The Starship (General)
In the boundless universe of stars, in a small region called the Milky Way Galaxy, is one star called the Sun. Spinning around this Sun, on a planet called Earth, is an organism called Man. This man is tapping the energy of the Sun and transforming the material of Earth to build his starship, his starship to seek, hold, and give, the beauty that brings him his happiness.
The starship that man creates is an expression of his mastery over his own destiny, a mastery that breaks the circle of nature with a straight line, a line that reaches from this earth to touch the farthest stars.
The structure of the starship is the product of man’s shining his cool, strong light of reason upon the wilderness of reality to tame it into the home that supports his life. Growing from this work of discovering and unifying truth, goodness, and beauty, the starship is a selective re-arrangement of various aspects of reality into those forms that further his well-being.
Abstractly, starship is a complex concept, integrating the knowledge that leads to the success of human life. Concretely, the starship is an artificial planet, an earth re-created into a hierarchical unity of arts and machines, performing the functions of sustaining and enriching man’s spiritual/material health. Symbolically, the starship is a badge that signifies man’s ultimate purpose, his central activity, his highest achievement.
The starship for beautifying man can inspire
him on his quest for new arts, new machines, new adventure: on a voyage
that blasts off from this port of Earth and shoots outwards to other ports
of other worlds -- outwards to the countless stars of the countless galaxies
of the unbounded universe.
The Project (Introduction)
Project Starship is an adventure to the stars, a romance for the ideal of starship -- a consecration to the ultimate purpose of creating a world comprised of all those things from which comes the experience called happiness.
Project Starship grows from the acceptance and expression of one’s responsibility as a special kind of being, whose honor is one’s volition and whose glory is one’s starship.
Project Starship begins with understanding these facts:
a. Starship is the integrated structure of knowledge and processes, of arts and machines, of ideas, values, and inventions that, together, can nurture the continual growth of life and happiness.
b. The source of starship is the volitional nature of human life, the rational process of one’s consciousness, and the unlimited capability of one’s actions.
c. The starship’s vital core is one’s conceptual consciousness, one’s mind, one’s reason, the basic faculty that discovers and invents the ship’s knowledge and processes.
d. The starship’s most basic and crucial knowledge is philosophy, the knowledge of fundamental principles, the knowledge that integrates and guides all other knowledge, the knowledge that yields an attitude of romanticism for the wisdom as summarized in this way:
Man is a rational animal, whose existence
in objective reality is sustained by the volitional operation of his conceptual
consciousness called reason towards the cognition, evaluation and invention
of his starship to happiness.
I. The Basis
Man is a living, conscious, volitional being. Starship is an expression of this volitional nature.
Man, like all living things, is alive conditionally upon his generation of a series of successful internal-external actions to fulfill the needs for his life’s existence. Like other conscious living things, man uses his faculty of consciousness, his power of being aware of reality, to understand the meaning of the information gathered by his senses. This consciousness is a power to determine the good, or life-enhancing, and evil, or life-destroying, aspects of reality. It is a power to guide the course of actions towards the production of the good, and a power to experience, through emotion, the resulting state of life called happiness.
Unlike other conscious things, however, man has volition. He has direct control over the operation of his process of awareness, and, therefore, over his life. He can choose to be conscious and live, or to be unconscious and die. He can choose to be sharply or vaguely conscious: he can raise his level of awareness, sharpen its focus, enlarge its field, increase its cognitive efficacy, or he can blur, shrink, blank out and sabotage its processes. Volition begins with the choice to drive the mind to the highest achievement of successful life, or to leave it to stagnate to a rotting death.
Born ignorant and naked, man is innately ignorant of what is good or harmful to life, and is inherently naked of the tools to achieve the good and fight the evil. He has no instincts, no fur, fangs, or claws. To acquire knowledge and tools, man has to discover them by means of his mind. To fulfill the needs for his life’s health, he has to earn them by directing his mind towards the understanding of reality, the detection of possible good, and the invention of those extensions and augmentations to himself that can achieve the good. To attain the successful state of life called happiness, man must accept and express his responsibility as a volitional being: he must deserve his honor as the driver of his own mind, the master of his own life, the maker of his own destiny.
This honor and responsibility of volition grants man the freedom of a potentially unlimited capacity of awareness, a potential to know the simplest, or most complex, part of reality, a potential whose limit is essentially determined by man’s own choice and desire. At his command, man can enhance, elevate, focus, his level of awareness, from the automatic but limited, perceptual state of non-volitional beings, towards the virtually unlimited, conceptual field that only he can achieve. The conceptual mode of consciousness brings into his grasp a vivid understanding of the nature of himself and his world -- an understanding that can transcend the immediate moment and place around him, to ultimately span an eternity of time and an infinity of space.
