While much of the news over how to improve society today revolves around such topics a supposed need to reduce white privilege, a study published just today has found that a person’s ability to delay instant gratification is a more important determinant of higher income than variables like height, age and ethnicity.
This is a deeply optimistic result which indicates that our lives are not predetermined from birth in the way some argue. Instead, trainable attributes and morals have important effects.
This is common sense to many religious folks. It reminds me of the Robert Jastrow quote:
“For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance, he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”
I’m still sympathetic to arguments from deep determinism which recognize the complexity of human nature and the natural world, but such deep determinism needs to come with the admission that such deterministic state is effectively incalculable even if it exists. It’s also not clear that such deeply deterministic state exists given the current studies on quantum indeterminacy.
This relates somewhat to my prior discussions on free will:
- April 2017, A Simple Argument for Objective Value
- March 2018, Does the Coherence of Hell Necessitate Free Will?