the most pressing concerning facing humanity today.
There is a special reason why we have chosen the particular problems that we have included in our quite comprehensive, though not exhaustive, survey of the World Problems. Furthermore there is a reason why we have categorized these problems in the way that we have and also for the order in which we have presented these problems categories; i.e. from the most concrete problems relating to the Environment and Ecosystems to the more abstract ones relating issues in the human quest for knowledge and understanding. This is in order to put ourselves in a position to describe a proposed solution to all these Problems of the World deriving from and underpinned by the idea that Everyone is God and the notion that the Prophecies are Now.
The above diagram shows two forks which correspond to two possible future outcomes for the Problems of the World Today. The Left Fork shows the continuation of the currrent trajectory that we’re finding ourselves in and is a dystopian social and environmental nightmare. The Right fork is what we’d like to happen with a scenario corresponding to a satisfactory outcome to the present predicament and the solution to the Problems of this World.
The Solution to the Problems of this World
The major problems of this World are many and varied. From problems to do with the Environment and Planetary Ecosystem to those to do with Conflicts, Political Organization and Social Injustice. Also from issues relating to the process of Globalization and the coming One World Order, to those deriving from the often incompatible and sometimes contentious doctrines of some of the World’s major religions. In isolation these problems may seem at best incredibly difficult and at worst completely intractable. When the inter-locking and mutually reinforcing nature of the Problems of this World are taken into account then any overall solution to any of these main concerns of the present age may seem like an impossible dream. However, when we deeply analyse all the problems of the World and fully understand the causal relationships that exist between them, then we discover a central problem from which all the other problems ultimately derive. Once we identify this critical point and underlying vulnerability, then we can clearly see a way that all the really difficult and major problems of this World do indeed unravel into tractable ones that yield to perfectly feasible solutions. And conversely we also come to realize that without tackling this root cause of the problems of this World, then any proposal at any sort of lasting solution would be futile and doomed to failure. So where lies the ultimate solution to the problems of the World today?
The key idea being proposed here is that the root cause of the major problems of this world lies in the realm of ideas and with what people believe. In order to fix the problems of this World then it is necessary to fix the ideas that rule this World and which shape human attitudes and behaviour. Which in turn influences Social organization, Economic activity and Political policy. For it is the ideas held in peoples minds, which cause them to do what they do. In order to change the World, change how people behave, in order to change the way people behave change what they think and in order to change what people think you have to change what they believe. The only way to change what people believe is to present them with compelling and convincing new ideas. Therefore the solution to problems of this world lies in the power of the idea.
Many people are familiar with the aphorism that ‘The Pen is Mightier than the Sword’. And it’s also often true that the Sword fights on behalf of the Pen. What this means is that it is the ideas expressed by the Pen which have a power which is more effective and far reaching than the power of physical force and even whole armies. So in order to solve the problems of this World we need to evoke the power of the idea. For as Victor Hugo wrote, ‘Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.’
But of course the idea without action is impotent, just as action without the idea is often misguided. And action on its own without the idea behind it, isn’t sustained. Also the idea is more powerful than action on its own because the idea alone can inspire people to act and motivate further action. Furthermore ideas can be communicated and thereby inspiring more and more people to take action. And ideas can spread quickly, this is especially true in the Age of Information, The Age of Modern Mass Communications and the Age of the Internet.
For it is ideas that really rule this World. Ideas shape Politics, structure Economic Activity, influence Social Organization and determine Human Behaviour. So in order to solve the problems of this World you really need to evolve or replace all the bad, sometimes terrible and often outdated dominant ideas of this World, from which these problems are ultimately derived in the first place and from which they may also have their maintenance.
So the process of truly solving the problems of this world, involves a battle in the realm of ideas. If you lose this battle then all is lost. If you can win this battle then everything becomes much easier. Everything including bringing about World Peace, Saving the Environment and World Ecosystem, Prevent a Global Tyranny and creating a better more Just World.
This battle in the Realm of Ideas and the struggle to fix the problems of this World is really a battle for hearts and minds. And it’s also really a battle to change the behaviour of people of a sufficient number of people such that they become part of the solution rather than part of the problem. We said it earlier but will reiterate that, behaviour derives from thoughts, and thoughts derive from beliefs and these beliefs derive from and consist of ideas. So in order to change peoples behaviour and get them to act in ways that are conducive towards solving the problems of this world, then you need to give people powerful, exciting and relevant new ideas. It’s really ideas that change us and it’s really ideas that can transform society. By changing the ideas we believe we change what we think and we change what we are. If you change the thoughts of enough people then you can change the world.
But what sort of ideas can put this process into motion? Arguably no ideas have had more power to alter the course of human history than ideas about God and ideas about human destiny. What we have in the belief that ‘Everyone is God and the Prophecies are now’ is the ultimate truth about God and the recognition that we are at the conclusion of human destiny. So what effect may this have on this planet? How may the belief that ‘Everyone is God and the Prophecies are Now’ be the key to solving the problems of this World? We will be showing, step by step and point by point, show how all this will be so.
How does the idea that Everyone is God help to solve the Problems of the World?
How might the ancient and recurring idea that ‘Everyone is God’ be the necessary and essential key to unravelling the problems of this World? An idea that lies at the heart of all World religion and enables their unification as discussed in the Chapter 1. Also an idea that is the key to the unification of Science with Religion, as discussed in Chapter 5, and one which answers some of the deepest questions in Philosophy. An idea of Oneness and Unity that shows that we are all not merely of one flesh but also of one Soul.
At first sight it may seem quite unlikely that the metaphysical assertion that a person’s real identity is ultimately God can have any sort of bearing or impact on the major problems of the World as outlined earlier. An ancient mystical idea seems far removed from the unfolding of current events. But as we will be showing, this obscure belief is the key that unravels the Gordian knot symbolizing the intractable and interlocking problems of the World today. The reason for this is that the problems of the World may be represented using four dominoes with each domino corresponding to one of our problem categories as outlined earlier. The dominoes are arranged in a certain order where the problem categories range initially from the abstract to the progressively more concrete. In fact going from left to right, the dominoes are arranged in reverse sequence from the order in which the problem categories were first presented in this Chapter.
So the first Domino represents the Problems in this World that exist in realm of pure ideas, which will be the sort of problems which vex Scientists, Philosopher and Theologians. This may not seem as relevant or significant as some of the more obvious problems that face humanity and the planet, but as we will show, solving certain key problems in this category and toppling the first domino is the point of power which will bring down the other dominoes and solve the more apparent issues that we are facing today. Continuing our description of our four dominoes corresponding to the four problem categories, our second domino represents the problems of this World to do with Ideology and Belief, which includes the problems of Religion, Morality, Psychology and Human Behaviour. The third domino and problem category has to do with problems of Political policy, Social Organization and Economic Activity. They are the problems of this world relating to how the people of this planet conduct and organize themselves as a whole. This is a large category which includes things like War, Oppression, Over Population, Social injustice etc. The fourth and final problem category or last domino, represents the problems of this World relating to the Environment and our fragile World Ecosystem, i.e. things like Global Warming and destruction of natural habitats etc.
