Ninavism - The Philosophy of Immortality
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SUMMARIES OF CHAPTERS:
Introduction
1. Technological Immortality
2. Final Immortality
3. Life Creation and Propagation
4. Life Centres in the Universe
5. Reincarantion Combined with Resurrection
6. Complete Model of Immortality
7. Postimmortality
8. History & Evolution of Immortality
9. Ninavism
10. Supernatural Forces
11. Problem of Evil
12. Epistemology
13. Methodology
14. Compatibilities of Immortalities
15. Heaven(s) & Hell(s)
16. Implementation of Final Immortality
17. Implementation of Present Immortality
18. Paradoxes & Puzzles of Final Immortality
19. Animals & Plants
20. Atheism
21. Population Control
22. Gays
 
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Chapter 13

Methodology

Summary of Chapter

Knowledge about Immortality has multiple sources. Religions routinely deals with the issue of Afterlife. Philosophy and popular literature have numerous references to it. In modern times, science and engineering present their own ways of reaching Immortality. All those sources contribute and form the knowledge of Immortality. The methodology of Immortality describes techniques of obtaining knowledge used by Ninavism.

Comparison of Methodologies


Each branch of knowledge has its own methodology. This is set of rules and recommendations explaining how to gather knowledge and organize it in a meaningful and consistent way. The methodologies used by different branches of knowledge might be similar, in some aspects. Modern disciplines have methodologies that are explicit. This means that they are well discussed. Sometimes there are multiple methodologies that are independent or partially contradict each other. They are sometimes not accepted uniformly by all researchers, but rather selectively, or by consensus. Some traditional disciplines have implicit methodology. It means that rules and recommendations about how to gather and organize knowledge in this discipline are not spelled out openly, but rather, they are a matter of untold practice.

Methodology of Science

The disciplines of physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, sociology, and many others have well established explicit methodologies. They all have the common feature of relying on experimental verification. The degree of that dependence differs. It is the strictest in natural sciences such as physics or chemistry, while it is more relaxed in other disciples, such as sociology, where theory plays a bigger role.

Methodology of Traditional Religions

Many traditional religions do not have any explicit methodology. This is due to their claim that religious knowledge is complete and static. If knowledge does not increase, then of course there is no need for methodology. Many established religions have an explicit methodology of answering questions and explaining issues by providing quotations from their respective Holy books. However, this is not a methodology of developing and organizing knowledge, but rather a methodology of teaching knowledge that already exists in its final form.
      If traditional religions do not have an explicit methodology, then one can ask how their knowledge originated? Was it created instantly, like within a second, from nothing into something large? The oldest religions, such as Australian Aborigines or Animistic did not have books, rather relying on oral traditions. Knowledge was passed from generation to generation. They do not have an explicit methodology. They normally do not know how their knowledge originated, frequently claiming it is eternal, that it lasted forever from the beginning of time.
      Modern religions, such as Abrahamic and Indian, normally claim a supernatural intervention or help in formulating the knowledge contained in Holy books. The revelations of knowledge by Supernatural Forces might be treated as an explicit methodology of traditional religions. This methodology would exist only in a relatively short period of time when books were actually being written. After that, the methodology would disappear. This is one interpretation of the methodology of religions, but it is not the only one. History shows clearly that religious knowledge is not static. It is created and develops all the time. New religions with their own knowledge turn up each few hundred years. Existing religions add new articles of faith to their previous knowledge. Each religion evolves. New sects and churches appear within established religions.
      The new religious knowledge must be confirmed somehow. This is done by the beliefs and feelings of followers; they approve new religious knowledge as correct. This is the implicit methodology of all religions. This methodology is used now, and it was used when Holy books were written. The written books were based on oral traditions that, in some cases, lasted for hundreds of years before Sacred texts were actually put on paper. The confirmation of oral traditions by the beliefs and feelings of followers is an implicit methodology of religions that was used when writing Holy books. It is still used in present days when creating new religions, sects, and articles of faith in existing religions.

Methodology of Philosophy of Immortality

The Philosophy of Immortality is a cross between science and religion. It embraces scientific discoveries, adjusting its knowledge accordingly to new experiments. At the same time, it relies on beliefs that extend knowledge beyond experiments. Ninavism projects its knowledge ahead of current technology. This methodology is critical in setting goals for humanity in the far future, like 10 million years; science is not able to do this. The Knowledge of Immortality will be extending. The permanent variability of knowledge is essential feature of Ninavism. For this reason, its methodology is partially similar to one used by science; they both depend on the results of experimentation.
      Since the Philosophy of Immortality relies on beliefs, its methodology is similar to one used by traditional religions. It is the methodology of acceptance by beliefs and feelings of followers and supporters of Immortality. It is slightly different to traditional religions in the sense that Ninavism makes this methodology explicit; it is a policy openly taught. In traditional religions, the methodology is partially obscured by hiding it behind a superficial facade of invariability, which is just an illusion.

