2 min readGiving hope back to our young people

Youth suicide is a symptom of a much deeper problem in society – the view that all of reality is matter.

The following article written by Jennifer Gidley for the Journal of Futures Studies looks at the phenomenon of youth suicide using a methodology called the Causal Layered Analysis (CLA). Through this activity, Gidley shows us that the way we frame the problem determines the kind of solutions we develop.

Gidley says that at the deeper layers of analysis, youth suicide is a cultural malaise brought about by materialism. The cultural hopelessness that pervades our children is a legacy of a worldview which asserts that their lives have no meaning, that the physical reality they live in is all that there is. 

To resolve the problem of youth suicide,  a paradigm shift must happen, and such a shift must be inspired and directed by the same worldview that our youth of today hold. Moreover, Gidley offers education as an important vehicle of this transformation, and says that we will need to create new metaphors of a positive future – a future that occurs in a climate of freedom from all kinds of dogma.

Implications for AI

What will our future look like if our youth have no hope for the future? This is the kind of atmosphere which supports the create of artificial general intelligence (AGI) and technological immortality. It is the loss of faith in the spiritual realm, the realm of meanings, that pushes materialism.

Gidley shows us that in order to bring hope back to our children, the future adults of, hopefully, a much better planet, we must begin to create a spiritual culture. To do that, we must adopt a worldview that is pluralistic, and integral. 

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