Providing an Outsider’s Perspective
Civilization is approaching a state of crisis. On the one hand, technology has brought us to the doorstep of a potential Utopia where machines will be able to perform most human labor, promising a life of leisure for all humankind. Meanwhile, we face climate change, pollution, poverty, mass migrations, the clash of civilizations, and the age of pandemics, all exacerbated by the intellectual folly of fake news and the culture wars. Centuries of religious warfare and philosophical argument have not resolved the conflicts, and, indeed, they seem to be both inflammatory and irreconcilable. This is a problem that needs an immediate solution.
My professional training was as a Veterinarian, graduating from the University of Edinburgh in 1979. As a boy, I had been concerned by the irrational and often cruel nature of religious instruction. I had also been impressed by the explanation of how science works given by Sir Karl Popper. As a Veterinarian, I took an oath to use my scientific knowledge for the benefit of society, specifically by protecting animal health and welfare, and the relief of animal suffering. The philosophy of animal welfare, animal rights, and human rights is all one and the same subject. At Veterinary school, we were trained in problem solving, and a good doctor spends his life doing exactly that.
My analysis of the problem underlying religion and philosophy pointed straight to their Absolutism, their rival claims to be in possession of Absolute Truth. The solution to the problem was to reconsider the nature of truth and knowledge, and the extension of this solution creates a total philosophy of personal ethics and morals for society. The resulting manuscript is in 2 parts. The first, which I basically completed in the 1980’s, is the theory of knowledge, and the second, written after 40 years of running my small animal hospital, concerns the practical application.
This work is intended to be easily understood by anybody comfortable with, say, the New York Times. No prior knowledge of philosophy is required or assumed – everything is explained as we go along. Importantly, I hope it will be entertaining as well as informative.
– Dr. Peter Lugten