Man-made Versus God-made


Some churches or religions accuse other religions of being man-made, while stressing that they are God-made. The distinction between man-made and God-made is an illusion. All religions are man-made because they would not exist without the support of people. At the same time, they all might be God-made, due to the divine inspiration of their own supporters. Fundamentalists frequently view any modifications to Immortality knowledge made by humans as inferior. This creates a theoretical difficulty in making improvements. However, religions have proved to be adaptable to new circumstances by the means of re-interpretation of texts describing Immortality. It is impossible to understand any Sacred text without some sort of interpretation. Also, the governing bodies of major religions have frequently added new articles of faith.
      The modification of Immortality beliefs by humans does not necessary undermine the divine origins of the religion. If a particular modification is supported by a large number of religious and knowledgeable people, it is seen as being inspired and governed by divine forces, rather than by individual people. Humans merely implement the changes in Immortality beliefs, which are requested by a divine power. Ninavism accepts modifications of Immortality knowledge by humans as a justified methodology. This specifically applies to CMI (Complete Model of Immortality). Changing and improving Immortality concepts by humans is fully acceptable, provided it is supported by the larger population. The acceptance of modifications made by humans would be interpreted as divine approval.

Goals of Philosophy of Immortality


The Philosophy of Immortality is not a science. As any philosophy, it is not subject to direct experimental verification. Ninavism is also not a religion. It does not have its own God(s) or a way to salvation. Rather, the Philosophy of Immortality forms the common conceptual background for various religions and philosophies. It tries to make religions compatible with each other, and compatible with science. Without Ninavism, various religions appear to be in the state of permanent infighting and denials. The philosophical approach presented here tries to reconcile religions and philosophies by explaining them in terms of common Immortality, and saying that it is compatible with Immortalities of individual religions. Ninavism does not explain all the details of Immortality, Supernatural Forces, Heavens, Hells, and souls, but rather provides a conceptual background.
      The other attempt to reconcile various religions is by saying that only one God exists, which is common to all religions. In this approach, different religions are treated as various manifestations or versions of the same one fundamental religion. This approach is good, but it does not solve a number of issues. Some religions do not have Gods at all. Some other religions have multiple Gods. Most religions have various conditions of salvation that are contradictory. The concept of only one God does not address the issue of what happened to pre-religious people, who died a long time before religions were created, and with believers of religions that are now extinct, such as the ancient Egyptians and Greeks.

Minimizing Contradictions Between Immortalities


Various world religions are frequently seen to be contradicting each other. Atheists reject all Immortalities and scientists sometimes hold separate views. The question arises: who is right? Ninavism tries to provide a common ground for some contradictions between various religions and science. Removing or minimizing the contradictions between different concepts of Immortality is one of the aims of the Philosophy of Immortality. The contradictions between Immortalities are seen as their weaknesses. For example, if multiple religions claim that all believers of other religions are condemned to Hell, no one is the winner. This argument is used as a tool to attract followers to own religion, but this is ineffective. Very few people convert from one religion to another in order to avoid being sent to Hell by one of them. However, by this contradiction alone, many people get turned away from all religions, away from Immortality, towards Atheism.
      It is in the interest of religions that some common ground be established among them, removing at least some contradictions. All religions will benefit from this. Minimizing contradictions between Immortalities is the systematic and fundamental method of Ninavism. However, not all contradictions can be removed. This is due to the figurative nature of Immortality, which is different to science.

Multiplicity of Alternatives


Ninavism is an all-inclusive doctrine. It supports all alternative theories that explain the overall and ultimate goal of Immortality. Ninavism accepts multiple versions of religious concepts, such as Immortality, God(s), and other. The multiplicity of alternatives is an essential feature of the methodology of Ninavism.

Methodology of Futures Studies

Futures studies is a modern discipline engaged in the analysis and prediction of trends and events in the far future. These studies (called, for brevity, 'futures' or 'futurology') deal with a vast range of fields, such as environmental, engineering, social, psychological, and religious. Futures usually describe multiple alternatives. They normally do not concentrate on just one possibility, but rather, they consider plural futures. Futures studies use a number of methodologies. One of the most common is the creation of multiple scenarios. The Philosophy of Immortality uses a similar approach. It supports many alternative scenarios.