Given this kind of volitional awareness, an awareness unlimited in possibility of clarity, depth and scope, then the kind of actions possible to man is also unlimited. The sophistication of a conceptual consciousness can guide the most complex series of actions, the kind that can significantly alter the environment to suit human life, and that can enrich man’s health and extend his life-span.
Man’s possession of a conceptual, volitional consciousness distinguishes his life as, symbolically, a straight line, an endless line transcending the immediate bounds of this Earth, of this Sun, of this Galaxy, to ultimately touch all parts of the vast realm of stars. To complement this volitional life, to clothe his nakedness and replace his ignorance, to glorify his honor as a master, to seek his happiness -- man creates the starship.
Starship could be the highest expression
and achievement of human rational being. It is a ship of knowledge and
processes: an integrated mobile environment that provides man with nourishment
for growth, shelter against decay, and locomotion to explore his boundless
realm. It is a starship because its primary source of energy and inspiration
emanates from the stars. It is a starship because it is the kind of structure
that can house and fly, comfort and move, man’s life on an astro-adventure.
It is a starship because it can inspire man to be starbound, to seek new
knowledge, new powers, new beauty -- to seek his happiness and glory by
sailing the endless sea of stars.
II. The Constitution
Starship is an integrated structure of the knowledge and processes, the arts and machines, the truths, goods, and beauties that, together, can enhance the continual growth of man’s life.
The starship’s vital core is man’s consciousness called reason. Reason is the creator, commander, coordinator, of the starship’s every part. Reason builds, organizes, integrates and maintains the ship’s entire structure by forming ideas, values, and inventions. It conducts the long and complex process that begins with raw materials and energies of the universe and ends with pro-man products. Reason is the basic generator of man’s happiness and the starship’s potent dynamo.
Reason performs the three general stages of starship-building: cognition, evaluation and re-creation. Cognition is the process of identifying the facts of reality, of discovering the properties and relationships of entities, of determining what is available for transformation. Evaluation is the process of detecting values and goals, the process of judging the possible good. Re-creation is the process of re-shaping, re-arranging, converting the raw elements of reality into those forms that can further life. The knowledge thus acquired, the ideas, values, and inventions, is integrated into the structure of the starship, constituting part of what may be called the star-ship’s intellect and spirit.
Reason’s supreme power of creativity is made possible by its conceptual manner of perceiving and understanding reality. The rational, conceptual process is one of perceiving, identifying, and integrating the data received by the senses, condensing the multitude of observations into simplified groups called concepts.
A concept is a mental unit concretized by a word and individualized by a definition. It is a condensed unit of knowledge formed by the differentiation and integration of essential attributes and relationships among entities. A concept reduces a multitude of facts about reality into easily grasped essentials, thereby freeing the mind from routine in order to study the new. Each concept thus formed is further combined with others to form larger concepts, or is divided into smaller ones, continuing this process of differentiating and integration indefinitely, bringing in evermore organized knowledge, forever expanding the scope of man’s awareness.
The starship’s knowledge may be divided into science and technology. Science is the faculty of facts, the faculty that studies what is. Technology is the faculty of fancy, the faculty that, based on the sciences, studies what could be. Linking the two is ethics, the faculty of morals, the department of philosophy that studies what should be. Directing science and technology is philosophy, the faculty of axioms and fundamental principles -- the faculty that studies the basic nature of, and relationship between, man, reality, and the starship.
Philosophy is the starship’s most crucial knowledge, the knowledge that unifies all the complexities of science and technology, the knowledge that gives a comprehensive framework of principles guiding and inspiring the conduct of all other knowledge. Philosophy identifies the underlying nature of existence, of that which exists, of what is real, describing reality’s meta-laws, defining the principles of reason’s conceptual process, and prescribing the basic principles of life-seeking actions.
Two axiomatic concepts of existence that philosophy studies are “identity” and “causality”.
Identity is the concept that an existent, any existent, if it exists, then it exists with an identity -- with a set of characteristics that distinguishes it from all other existents, making that existent a thing, not a nothing and not just anything, but a something. Identity thus distinguishes the real from the unreal, the natural from the supernatural.
Causality is the concept that an action or process is generated by specific entities, generated in a specific manner, resulting in a specific effect, according to the identity of the entity generating the action. Every action, every effect, presupposes an entity that generated or caused that effect. All of reality’s processes, including man’s, are accountable by certain properties or principles governing those processes. Causality thus distinguishes the kind of actions that an entity can generate from those it cannot, those actions that are explainable from those that are miraculous.