We have already made the assertion, which we’ll fully elaborate upon a little later, that by toppling the first domino and tackling certain key problems in the realm of pure ideas then you can instigate a chain reaction which will lead to the toppling of all the other dominoes and the solution to all the other more obvious problems of the World. But equally important is the fact that the Problem categories represented by each Domino arise from and are derived from the lower Problem category represented by the preceding domino. So for instance going the other way from top to bottom, in order to tackle the fourth problem category relating to the Environment and World Ecosystem then it is obvious that no effective solution can ever be obtained unless we address the problems of the third category represented by the preceding domino. i.e. it is obvious that the problems of the Environment and Ecology derive directly from human Political, Social and Economic activity. So it makes sense that real solutions to the Environmental and Ecological problems of this World come about through tackling the Socio Economic and Political problems that are their source. For example this could include Population control measures, encouraging energy efficiency, introducing legislation to limit pollution and to safe guard natural habitats such as rain forests,
Also with political will is so distracted with tackling Global terrorism and when so much material resource is diverted to armaments then this necessarily diverts away from efforts to save the planet. So Unless we address the problems of category three then we’ll never solve the problems of category four. Put another way it is futile to try to topple the final domino without also trying to topple the one preceding it.
Taking this line of reasoning further then we can see that we can’t solve the problems of the Third Problem Category relating to Political, Social and Economic issues without addressing the problems of Ideology and Belief. For instance we can’t find ways of reconciling the Religions of this World then we will be forever faced with Religious Conflicts and Sectarian Divide. Also, political and economic problems will often derive directly from mutually incompatible or misguided ideologies and beliefs. For instance the forms of Communism which were implemented in some countries in the latter part of the 20th century weren’t good for the people living in those countries and often not so good for the environment either. Also the fashion for a style of largely unregulated free market capitalism that emerged in the 90s and which became dominant especially in the United States and the United Kingdom, is being reconsidered in the light of seeming short comings that have recently emerged, i.e. during the 2008 banking crisis.
So therefore tackling domino three and truly solving the Worlds Political Social and Economic issues will necessarily involve tackling the issues represented by domino two. It will involve addressing the problems relating to the ideologies and beliefs which give rise to and sustain the Political, Social and Economic problems of this World in the first place.
How then can we possibly fix all the significant problems and incompatibilities relating to all the myriad Religious, Social, Political and Economic doctrines of this World? How do we topple the second domino? The answer lies in being able to topple the first domino relating to the problems existing in the realm of pure ideas. For it is ideas that become Ideologies and Beliefs which become manifested as Organized Religion or implemented as Political, Social and Economic Policy, which in turn is the source of the Environmental and Ecological problems of this World.
But then that raises the seemingly even more difficult problem of coming up with a solution to all the fundamental problems in the realm of ideas, that will enable us to topple the first domino and in so doing also topple the rest, thereby solving the problems of this World. What possible solution can there be, which will enable us to answer all the deepest philosophical questions, resolve satisfactorily all the major theological issues and doctrinal differences in Religion, together with providing solutions for some of the biggest remaining questions at the forefront of Science? Well there is an ultimate and unifying solution to all these problems, Philosophic, Theological and Scientific, and that is what this book is centrally about. For this answer does exist and the key to it is the timeless and recurring notion that a person’s real identity is God or that ‘Everyone is God’. For all humankind’s diverged lines of inquiry in Science, Religion and Philosophy have converged on the same mystery. All the separate puzzles are really different pieces of the same puzzle and all the separate mysteries are really different aspects of the same mystery. So that one answer contains all the answers and one key unlocks all the doors.
The Unification of all human understanding
The ancient metaphysical assertion of the essential Unity between a Person, the Universe and God is the foundation from which a unified Scientific, Religious and Philosophical Truth may be formulated. This unifying truth holds within it the answer to all the deepest and broadest questions in Science, Religion and Philosophy. This is what this book is about and in earlier Chapters we put forward arguments relating to how the idea the ‘Everyone is God’ is able to give us a unified truth and answer some of the biggest questions in the humankind’s quest for understanding. For example, in the Chapter entitled, ‘Everyone is God’ I showed how this idea is the common and unifying truth behind all World Religion. In the Chapter, ‘Science and Religion’ I explained how Science is able to fully accommodate the idea that Everyone is God and how the idea actually augments Science. I put forward the idea that the Mystery of Consciousness and the Mystery of God are one and the same and that this is the same as the God in the Gaps, i.e. a way of looking at the notion of God that is completely compatible with Science. In the Chapter titled ‘The Nature of Reality’ I showed how the substrate and ground of all existence is actually Consciousness and also how it may reduce to a single Unitary Consciousness, which may appropriately be called God. Then later on in the Chapter entitled, ‘The Nature of God’ I presented a Unifying Cosmology which integrates what we know from Science together with universal and ancient spiritual ideas concerning the nature of the Universe and God.
Taken together these interlocking ideas which we described, provide us with a powerful and unified view of God and the Universe. At the same time it is not a new perspective but rather an ancient and timeless one, but expressed in and using modern Scientific, Mathematical and Philosophical concepts. What we have then is a way of bridging Science, Religion and Philosophy using an ancient mystical notion that ‘Everyone is God’. And one that also is able to bring together all of World religion in the process. I believe that this gives us an all encompassing tightly inter-related set of ideas which can be presented to people in a convincing and compelling way as the truth about Existence, the Universe and God and be accepted by large numbers of people as an all encompassing and definitive answer to the greatest questions in Science, Religion, Philosopher and life in general. I believe the Scientific, Philosophical and Theological propositions being put forward in this book are fully capable of Solving the great problems in the realm of ideas, and so continuing with our dominoes metaphor, topple the first domino. In effect, what is happening is that the ultimate truth about who we are and the Nature of God, i.e. that we and everyone is God, is also the critical vulnerability, strategic apex and central point of power, which may set in motion a process which leads to the toppling of all the Dominoes and the Solution to the Problems of the World.
Solving Key Problems of this World relating to Belief and Ideology
We’ll now discuss the effect that our unified and all encompassing Cosmic perspective will have on the Problems of the World existing in the Second Category, i.e. that of Belief and Ideology. We’ll talk in turn about how our unified truth based on the idea that ‘Everyone is God’ is able to solve the problem of the fall of Religion, be an antidote to Religious Fundamentalism and also counter act a Nihilistic Scientific World View devoid of meaning or purpose where the only principle is Survival of the Fittest. So we’ll start with the Problem of reviving World Religion and how to instigate a Spiritual Revival on this Planet.
How to Restore Religion
The restoration of Religion is broken down into three separate processes. The first involves giving Atheists, Secular Humanists and Agnostics a definition of God that is relevant, correct and convincing to them in their eyes. The Second process relating to the Restoration of Religion entails revising or augmenting the beliefs of people who are already Religious. This means presenting Religious Fundamentalists and more conventionally Religious people with doctrines that are closer to those of the founders of World religion and which are compatible with Science and Reason. The Third process involves reconciling and ultimately unifying the World’s Religions. There can be no restoration of Religion until there is Peace and Unity among the different religions for one of the basic purposes of true Religion is to promote harmony between peoples of this World and to bring them together as one. We’ll tackle these problems in turn.
How to revive Religion for the Atheist, Secular Humanist and Agnostic
At first this may seem like an impossible objective. How do you make an Atheist accept a definition of God if that person doesn’t even accept that there is a God. Things will be more straightforward in the case of the Agnostic and some Secular Humanists who are more open to possibility of a future, and to them satisfactory, definition of God. In the case of the Atheist and worse still with the Militant Atheist, then the idea of reviving Religion for them may seem like an obvious contradiction in terms. However there is a way. For even though an Atheist may utterly reject the idea of a God and even reject any notion of an Ultimate or Absolute, still the Atheist will not reject the idea of his or her own Consciousness. This would be to negate their very essence. So the solution to the problem of reviving Religion for the Atheist becomes the process of explaining to them that the Mystery of Consciousness and the Mystery of God are one and the same Mystery. More than one prominent Atheist has waxed lyrically about the correctness of their stance while also expressing a profound awe for the Mystery of Consciousness. If you can solve the riddle of Consciousness for Atheists and show that it is Consciousness that the likes of Jesus, Muhammad and Buddha were going on about all along then you can show them the Truth about God . You demonstrate to them that Consciousness is not just some epiphenomena of the brain but rather the Ground and Substrate upon which the brain and the entire physical Universe has its manifest existence. I went some way to explain this in a previous Chapter called ‘The Nature of Reality’.
How to restore Religion for the Faithful and rescue it from Religious Fundamentalism
In the World today the faith of the conventionally faithful is being severely tested. While the absolute faith of the Religious Fundamentalist is focused on fantasies and fairy tales. So how do we augment the faith of the more conventionally religious while at the same time provide a remedy for the misguided beliefs of Religious Fundamentalism which is more often than not based on the literal interpretations of Scripture. The answer comes from the return of the Esoteric Inner Mysteries of Religion which contain the Core truths of Religion. It is these truths which give rise to Religion in the first place and it is this aspect of Religion which is completely compatible with Science. This was explained more at length earlier in this book in two separate Chapters called ‘Everyone is God’ and ‘Science and Religion’. By fully elucidating and revealing these formerly hidden aspects of World Religion, but also showing their compatibility and convergence with Scientific ideas, then we can present to the faithful a faith coupled with understanding. We can present to the already religious a religiosity that is substantiated by Science instead of being contradicted by it. In this way existing Religion becomes augmented and restored by returning to Religion the Inner Mysteries which was the original heart and core of World Religion anyway. Also automatically this recognition of the Inner Mysteries of Religion and their promotion necessary negates the views of the Religious Fundamentalists by restoring the real meanings behind the allegories and parables which they only know to interpret literally. Religious Fundamentalism can be viewed as a fixation on the finger that points to the truth rather than the truth itself. The finger is Religion together with Religious Scripture and the Truth is God. In the process of returning the truth of God contained in the core Inner Mysteries of Religion then we directly expose the spiritual blindness of Religious Fundamentalism and give people a much better alternative. An alternative that is compatible with Science and Reason. Also one that is closer to the original uncorrupted truth behind Religion.
How to Unify World Religion
The Reconciling of the Religions of the World with each other and their eventual Unification will be a goal with far reaching consequences. But before we show how this will come about, first we’ll discuss how it won’t happen. Religion will not become one through a process by which everyone converts to one of the existing religions, as Fundamentalist Christians, Militant Muslims and the Pope might hope. And World Religion will not be unified by someone starting a new Religion with the hope that all Jews, Christians, Muslims and Buddhists etc. will turn to the new faith. I don’t believe these scenarios will ever happen. However what is feasible and can come about is this. If we can show to Christians the original truth of Jesus, show to Muslims the original truth of Muhammad, show to Jews the original truth of Moses, show to Buddhists the original truth of Buddha etc. and then go on to show that the original truth of Jesus, Muhammad, Moses and the Buddha etc. are all really one truth and the same truth; then this I believe will be the key to the Unification of World Religion. It is really the process of emphasizing the common truths that are shared by all World Religion. These common truths were discussed earlier in the Chapter, ‘Everyone is God’, where we showed that the mystical notion that ‘Everyone is God’ is the common truth behind all World Religion; and also in the Chapter ‘The Mystery of Eternal Life’, where we showed that the belief in Reincarnation is really common to all the Worlds Religions, even though sometimes it has been made heresy and suppressed. Furthermore this process of introducing these common unifying truths to people, is made much easier when it is also demonstrated that these core truths of World Religion are completely reconciled with Science and Reason. This I made some efforts to show in the Chapters, ‘Science and Religion’, ‘The Nature of Reality’ and ‘The Nature of God’.
Addressing Nihilism and ‘Selfish Genes’
Earlier in this Book we described how certain ideas have attached themselves to the Scientific World view but are themselves not necessarily implied by Science. For instance we have the notion that the Universe is devoid of purpose and ultimate meaning. This naturally leads to a Nihilistic outlook where life is considered as meaningless and even morality is seen as arbitrary. Associated with these sorts of views are narrow interpretations of Darwin’s theory of Evolution by Natural Selection which sees life as a completely random and purposeless process where the only principle is the ‘Survival of the Fittest’ and the propagation of ‘Selfish Genes’. We also discussed earlier how these views may naturally be used to justify not only Selfishness, Nepotism, Racism and Greed but also, as history has shown, even War and Genocide.
So therefore we need to balance out this one sided and limited view of the Universe and the process of Life with one that sees the bigger picture and also incorporates Spiritual Values. This is what we presented in the chapter ‘Science and Religion’, which described a Universe that is purposeful and also showed how the process of life is meaningful. So that Evolution instead of being random and meaningless, is otherwise seen as being purposefully guided and set up to produce predefined outcomes. The evolution of the Universe is seen as an ordered process whereby parts become wholes, and which then go on to become greater wholes, until all the parts and intermediate wholes of the entire Cosmos become integrated as a one singular all encompassing whole. So that in relation to this eventual Unity, all life in the Universe has it’s meaning and purpose in being part of the process by which this emergent wholeness is recreated. This counters Nihilistic notions because it provides an Absolute, i.e. the manifest whole, from which we can derive notions of Purpose and Meaning.
The Cosmic view described in this book also provides an alternative to views on life and the process of Evolution which can only see a process of the ‘Survival of the Fittest’ and a contest between ‘Selfish Genes’ or mere ‘Meat Machines’. Instead this widely held but limited perspective is balanced out with notions of Cooperation and Symbiosis. That we exist, compete and evolve not to merely serve our ‘Selfish Genes’ but rather to serve the purpose of the Greater whole from which we derive our sustenance and very existence. In the human realm this relates to our relationships with each other, with society, with all life on Earth and with the Planet.
In the Chapter ‘The Nature of God’ I showed how everything in the Universe and all life forms emanate and owe their very being to the All Encompassing Wholeness at the end of time that is God fully manifest in the Temporal realm. And also that the very process of life and Cosmic Evolution in turn serves the purpose of reconstituting the All Encompassing Wholeness that is at the end of Time. Therefore the meaning of life is to partake of the process by which this Cosmic Wholeness or Integrated Oneness re-emerges out of a disordered and initially unpatterned Universe. Through this process of emergent complexity, parts come together to create bigger wholes, eventually leading up to the coming together of all Matter in the Universe. It is this process of Coming togetherness that is the over arching process that is happening in the Universe.
So instead of Selfishness and ‘Selfish Genes’ the true principle of the Universe is Cooperation, Symbiosis and Selfless Genes. And instead of being mere ‘Meat Machines’, we are all manifestations of the one God, made in the image of the Divine and existing to serve the higher Cosmic purpose. We are not merely here to serve our ‘Selfish Genes’, which translates as serving ourselves, our families, our clan, our race and in that order.
