As much as the evolution of our physical attributes is determined by our environment and our constant struggle to survive, so does our cultural background, our beliefs, our world-view.
We are in a process of evolution that is not teleological (it has not definitive end); history is not the unfolding march of rationality; instead, it resembles more what economists call a “random walk” whose directionality is our own struggle to survive. With this is in mind, we should give up the idea that democratic and liberal societies express the true nature of men and as such are a political expression of the ideal of “men created as equal”. We find ourselves today as part of democratic and liberal societies because opening up the conversation to the greatest possible number has proven to be our best shot for sustained and peaceful survival, period. Democracy, freedom of consciousness or human rights themselves are not immanent laws or the product of rational theorizing that has grasped the true nature of human beings; they are the best ways we have come up to organize ourselves given our current environment in a multicultural and globalized society.
The postmodern perspective --the sprouting of the consciousness that our world-view is just an interpretation-- is not the result of finally grasping our true nature; instead, it’s the pragmatic response to our environment characterized by multicultural and globalized societies. Adapting our world-view to be seen as interpretational equips us with the type of cultural flexibility and openness that our environment requires, in other words it is our best Darwinian response. In a fully open society, consciousness of interpretation, acceptance of the infinity of possibilities and a constantly open conversation are our best chances to survive. This is why democracy will triumph, despite uncountable fallbacks; historically the world will move on to what is best for our survival and today this can only be a fully open conversation.
Adapting our culture, our vocabularies, and our beliefs to this reality is our best chance to survive. This is the task of the philosopher: to bring about the concepts that better equip us to cope with our current social environment. Concepts are in evolution, they are constantly mutating and they are always driven by our cultural environment.
Of course we will always have a natural disposition to prefer the beliefs we currently hold and that make up the cultural web we are part of. We will always like to see our beliefs succeed. For example, I want democracy to succeed against tyranny or any other form of non-participatory type of government; but democracy’s best chances to succeed are not in my personal crusade to defend it on the basis of my private preference or the belief that it represents the way in which human beings should be organized; rather, democracy’s best chances lie on its practical implications for the peaceful survival of plural and multicultural societies as ours. Concepts are tools to cope with our environment and the defense of them should be mounted on their relevance to this goal, not on their supposed accurate representation of what’s really out there.
Within a multicultural and plural society fundamentalism is an attitude that should and will be superseded; but not on the account that it’s against human nature or irrational, instead, on the sole account that it jeopardizes our best chances to survive.