These axiomatic concepts are the basis, integrator and compass of all other concepts of the starship, guiding the ship’s science and technology to study the specific identities of entities and their actions. Applied to man’s actions, “identity” and “causality” yield the ethical derivatives of “honesty” and “justice”.
Honesty is the principle of being natural, of being true to reality, of perceiving reality as it is. It is the principle that since reality is objective and since man is a rational being, then to be true to nature, to be human, is to be conscious and conceptual. This means to pay attention, to understand reality with the clearest and fullest focus of the mind, with the widest context of knowledge, according to the law of identity. Honesty thus distinguishes the kind of thinking that man must perform to understand the nature and meaning of his life.
Justice is the principle of being fair, of being true to man, of treating men as they are. It is the principle of men acting to seek, grant, and accept only the earned and deserved from each other. It is the principle that since every effect presupposes its causal agent and since one’s desired effects are not achieved without cause, then every part of the starship must be earned, earned by exerting effort in a specific manner according to the law of causality. Justice thus distinguishes the kind of actions that man must perform to achieve the happiness of his life.
Honesty and justice form the basis of ethics, the set of principles (independence, integrity, courage, etc.) that guide the actions of the starship’s creation, the set of values that helps to unite the major faculties of science and technology, linking the facts of raw nature with the fancies of man’s desire.
Science is the faculty that scrutinizes the kinds of entities and processes that exist. Science systematically analyzes the properties of existents, determines their relationships, defines the methods of measurements, and categorizes the results into ideas.
Technology is the faculty that imagines the possible beauty that could come from the ideas of science and invents the techniques of re-creation to concretize the imagined ideals -- creating the forms of artistry that enhance man’s spiritual life, and the forms of machinery that enhance man’s physical life.
Thus, the starship is generally a structure
constituted by the knowledge of science and technology, and by the products
of arts and machines, integrated by philosophy for the purpose of man’s
III. The Crew
The crew of a starship is a society of individuals. Each member of the starship’s crew is guided by the principles of honesty and justice. He is a specialist in some industry of the starship for a certain period of time, trading his particular service for that of other members. Some may be scientists trading with technologists or philosophers with artists. Whatever the relationship, each concentrates his energy on some specific profession, and combines his effort with others in trades that yield industries too difficult for one man. Some benefits of this co-operation are the diversity of services and products, an amplification in the power of an individual to seek his happiness, and a more efficient, faster creation of the starship.
The benefits of such a social starship are protected by an agency devoted towards the defense of a man’s rights to his own life. This political instrument functions as a police and court to secure the individual from possible interference and destruction caused by the physical force of other men. It governs the retaliatory use of force to defend against initiated force, and may be called upon to resolve peaceful disputes.
Today’s government at times protects the
freedom of men to pursue their happiness, and yet, other times, commits
(for the sake of cowards and parasites) the very crimes against which it
is commissioned to fight. This legalized violation of rights causes injury,
hardships, and unnecessary obstacles, and must be opposed morally and
politically, in order to free man’s achievement of his starship to happiness.
The Project (Conclusion)
Project Starship is a life-long purpose, an industry of philosophy, science, and technology, a career of understanding man, reality, and the starship -- a study and practice of creating the starship’s basis, constitution, and crew.
The first symbolic step in the starship project, for those who choose it, is the naming of one’s starship (e.g., Starship Pegasus, Starship Phoenix, Starship Prometheus). The name serves to symbolize and unify the specific stages of one’s project and serves as the banner of one’s quest, the emblem of one’s home.
In the name of one’s starship, an introductory study of philosophy is undertaken. The study of philosophy begins with gathering the knowledge with which to understand such subjects as: the nature of objective reality, the nature of man’s mind and emotion, the principles of moral action, the preconditions of a rightful society, and the nature of the romantic spirit. This knowledge will aid in the identification of what the starship is, why man needs it, and how he can build it.
The place to initiate the study of philosophy is Objectivism, the philosophy originated by Ayn Rand. Objectivist philosophy provides the principles for the starship project described in this article. Specifically, the starting point is her essay, “Apollo 11” (The Objectivist, vol. 8, no.9, September, 1969), in which she wrote:
"Nothing on earth or beyond it is closed to the power of reason. Yes, reason can solve human problems--but nothing else on earth or beyond it, can. (p14) Let us hope that some men will learn it. But it will not be learned by most of today’s intellectuals, since the core and motor of all their incredible constructs is the attempt to establish human tyranny as an escape from what they call “the tyranny” of reason and reality. (p14-15) If the lesson is learned in time, the flight of Apollo 11 will be the first achievement of a great new age; if not, it will be a glorious last -- not forever, but for a long, long time to come. "(p15)
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“Freedom is the Child of
Beauty in Love with Truth”
“Freedom is the Child of
Beauty in Love with Truth”