Therefore what we are describing in this book is a tonic for the post modern malaise that has been brought about by the rise of Scientific Rationalism. An answer to the Relativists, Nihilists, Militant Atheists and narrow minded Evolutionists, who too often in a manner similar to the Religious Fundamentalists of this World, believe that their truth is the only truth and can see no other viable alternative way of looking at things. And importantly we are not trying to undermine the Scientific method but merely negating a set of unnecessary and unhelpful assumptions that has accumulated around Science over the years and which has become closely associated with the Scientific World View. The commonly held idea of a purposeless Material Universe that came into being through an ‘accident’, where life is seen as a random and meaningless process; is destined to go the same way as the Flat Earth concept and the notion that the Sun revolves around the Earth. What will come in its place is a Cosmic view that integrates Science and Spirituality. This new perspective, by counteracting Nihilism and notions of ‘Selfish Genes’, will undermine certain problematic behaviours and Political, Economic and Social doctrines, which can derive from these misguided viewpoints and therefore contribute positively to the process of Solving the Problems of this World.
Solving the Social, Economic and Political Problems of this World
Of course the Social, Economic and Political Problems of this World are myriad and varied. It may seem over simplistic and too ambitious to suggest a single solution to all the problems that could be included in these rather broad categories. However it is possible to identify root causes and see if we can address them. Also while a single specific solution may not be able to appropriately tackle all the multitude of different problems in all these realms of human activity, we can however suggest a meta-solution or a single seed solution that has the potential to stimulate in people the motivation to generate solutions that are tailored to their locales and jurisdictions. This meta-solution would be the key that puts all the specific solutions into motion. This meta-solution acts as a template and provides principles by which Social, Economic and Political life can be modelled in a way that fully incorporates spiritual or humanist notions such as Justice, Fairness, and Equality.
In order to generate this sort of master solution to the problems of this World in Social, Economic and Political realms then this really comes about through tackling the problems of this World in the realm of pure ideas and the closely associated domain of human beliefs and Ideology. We’ll be discussing why this is the case. These problems of the World in the realm of pure ideas and Ideologies comprise our first two dominoes that we described earlier. If we can satisfactorily topple the first two dominoes then we may instigate a process that inevitably leads to the toppling of the third domino represent the Social, Economic and Political problems of the World.
In what follows I’ll be discussing how it is that once we have addressed the first two problem categories satisfactorily, i.e. firstly the problems in the realm of pure ideas and secondly the problems relating to Ideology and Human Beliefs, then there are implications for the problems of this World in the Social, Economic and Political Realms. In particular, we’ll be explaining how the sorts of ideas we have been discussing earlier and in this book generally, are directly relevant to issues such as Social Justice, Social Equality, Economic Disparity and also promote certain ideals such as Meritocracy, Human Rights and Peace.
A natural property of the Unified World View, we’ve been discussing earlier, is its ability to bring people of this World together as One while at the same time being able to help in the struggle against a Global World Tyranny described in the previous chapter. We’ll now show how our Solution to the first two problems categories, concerning the Problems of the World, i.e. our Unified World View is able to address all these Social, Economic and Political issues.
In Support of Equality, Meritocracy and Justice for All
The idea that Everyone is God, which is the foundation of our Unified World View, apart from being the ultimate self affirmation, is also the ultimate statement about the sanctity and importance of human life. On this fundamental truth we can not just base a unifying metaphysical outlook that is able to bring together Science, Religion and Philosophy, as well as bringing together the World’s major Religions. The idea that Everyone is God can also be used as the foundation for moral thinking. It can also be the basis and key assumption on which we formulate our Social, Economic and Political policies.
For instance, once we accept the perennial idea that ‘Everyone is God’ then certain other ideas follow. For instance the Universal idea called the Golden rule which states that we should treat other people as we would like to be treated makes perfect sense because when we understand that we’re all God and therefore one, then there is only really ultimately one person or being. So we treat the other person as we’d like to be treated because the other person is us.
When we see the human being as also being God then the idea of Inalienable Rights, Justice for all and Social Equality become truths deriving from the truth that ultimately we are really one and the same. We start to see that everyone matters and what happens to the individual is also what is happening to Society. It reaffirms the idea that everyone is deserving of justice because injustice inflicted on anyone is also injustice inflicted on everyone.
However the idea that everyone is God doesn’t imply that every human being is the same and equal. For in our abilities and in our physical attributes obviously we are very different. However the recognition that at our core essence we are absolutely one and the same is the ultimate basis for ideas of equality and equal opportunity. While at the same time recognising that in our attributes and in our abilities we are very different. What this means is that it is in our propensity and inclination to use our various powers at our disposal, physical, intellectual or otherwise to help others and serve society that we should be ranked and whereby status is achieved. In other words Meritocracy. The idea that Everyone is God, though of unequal physical and mental endowments or attributes, goes hand in hand with and supports the idea of Meritocracy and Equal Opportunity.
The Coming World Order, Global Tyranny and Problems associated with it
All through recorded there has been an on going process at work whereby humanity has been coming together and merging. Though riddled with conflict, this process has seen humans become more and more integrated and living in harmony with one another in ever larger systems of social organization. Tribes have come together to form Kingdoms and Kingdoms have come together to make Nation States. And this process has continued to form even larger Social, Economic and Political entities where people live together in relative harmony. However this Coming Togetherness process doesn’t imply that these conglomerations of peoples will necessarily be Just, Fair, Equal or free from Tyranny and Oppression. Still we can see that if this process is taken to the planetary limit then indeed we would have a single One World Order. This all encompassing Global Social, Economic and Political entity would form the basis for a united humanity, free from conflict and existing without borders.
But there’s a catch. For we may end up with a One World Order that’s a Global and Corrupt Tyranny serving a select few. A world without borders but one full of social divisions and animosities kept in check by a vast security apparatus, one huge world wide police state. A World without war but only because all the soldiers have become policemen. A world full of racism, hatred and mistrust and a disharmonious humanity forced to integrate in a single World Society controlled from the top down by a global Elite with little sympathy for the rest of humankind. And this future state for the World may be run by a vast and corrupt Global Bureaucracy serving this Global Aristocracy but also serving itself at the expense of the oppressed and excluded multitudes. Where the entire human race has become a single unified monkey status hierarchy. The fitting together of all humankind into a global social Pyramid of rank, with a persons position, defined by your bloodline, your wealth and your connection to the system. A future world where notions such as Justice, Freedom, Meritocracy, Equality and Human Rights are mere echoes from a sentimental past.
I believe this is what we’re heading for, the way things are going on the planet right now. The trajectory of human kinds current evolution is leading to the dystopian nightmare of the much feared One World Tyranny. However there is an alternative. There is a way by which humanity can be brought together as One in a way that doesn’t resemble the above. A World without war and without borders can be created that is Just, Equal, Free from Tyranny and Corruption and one that respects the Rights and Freedom of all its inhabitants. And also one where there is reconciliation between the Religion and harmony between the different races comprising humanity.
How to create a Unified Humanity that isn’t an all embracing World Tyranny
The key to bringing about a unified humanity is through a message of Absolute Unity. A message that unifies and brings together all as One. A message that not only shows us how all Religion is One along with how all Religion, Science and Philosophy are one. But also a message which makes people realize that we are all One. And not merely of one flesh but also ultimately of One Soul and One Being. That the person, Society, the Universe and God are really one and the same. These are the natural ramifications of the Perennial idea that ‘Everyone is God’.
The full and explicit revelations of the truth that ‘Everyone is God’ is the key that puts in motion a process which will inevitably lead to the coming together of all humanity into one peaceful and harmonious World Community. But this is not a process imposed from the Top-Down by Politicians and Bureaucrats but rather a process whereby Humanity is made one from the Bottom up. This sort of unification is not achieved through Political Edicts, Invading Armies or the imposition of Ideologies. Instead this sort of bottom up unification comes about through people accepting and experiencing the truth that ‘Everyone is God’ and that we are all one. Which creates in people the desire for Oneness and a World of Trust, Love, Peace and Unity.
So this alternative process of a Unified Humanity coming into being comes about through the gradual development of Trust and Mutual Understanding, Trade and Economic Inter-dependency, Tourism and Cultural exchange. Racism replaced with the recognition that Genetic Diversity is Genetic Strength. Nationalism replaced with Globalism. Religious Bigotry, Fundamentalism and Exclusivism replaced with Universalism, the belief in One God that is the same God for all true Religion. And a World without borders naturally emerges through the encouragement of labour mobility, regulated emigration and the steady translocation of the World’s people over time. This steady process of building up a World of trust and mutual inter-dependency counteracts human kinds primitive instinct for War and mutually detrimental conflict.
This bottom up way of unifying the World does not require some Hierarchical Top Down Authority to dictate and legislate the process of unification. Which is a great thing because this would bypass and negate a great way to create a Global One World Tyranny. Also the idea that ‘Everyone is God’ is one which actively opposes tyranny of any sort. The idea that ‘Everyone is God’ is the recognition that ultimately we are all the same, so the idea of a totally dominant person perhaps of a special bloodline who is born to rule or the idea of a ruling class with the right to lead becomes anathema. Instead we replace these notions of inherent rank among persons, with notions of equality and meritocracy. No one should be in a position of importance merely through birth right but instead people should be respected and giving rank according their abilities and inclination to serve the rest of humanity. The idea of Tyranny is completely incompatible with idea that ‘Everyone is God’.
Another way that the idea that ‘Everyone is God’ opposes Tyranny and therefore World Tyranny, comes about because of the way this mystical metaphysical notion empowers people. It has been said that ‘The Truth shall set you free’. The truth also sets people free from fear. When people know in their eternal nature they’re no longer afraid of death. It is the fear of death from which all our other fears derive. So if people are not afraid then it makes it much harder for Tyrants to control and use them. Because Tyrants and Oppressors control people and wield their power primarily through the use of fear.
The Importance of Addressing Selfish Genes and other Narrow Evolutionary Ideas with respect to tackling the Social, Economic and Political Problems of this World
Earlier we discussed how there is an alternative to the existing and widely held Scientific World View of a random and purposeless Material Universe where the only principle at work is a view of Evolution that is itself random and purposeless. Arguments presented in this book show that this is only a narrow and limited view of things that isn’t necessarily implied by Scientific Reasoning at all. Just useless Philosophical baggage that attached itself to the Scientific World view and has become closely associated with it. Notions such as ‘Survival of the Fittest’ and ‘Selfish Genes’ are in turn closely associated and allied with this Materialist and Nihilistic view of the Universe.
We now discuss why it is so extremely important to address these sorts of viewpoints which are widely held, widely promoted and considered incontrovertible by many Atheists and Secular Humanists. It is because when these notions are accepted by people then they can have a powerful effect on their views and ideas about Social, Economic and Political Organization.
We have already discussed that the idea of Selfish Genes when taken as an absolute truth, can and will influence the way people think. Even Richard Dawkins himself the originator of the term has said words to the effect that you can’t base any system of morality on these sorts of narrow minded evolutionary ideas. The trouble is people do, for it is inevitable that people should behave according to how to see the World. And if they see the world in terms of Selfish Genes and Survival of the Fittest then they’ll behave according, i.e. the notion of Selfish Genes justifies Selfishness, Nepotism and Racism. Examples of Social and Political Ideologies that found their support in primitive Evolutionary ideas include, as also mentioned earlier, Nazism and Eugenics. Also both Karl Marx and his collaborator Friederich Engels, the originators of Communistic Socialism, read Darwin’s Origin of Species weeks after its first publication and congratulated themselves on how their own ideas seemed so in accord with those of Darwin. Also in Capitalist Systems, the notion of Selfish Genes may encourage the creation of Free Markets and Systems of Free Enterprise that are only driven by Selfishness, Personal Gain and Greed. This can be at the expense of the Consumer and also at the expense of the System itself.
When taken as Gospel, narrow perspectives on Evolution can be used to support notions about Social Organization such as Caste, Apartied and Class based on Race and Heredity. If Evolution and the process of Life in the Universe is seen purely as a random game involving the competition between Genes for dominance and survival, then naturally people should orientate their behaviour in order that their own Genes and those with Similar Genes should Dominate and Survive even if the expense of people with Genes that are less Similar.
If the process of life is completely reduced to a competition for survival and dominance between Selfish Genes then naturally the ultimate expression of this idea is in the formation of a Global All Ruling World Tyranny, that exists to serve and sustain the dominance, survival and power of an Elite Set of Selfish Genes, contained either within a single Bloodline i.e. Family, or perhaps within a set of exclusive and inter-breeding Bloodlines or Clans. In which case this would be the inevitable conclusion for the Human Race according to the doctrine of Selfish Genes if taken as the Justification for Social and Political Organization. If humanity as a whole comes to accept that the idea of Selfish Genes and Survival of the Fittest is the true nature of things and the whole truth, then a perpetual Global Tyranny and corrupt One World Order is what humanity deserves.
It is for these reasons that it is so important to tackle head on the limited and misguided notion of Selfish Genes and Evolution as a purposeless and random process devoid of meaning; which inevitably will, and have greatly in the past, influenced Social, Economic and Political thinking often creating big problems in these areas. In Secular Society today we witness a huge resurgence in people’s willingness to accept existing Evolutionary Theories as final and incontrovertible truths, accompanied by a viewpoint that sees the Universe as Purposeless, random and accidental. I believe in years to come we shall reap the negative effects of these beliefs in the Social, Economic and Political Spheres. That is why the establishment of the opposing idea of a Purposeful, Symbiotic and Holistic Universe based also on the idea of Cooperation and the recognition of mutual inter-dependence and the sacredness of life, is such a necessary tonic to Selfish Genes and Nihilistic perspectives which are becoming more and more prevalent today. If we can counter-act the Purposeless, Random, Meaningless view of the Universe of Selfish Genes and the Survival of the Fittest. If we can do just this with the ideas and rational spiritual outlook presented in this book, then we would have made a contribution to helping to solve the Problems of the World, together with providing a Spiritual Doctrine that is directly opposed to the formation of a Tyrannical One World Order.
So to conclude this sub-section, the real solution to the Social, Economic and Political problems of this World involves a Meta-Solution which is able to generate all the other myriad specific solutions that are required in all these disparate areas of human activity. This Meta-Solution addresses the root cause of all these problems which ultimately derive from misguided Ideologies and the incorrect beliefs that people hold. The implementation of this Meta-Solution essentially involves the revival of key spiritual and humanistic values coupled with view of life that’s Sacred and a Universe that is Purposeful. These beliefs themselves will be backed up by a new all embracing and Unifying Cosmic view which is able to solve the deepest problems in Science, Theology and Philosophy. This will itself be based on and made possible by the ancient notion that Everyone is God. This perennial idea is the key to answering all these problems in realm of pure ideas, while at the same time unifying all Religion, together with unifying Religion with Science and Philosophy.