Alternatives Used by Ninavism

The methodological approach in defining important concepts is to form a long string of possibilities joined by the logical alternative operator 'OR'. As an example, consider the concept of Immortality used by Ninavism; it has multiple interpretations. The first type of Immortality is created by traditional Supernatural Forces. The second version is created by Humans of Future. The next one is natural. Immortality created by humans, has multiple smaller versions, like on this planet, or in the visible universe, or in another dimension, or in a parallel universe. Immortality in the visible universe also has multiple versions - this can be done with or without the help of Aliens. In all, the definition of Immortality, as presented by Ninavism, has the following form:

Immortality =    created by traditional Supernatural Forces
                 OR   created by Humans of Future on the earth
                 OR   created by Humans of Future in a parallel universe
                 OR   created by Aliens
                 OR   created by Nature
                 OR   ... (something else not known yet)

Another example is the concept of God(s). The first interpretation is described by traditional religions. Another alternative is God(s) as Aliens. There is a myriad of other possibilities. Ninavism embraces them all, as long as they support the final aim of eternal Afterworld. The approach used by Ninavism is actually similar to one used by Holy books. The Sacred texts do not use the term 'logical OR operator', but implicitly, they have an equivalent approach. They deliberately provide as little detail as possible. This leaves all alternatives open. Forming string of alternatives joined by a logical OR operator provides a similar generality, but is a bit more specific than just not indicating anything at all.

Compatibility of Alternatives

Any two particular versions of a concept that are joined by the logical 'OR' operator, might be contradictory. This applies to the concepts of God(s), Immortality, and any others. For example, if Immortality is created by God(s), then it is not created by humans; or, if Immortality is created in the visible universe, then it is not created in a parallel universe. However, all versions of Immortality have one thing in common: they all confirm eternity. For this reason, all versions presented by Ninavism are compatible, even if some of them contradict each other.

Openness to New Alternatives

Religions frequently refuse to explain the ideas that are difficult to comprehend and, at the same time, support these unexplained ideas. This approach is so systematic that it needs to be treated as part of the methodology of traditional religions. They give different justifications for refusal to explain some concepts. The common line is to say that many truths, including the understanding of God(s), are beyond human comprehension. In other words, humans are not intelligent enough to understand them. The Philosophy of Immortality supports the view that humans are much too underdeveloped, at least in the present age, to understand fully all the intricacies of the wider world, including God(s). However, the argument about the limited comprehension of mankind should not be abused. Humanity needs to make efforts to overcome its own limitations. Ninavism tries to make contributions towards this goal, at least a little.
      One of the most common question asked of religions is where God(s) live. The standard answer of all Abrahamic religions, as well as Buddhist and Hindu, is that this is unspecified. This answer is good, but people want to know more. Therefore, providing different alternatives as to where God(s) might actually live, is important. Telling people that they are too stupid to understand it is insufficient.
      Ninavism does not provide the final answers; it only gives a description of what is known in the current age, and what needs to be investigated in the future. The Philosophy of Immortality should not commit the mistakes of some religions that rigidly defend the Holy texts as unchangeable forever. Ninavism is open-ended. This means that a number of possible explanations for all religious concepts is infinite. Some are known in present times; many more will be known in the future. As soon as they are known, they should be considered, and if they are reasonable, they should be included into the doctrine of Ninavism as another alternative. The openness of Ninavism to new ideas is an essential feature of its methodology.

Scepticism and Literality


Reading, writing, and analysing the Philosophy of Immortality can make one vulnerable to a disbelief in any religion. This is due to many critical, sceptical arguments presented in philosophical considerations. Well, one needs to be mentally tough to deal with this. Many people prefer to leave philosophy to the clergy and concentrate just on their beliefs as presented by a given religion. This is the correct approach for them. Ninavism is not for everyone, but rather for those who are mentally prepared for it. The Philosophy of Immortality creates the impression that anyone can invent Immortality, any fantasy-like view. This impression is wrong. Anyone can invent philosophical or religious views, but as long as those views are not widely accepted by numerous people, they are not a religion. As long as the views are confined to few people, they are just personal viewpoints.
      The times when Afterlife stories were treated in a simple, literal meaning are slowly passing over in some parts of the world. More and more people understand that Immortality stories are more complex than their superficial meanings. However, literal meanings still remain an important way of communicating complex religious messages. Some of the strongest religions on the earth are supported in a literal way by millions of people.

Pascal Wager


Pascal Wager is a methodological principle in the theory of decisions. It says that given two alternatives, one believing in Immortality and the other rejecting it, deciding on the first alternative is methodologically better, because there is more to gain and less to lose. If one chooses the belief in Immortality, but it turns out to be incorrect later, not much harm will be done. However, if one chooses the disbelief in Immortality, but existence of it turns out to be true later, then one can suffer a huge loss because, in such a case, Immortal life might be denied to the disbeliever. Pascal Wager says that the belief in Immortality is safer than disbelief.

Key Points of Chapter: