What is Western culture missing?

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Note that culture is temporal. Our spiritual setting, social setting, and intellect as a civilization are in a certain level. It will change. We can change it. The intellectual level is very developed. People generally know that addictions are bad. But what makes people consume drugs is the poor spiritual and social levels that our civilization has. The spiritual needs of people in the past centuries were fulfilled by the mainstream religions (eg, catholicism.) Note those religions put themselves in a position of absolutism. They claim their way of describing the world is 100% correct. This is why it feels weird to accept that culture, and in particular religions, are temporal.

I don’t feel atheism and agnosticism represent empty spiritual beliefs. Throughout history, most people believed in something. And people built the world through collaboration, thanks to the union coming from the beliefs.

By being alive, we hold the belief that life is valuable. What do people believe in now? The scientific method, capitalism, individualism [?]. The right beliefs differ for each person, but depend on what surronds them. We thus can search for general qualities in the western civilization. First, to live according to the ethics of the civilization where we live. Second, to improve the ethics of our civilization.

Live according to the ethics. Defining ethics seems simple. Do the actoin that benefits all forms of life. Problems in details: what is the time span. One thing: all humans are valued the same (if they have the same age?) What is the weight for different species.

Improving ethics. There is a general pattern where useful institutions become useless institutions as time goes by. This process is like overfitting to the metric. This can happen because inside the institution, (a) they are unable to use new available tools, (b) they are too large and too slow, (c) they focus on honors and social status, etc. We then need to protest when needed if not in charge. If we are in charge, we must commit to the simple goal of being useful to the purpose of the institution. In particular, we should resign when someone can do a better job. In both cases, we require independent thinking, that is, to have strong opinions that are not coming from an incentive of having higher social status, more money, less work, etc. The goal of our thinking should be to understand the Truth, our Truth as a single person. The thoughts have to come from us.

What is real? Observing human creations amazes us. Most creations now weren’t possible before: a song, a proof in math. This can explain (together with a lack of spirituality and social experiences) why so many people is workaholic.