Solving the Environmental and Ecological Problems of this World
We now come to our final and most tangible problem category, represented by our final domino, i.e. the Worlds Problems relating to the Environment and Ecosystems. To some people this is the most urgent and pressing of all the Worlds problems. The physical manifestations of the problems in this category are probably the most graphic and grand scale. There is in the World today an increasing awareness of the what’s happening to the Environment and natural habitats. For instance issues such as Global warming, the extinction of rare animals and the destruction of the tropical rain forests, are some of the issues that have become popular causes. There is a natural and spontaneous reaction in people to want to do something about these sorts of problems. But without tackling the root causes of Environmental and Ecological problems then we’ll only ever by mitigating the Symptoms rather than curing the disease itself.
When writing an essay, the first problem you might face is deciding on what topic to choose, which is pretty ironic if you’re writing a problem-solution essay.
The way out of that dilemma is to choose an issue that you’re really passionate about. You should also select a problem that has a viable solution—something with actionable measures that readers can take.
If you’re still stumped for ideas, then take heart. In this blog post, I offer 40 problem-solution essay topics to help you get started. Each topic will include links to sample essays to give you more ideas.
In each example, I present specific problems broken down by the issues of today (political, social, environmental, etc.) and ask questions that will help you consider different ideas on how they might be solved.
Each problem-solution topic I present offers broad possibilities, so you’ll have to do the important work of hunting down the facts and examples to provide specific solutions.
Ready? Let’s get started!
Problem-Solution Essay Topics—Social Problems
If you look around, you’ll see social problems that affect society every day. There are plenty of problems, even on your own campus, that need to be resolved.
Proposing solutions to social problems might seem challenging, especially when the issues seem so entrenched. Yet the point of a good problem-solution essay is to suggest solutions that are actionable–something that your readers can do.
Addressing specific problems will lead to specific, well-articulated solutions and to the most interesting and compelling essays. Here are five problem-solution essay topics that touch on social problems.
1. Problem: Undocumented immigrants
- Solution #1: Should the US government step up its deportation of undocumented immigrants, or should it offer asylum for those currently living in the country?
- Solution #2: How should the government address trade policies that affect the economies of South American countries and lead to immigration?
- Solution #3: Will ending the war on drugs provide some relief to the rise of undocumented immigrants arriving in the United States? Should there be more coordination between the US and Central American countries in how they deal with drug policies, and if so, in what ways?
2. Problem: Sexual assaults on college campuses
- Solution #1: What steps should universities take to prevent sexual assaults on campus?
- Solution #2: Should colleges provide safe places for victims to report rapes, and if so, how? What responsibilities should the administration have in protecting victim’s identities once they’ve reported the crime?
- Solution #3: In what ways should students be educated about rape culture, and what responsibility should colleges have in providing that education?
- Solution #4: Should student social services address rape culture? Should fraternities and sororities be more involved in educating students on rape culture? If yes, in what ways?
3. Problem: Mass shootings
- Solution #1: What role should mental health providers play in determining prevention? What policies or programs should be enacted that will provide greater care for people suffering from mental health issues?
- Solution #2: Should violence in the entertainment and gaming industry be addressed for a possible influence? How about the news media?
- Solution #3: What kind of gun control laws should be enacted? What role should gun manufacturers have? Should technology be used to decrease mass shootings? If so, in what ways can it be used?
4. Problem: Police brutality
- Solution #1: What are the possible ways in which communities can force local governments and police departments to address police brutality?
- Solution #2: What role should voting play? Should communities have a say in who heads the police department? What other ways should communities be able to review how local law enforcement polices communities?
- Solution #3: In what ways should the police department address cultural attitudes among officers about the people they police?
- Solution #4: What role does militarization in police departments play in police brutality? Should the federal government supply local police departments with military weaponry? If not, should there be a law against it? How should such a law be shaped?
Looking for a few articles about police brutality to get the research process rolling? Read 12 Articles to Support Your Police Brutality Essay.
5. Problem: Suicide
- Solution #1: What obstacles prevent people from getting help? Are there ways in which those obstacles can be addressed? What about social pressure, such as shaming? Should the public be educated about suicide? How might such programs be put into place?
- Solution #2: What roles should schools, colleges, police, social welfare, or other institutions play in recognizing those who are at risk, and how would they go about doing that?
- Solution #3: Should there be more therapy programs that are accessible for people? What about mental health programs for people who can’t afford them? In what ways should they be made available?
Example problem-solution essays on social issues
Problem-Solution Essay Topics—Economics
Everyone is affected by the economy in one way or another. They’re affected either directly through personal debts, indirectly through the loss of tax revenues that provide services for everyone, or through an uncertain job market.
A problem-solution essay that addresses economic problems is compelling precisely because everyone is eager for answers—especially college graduates. Check out these six problem-solution essay topics about economics for essay ideas.
6. Problem: Student loan debts
- Solution #1: What policies should the government enact that will help eliminate or lessen the burden for students once they graduate? Should there be greater consumer protections that protect students from predatory banking and credit loan institutions?
- Solution #2: Should universities and colleges bear a greater responsibility in protecting students from prohibitive debts? If so, how?
- Solution #3: Should state universities and colleges be allowed to enforce or raise student fees? If not, what alternatives would the schools have to pay for administrative costs?
7. Problem: Long-term unemployment
- Solution #1: Should there be programs on the local level that address long-term unemployment? If so, what? What laws or policies should the federal government enact that will address long-term unemployment?
- Solution #2: Should corporations take the lead on creating new job markets? If so, how could they implement programs to do so? How should the government encourage corporations to open up new markets? Subsidies? Tax breaks?
- Solution #3: What should individuals who are in long-term unemployment do? What programs should be accessible to them while they seek jobs? What about unemployment benefits? Should benefits be modified to address long-term unemployment rather than just short-term unemployment?
8. Problem: Consumer debt
- Solution #1: Should the government pass more rigorous consumer protection laws that will regulate and prosecute predatory banking institutions or credit loaning companies?
- Solution#2: Should the government provide debt relief programs? If so, how should they work and for whom? Should non-profit, non-governmental organizations, such as Occupy Wall Street, provide relief, or should the government create and enact such programs?
- Solution #3: What steps should individuals take to get out of debt? What programs, if any, are available for them? If none, what should be available?
9. Problem: Child labor
- Solution #1: What laws or policies can world governments enact that will address child labor?
- Solution #2: Should the US government enact trade policies that will address the problem? If so, what kind of policies should it enact?
- Solution #3: Do US companies exploit child labor, and if so, should local or state governments punish companies that do? What should citizens do? Boycott? Pressure congress to pass laws or prosecute?
10. Problem: Worker exploitation
- Solution #1: Should the government pass laws that protect workers? Should the government pass stricter laws that protect unionization?
- Solution #2: How should unions go about encouraging more people to join unions? What about workers who are unable to organize in their workplaces? What steps should they take to organize?
11. Problem: Home foreclosures
- Solution #1: What policies should be enacted that will ease economic problems leading to home foreclosures? Should the federal government enact laws that will protect homeowners, and if so, how?
