Jun 14, 2017
We, humans, are the only specie on Earth that is able to believe in fictional things. Any other specie only believes in what it sees, smells and touches. This fact, according to the author of Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari, was one of the things that made us thrive as a specie and conquer the world.
One of the things that made us thrive is the fact that we can work, cooperate and live in large numbers. Almost all mammals are grouped in dozens in most cases, maybe we can find a couple of them with more than 100 members but their are an exception to the norm. But for sure, we’ll never find a tribe with thousands. For that to come true they had to be able to imagine just like us.
We used our imagination to create belief systems in order to make it possible to work together, live together and hunt together. Without knowing an individual, we were able to cooperate because we believed in the same gods, same rules or the same intangible things.
It’s been thousand years since the Cognitive Revolution that allowed us to think in unprecedented ways, giving us the capacity to imagine. And this fictional things got so power that now they rule our world.
Money, God, Nations, Laws, Companies.
These things only exist because billions of people believe in them. But they are merely myths. If I don’t believe in them, it doesn’t makes a difference but the day most people stop believing, they are gone.
Will these things persist in the next thousand years? I doubt it.
This is what we believe right now, and we will still believe in intangible things in the future but in 1000 years I think we will come up with better myths.