- Solution #2: Should local governments pass laws to protect homeowners against foreclosures? What alternatives are available for local governments to prevent them? What should they do with homes that are underwater? How should they prevent blight?
- Solution #3: Should non-profit groups like Occupy Wall Street help people fight against foreclosures?
Example problem-solution essays on economics
Problem-Solution Essay Topics—Politics
Political problems are the most frustrating because the will to fix them is as elusive as the solutions. Perhaps this is largely because people get distracted by how challenging the problems are before they can even think about solving them.
The key to writing a good problem-solution essay is to think small. In other words, pick a very specific problem (money in politics, for instance) that will lead to goals that are clear and viable.
When you pick a topic that readers feel confident that they’ll be able to tackle, you’ll write an essay that just might move them to act.
Here are four political problem-solution essay topics to inspire action.
12. Problem: Money in politics
- Solution #1: What leads to the dependence on money in electoral politics, and what can be done to address the problem? For instance, what alternatives are available for candidates to raise funds for elections?
- Solution #2: Should the government regulate how much money is spent in campaigns? If not, what alternatives are available that will lead to campaign finance reform?
- Solution #3: Should the government pass laws that will define who should or shouldn’t be able to donate campaign dollars? If so, how should such a law be shaped? How should free speech rights be taken into consideration?
- Solution #4: Should the constitution be amended to address the problem? If so, what should be amended and how?
13. Problem: NSA spying
- Solution #1: Should there be more vigorous laws that protect Americans’ privacy rights from government surveillance? If so, what types of laws should be in place?
- Solution #2: Should congress be more proactive in monitoring the intelligence community? If so, how should Americans be certain that they are? In what ways should citizens be involved in the process?
- Solution #3: Do Americans have the right to know what the intelligence community is doing? If so, in what ways can that be done while protecting national security?
14. Problem: Partisanship
- Solution #1: Will electoral reform address the problems caused by partisanship? If so, in what ways?
- Solution #2: In what ways do American citizens help create partisanship? The media? How should Americans be better educated about their roles as citizens?
- Solution #3: Will media reform help address the problems that cause partisanship?
- Solution #4: How should political parties address partisanship? Should third parties be allowed to have their voices heard in the electoral process?
15. Problem: Voter disenfranchisement
- Solution #1: Should the federal government pass laws that will protect voter rights? Should the constitution be amended to protect voting rights for all citizens?
- Solution #2: How should state governments prevent partisanship from affecting electoral board policies? What should the public do to fight against voter ID laws or other laws that disenfranchise voters?
- Solution #3: What steps should be taken to revive people’s faith in the political process? Who should enact these steps? The public? Schools? The media? Politicians?
- Solution #4: Should congressional rules, policies, or social culture be changed to discourage and prevent obstructionism? If so, in what ways?
Example problem-solution essays on politics
By all measures, the environment is our most precious resource, yet we face many problems in trying to protect and preserve it.
A problem-solution essay that addresses environmental problems can be compelling and thought-provoking because it will alert readers to the necessity of proposing real solutions that people can enact as individuals or as political groups.
Here are five environmental problem-solution essay topics to start help you choose the focus for your own paper.
16. Problem: Climate change
- Solution #1: What kinds of laws or policies should the government pass that will address climate change?
- Solution #2: Should the government push for more trade policies that will address climate change?
- Solution #3: Should foreign policy play a role in addressing climate change? For instance, should the United States work with other heavy-polluting countries like China, and if so, how?
- Solution #4: How should the marketplace address the problem? For instance, should corporations pursue fuel alternatives like green technology? If so, how should they be encouraged to do so?
- Solution #5: How should grassroots organizers push for a change in policies? Who would be targeted for such a movement? The US government? The UN? Corporations?
Are you writing about global warming and need a few resources for your paper? Check out 12 Global Warming Articles to Help Your Next Essay.
17. Problem: Fracking
- Solution #1: Should the government pass laws that make fracking illegal? Should it promote energy fuel alternatives, such as green technology?
- Solution #2: How should companies that use fracking be discouraged from doing so? Should they be subject to civil lawsuits? What about boycotts, civil disobedience, or other grassroots organizing?
- Solution #3: What should be done to educate the public about fracking? Should the news media report on it more often? If so, how should environmental groups push the media to do so?
18. Problem: Endangered wildlife
- Solution #1: Should the government pass laws or policies that provide greater protections for preserving and protecting wildlife? If so, what types of laws? Should the government go after corporations that endanger wildlife?
- Solution #2: Should corporations take the lead in protecting wildlife?
- Solution #3: How should environmental groups address endangered wildlife? What are some of the things they can do to push the government and corporations to protect the environment?
19. Problem: Environmental pollution
- Solution #1: What should the government do about pollution? How should it be involved in long-term protections? For instance, should the government set aside relief funds or economic restorations for affected areas?
- Solution #2: What role should local and state governments play in protecting wildlife from pollution? Should local governments be stricter in regard to environmental studies for local projects, such as the building of chemical plants or factories near wildlife or residential areas?
- Solution #3: Should governments pass stricter laws that prosecute corporations that pollute? If so, how should the public push for such laws to get passed?
20. Problem: Environmental injustice
- Solution #1: Should local governments do more to protect communities from environmental injustices? If so, how? If not, what can the public do to fight against them? Will grassroots organizing help?
- Solution #2: Should the federal government provide relief for communities affected by environmental injustices? Should the US Justice Department get more involved in prosecuting corporations, or are local governments responsible for addressing the injustices?
- Solution #3: Should the media report more on environmental injustices? What can the public do to push the media to cover these stories? How should grassroots organizations get the information out to the public? Documentary films? YouTube? Crowdsourcing?
Example problem-solution essays on the environment
Problem-Solution Topics—Romantic Relationships
Anyone who has been involved in a romantic relationship has likely experienced both highs and lows. Some days can be pure bliss, and some days are, well … let’s just say they’re anything but blissful.
A successful problem-solution essay about romantic relationships will provide real solutions for couples experiencing the problem.
Here are five problem-solution essay topics about romantic relationships to inspire you.
21. Problem: Disagreements caused by social media
- Solution #1: Should couples stay away from most types of social media? Should they limit social media accounts? Would this bring couples closer together or create resentment?
- Solution #2: How might couples negotiate what is or isn’t acceptable behavior on social media accounts? Are discussions with old flames considered flirting or just simple discussions?
- Solution #3: Should couples share social media accounts? Should they know the other person’s passwords? Would this help solve any trust issues?
22. Problem: Safety concerns in online dating
- Solution #1: Does meeting a date in a public place help solve safety concerns? Should online dating services require background checks?
- Solution #2: Can asking the right questions help online daters really get to know a person, or is it too easy to pretend to be someone else online?
- Solution #3: Do shows like Catfish reduce instances of catfishing, or do they give people more inspiration?
23. Problem: Abusive relationships
- Solution #1: Would stricter laws help prevent abuse? Should it be easier for victims to file for protection orders against their abusers?
- Solution #2: Would additional education programs help prevent abuse?
24. Problem: Disciplining children
- Solution #1: Could parents go through counseling to solve their differences of opinion on disciplining children? Should parents have worked out such differences even before having children? Is it possible to work out such differences before having children?
- Solution #2: What type of parenting style is most effective in disciplining children? Does one style work best for all children? Should parents always use the same type of disciplinary style?
25. Problem: Teenage romance
- Solution #1: How do parents decide at what age their teens should be allowed to date? Should the dating age differ depending on the child?
- Solution #2: Should schools offer additional education about all forms of abuse? Would this help teens escape abusive relationships? Would it prevent abuse?
- Solution #3: Does social media create trust issues? Would more face-to-face interaction help teens establish more trusting and stable relationships?
- Solution #4: Should teens avoid serious relationships? Would they develop stronger and healthier relationships once they are older and more mature?
Example problem-solution essays on romantic relationships
Problem-Solution Topics—The Workplace
The workplace can be home to all types of problems, from technology failures to communication failures. While some problems can only be solved through a long meeting with HR, others must be solved between co-workers.
A problem-solution essay about the workplace should keep its audience in mind. A problem and its solution might look very different depending on whether you’re looking at it from an employee’s perspective or an employer’s perspective.
Let’s look at five workplace-related problem-solution topics to get you started on your paper.
26. Problem: Sexual harassment
- Solution #1: How should victims inform their boss or supervisor if they are harassed? Should the incident be documented in writing or discussed via email, in person, or on the phone?
- Solution #2: Do workplace training videos prevent harassment? Should other forms of training be in place?
- Solution #3: What should victims say to the person who is harassing them? Should they even confront the person?
27. Problem: Work-life balance
- Solution #1: Are people over-scheduled due to technology? Should people turn off their devices away from work? Should employers require (or suggest) times for employees to unplug?
- Solution #2: Are low wages causing people to work more hours and ultimately spend less time with their families? Would higher wages (including a higher minimum wage) solve the problem?
- Solution #3: Should younger generations develop stronger hobbies and interests outside of work? Should they minimize social events with their coworkers?
28. Problem: Employee privacy
- Solution #1: Should employees avoid conducting personal business on workplace computers?
- Solution #2: Does employer monitoring result in an invasion of privacy? Does monitoring employees help solve the problem of distracted employees?
29. Problem: Discrimination
- Solution #1: Will stricter laws help prevent discrimination in the workplace? Should companies audit their policies to ensure they discourage, rather than encourage, discrimination?
- Solution #2: What should industries more prone to discrimination do to change their ways? Can current employees speak up to change such discrimination? What might employees do in order to advocate for change?
- Solution #3: Do STEM programs and other education efforts help solve the problem of gender discrimination in science, technology, engineering, and math professions?
30. Problem: Social media use
- Solution #1: Would strict enforcement of computer use on the job prevent employees from logging in to their social media accounts at work? Should employers allow some personal time at work to check social media? Would this actually make employees more productive?
- Solution #2: Are social media accounts personal property, and should employers (and potential employers) be allowed to hire and fire based on personal accounts?
- Solution #3: Do company policies on social media use benefit only the company’s brand, or do they promote a more positive culture in the workplace? Does monitoring social media accounts solve any inherent problems of racism, stereotyping, etc., or does it merely highlight them?
Example problem-solution essays on the workplace
31. Problem: Obesity
- Solution #1: Will strategies such as taxing sugar drinks or adding nutritional information on fast food and restaurant menus reduce obesity? Is it the government’s place to legislate what its citizens eat and drink?
- Solution #2: Should schools require recess and physical education courses in order to help curb the current problem of childhood obesity?
- Solution #3: Should obese people pay more for health insurance? Would such a plan solve the problem of obesity by essentially forcing people to lose weight?
32. Problem: Opioid epidemic
- Solution #1: Should there be harsher penalties for doctors who continue to over-prescribe opioids to their patients? Should pharmacies more closely monitor prescriptions?
- Solution #2: Should manufacturers limit production of specific opioids? Should funding be provided to help researchers develop safer, less-addictive medications?
- Solution #3: Should additional treatment facilities be funded? Should Narcan be more readily available in schools, homes, and public facilities?
33. Problem: Technology addiction
- Solution #1: Does the problem of technology addiction begin at home? Should parents limit their children’s use of technology?
- Solution #2: Should schools encourage the use of more technology in the classroom? Should schools teach students about responsible use of technology?
- Solution #3: Should there be more technology-free zones in public? Would such zones help people leave their devices behind and thus lessen the effects of addiction?
34. Problem: Photoshopped images and self-esteem
- Solution #1: Should advertisers and publishers be required to limit the use of Photoshop or clearly state that images are digitally altered? Would these steps reduce body image concerns, particularly among young people?
- Solution #2: Would educational programs help young people understand that Photoshopped images are generally not attainable? Does self-esteem improve when companies show real people with more attainable body shapes?
35. Problem: Stress
- Solution #1: Should employers offer free or low-cost programs to help employees manage stress? Should employers offer additional sick and/or vacation days to help employees destress? Would this create a more productive workforce?
- Solution #2: Do practices such as meditation, soft music, and dietary changes help reduce stress?
- Solution #3: Should people make an effort to engage in more physical activity in order to alleviate stress?
Example problem-solution essays on health
Problem-Solution Topics—Off the Beaten Path: Ingenious Tips for College Students
Is your professor lenient on topics? Are you allowed to be a little more creative (and a whole lot less serious) when writing a problem-solution essay?
If so, try one of these five unique problem-solution topics that may allow you to express more of your creative talents.
36. Problem: Messy dorm room
- Solution #1: Could you hire a friend to clean your room? Could you hold a cleaning party? Should you call Mom and ask her to help clean?
- Solution #2: Do cleaning charts help organize tasks and actually help keep the space clean?
- Solution #3: Should you just get rid of almost everything in your dorm room and start again with a clean slate? Should you move to a new and cleaner space?
37. Problem: Forgot to study for an exam
- Solution #1: Could you ask your professor for an extension so that you can take the exam in a day or two? Should you try to convince all of your classmates to ask the professor to postpone the exam?
- Solution #2: Would it help to text everyone you know in class and ask them to help you cram before the test? Would they be willing to share their notes for you to review immediately before the test?
- Solution #3: Should you go to the doctor so that you have a doctor’s excuse that would allow you to make up the exam?
38. Problem: Loud neighbors
- Solution #1: Should you speak with them calmly and explain that you need quiet time to study, meditate, or just sleep? Should you bang on the door and yell loudly to get your point across?
- Solution #2: Should you avoid talking to your neighbors altogether and simply call the police?
- Solution #3: Could you soundproof your walls? Can you live in your space wearing noise-canceling headphones at all times?
- Solution #4: Should you ask to join the party and join in on the fun? (After all, you can always sleep or study later.)
39. Problem: Boring lectures
- Solution #1: Would asking your professor to create more interesting lectures actually inspire your professor to change his or her teaching strategy? Should you offer suggestions for more interesting lectures?
- Solution #2: Should you try drawing pictures, writing poetry, or taking creative notes to help pass the time as your professor rambles on?
- Solution #3: Should you drop the class and look for a professor with more engaging lectures? Is it too late to get into another class?
- Solution #4: Should you do nothing and accept the fact that sometimes you have to suffer through boring lectures?
40. Problem: No food in fridge
- Solution #1: Should you order a pizza? Should you do your grocery shopping online and have it delivered to your room?
- Solution #2: Should you save money and simply go to a friend’s place, hoping that he or she will feed you?
Example problem-solution essays on topics off the beaten path
Hopefully these problem-solution essay topics will make it easier to get started on your paper. And if you’re looking for help with the finer points of the problem-solution essay, don’t miss these resources:
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