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Valentyn Stetsyuk (Lviv, Ukraine)

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The problem of the Future and its Forecast

In the first quarter of the 3rd millennium, humanity is concerned about its future. Already two world wars have given many thinkers reason to doubt the progress that humanity has made over the past centuries, and Russia's aggression against Ukraine has generally undermined people's faith in the possibility of peaceful coexistence between peoples. Environmental disasters, the threat of global warming, large-scale terrorist attacks, massive famine in many countries of the world, the spread of drug addiction, new mass diseases – everything that in recent decades has caused people anxiety, uncertainty, despondency, despair, the expectation of the end of the world, fade into the background since the beginning of the war. More than ten years have passed since the well-known American political scientist and thinker, now deceased, pinned his hopes on the solution of the then problems by political means:

The world is now interactive and interdependent. it is also, for the first time, a world in which the problems of human survival have begun to overshadow more traditional international conflicts. Unfortunately, the major powers have yet to undertake globally cooperative responses to the new and increasingly grave challenges to human well-being—environmental, climatic, socioeconomic, nutritional, or demographic. And without basic geopolitical stability, any effort to achieve the necessary global cooperation will falter (BRZEZINSKI ZBIGNIEW 2012: 10).

The behavior of Russia leads to the disturbing thought that the main problem of the planet, which is the threat of its overpopulation, can be solved by military means. The number of earthlings doubles in three to four decades. It is already possible to predict the time when the population density will reach the limit at which the question of the development of deserts, taiga, jungles, mountain areas, and polar regions will arise (BESTUZHEV-LADA I.V. 1968: 27). This will have negative consequences for the state of the planet's ecology; the prospect of the loss of natural landscapes is quite real if other measures are not taken as the real possibility of population reduction as a result of subsequent world wars.

To avoid such a tragic solution to the problem, it is necessary to look for its causes in processes and phenomena that do not attract special attention but are potentially dangerous for humanity. Uncontrolled scientific and technical progress outpaces the development of public morality, as a result of which there is a leveling of the personality, which is dominated by the features of either the consumer or the producer. At the same time, as noted by Jean Baudrillard, it is not the need of a person that is the basis for the production of goods, but the production outlines to a person his needs, which become more and more universal and uniform, which leads to the loss of a person's own sense of the quality of life (JEAN BAUDRILLARD. 2006). A person becomes an appendage to a machine with a cultural and moral level corresponding to this machine. Science is powerless to change the situation since it itself is experiencing a crisis, the cause of which is the attempt to use for a new reality outdated worldview concepts, formed to a large extent as mechanistic back in the days of Galileo, Newton, and Descartes. Their historical development was briefly outlined by Fritjof Capra:

The mechanistic picture of the world was developed in the 17th century largely under the influence of Galileo, Descartes, and Newton. Descartes based his picture of the world on the fundamental division of nature into two independent components: spirit and matter. The material universe was, according to Descartes, a machine…(CAPRA FRITJOF. 1988: 219).

Galileo postulated that science should confine itself to the study of the important properties of material bodies, that is, form, quantity, and motion, that is, those that can be measured and calculated. Other properties, such as color, tone, taste and smell, were only subjects of spiritual projections, which should be removed from the field of science…(ibid: 220)

The way of thinking of Descartes and Galileo was triumphantly improved by Newton, who developed an exact mathematical formulation of the mechanistic picture of the world.(ibid)

In line with this development of scientific thought, the idea of resettlement to other planets arose as the salvation of the best part of humanity. The idea is immensely bold if it were not so reckless. Without thinking about the fate of mankind on Earth, without solving the pressing problems of our time, some narrow-minded people decided to satisfy their own ambitions, without even thinking about human nature. You might think that they do not know where to put the money.

NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance mission captured fascinating footage of its rover landing in Jezero on Mars on February 18, 2021. It seems that far-reaching plans for the conquest of space are beginning to come true. However, the purpose of these plans is not only inexplicable but scientifically unfounded. This could be done by philosophers, not engineers, but philosophers are silent. However, not even all engineers believe that the time for space exploration has come. When interested parties seek the allocation of huge funds or invest them themselves in the preparation and implementation of flights into deep space, this seems unreasonable and hopeless for a number of reasons. Scientists who have devoted their activities to solving the practical issues of space exploration understand better than others the prematureness of such a grandiose human enterprise, but their voices remain unheard:

The results obtained in the natural sciences acquire true meaning only when the criteria developed in the humanities are applied to them. (VOKIN G.G. 2015: 4)

These words belong to a Russian scientist and it is clear that such an extraordinary idea did not reach America, and it would hardly be accepted there, as Elon Musk demonstrates with his recent statements, but Russia itself does not listen to them either. This fact alone indicates that a moral or systemic crisis is experienced at all latitudes in the world. Another Russian scientist N.N. Moiseev pointed to one of its manifestations, which is that the administrative apparatus of a system created for certain purposes begins to use its capabilities in the interests of its own stability or survival (MOISEYEV N.N. 2012: 211). We can observe such a phenomenon in science, politics, culture, the army, and even in the church. Also, other phenomena, following the colossal technological achievements of the last century, which expanded human capabilities, posed new problems for the world. Here is the picture that a modern Ukrainian philosopher paints for us:

The situation turns out to be especially difficult in the last two centuries, when, in the conditions of the formation of a global macro-civilizational system against the background of planetary industrialization, both the erosion of the foundations of traditional cultural, social, and economic systems with their further pseudo-Westernization modifications, as well as the crisis of religious and ethical values traditional for different civilizations with a wide replacement by surrogate forms of mass ideologies of the nationalist-fascist, communist-Bolshevik, and confessional-fundamentalist types is sown, not to mention the militant barbarity of "pop art" (PAVLENKO Yu.V. 2004: 87).

Not only intellectuals are concerned about the current state of things in the world, but also large masses of people in many countries of the world are dissatisfied with it. In Third World countries, this discontent is, in principle, caused by the socio-economic condition of the population in comparison with developed countries, but its causes are seen in the dominance in those countries of certain ethical norms and fundamental principles and in imposing them on the rest of the world. Among the dissatisfied there are also broad masses in some developed countries, this is especially true for Russia, where people in general do not perceive the fundamental principles of the Western world. One cannot but agree with the existence of great tension in the world, which is simply considered a confrontation between the West and the East. This opposition in other forms has always existed, but now it embraces entire nations:

… a world that is now shaped to an unprecedented degree y the interaction of popular emotions, collective perceptions, and conflicting narratives of humanity no longer subjectively sumissive to the objective power of one politically and culturally specific region. As a result, the West as such is not finished, But its global supremacy is over. That, in turn, underlines the central dependence of the West’s future role on America, on its domestic vitality, and on the historical relevance of its foreign policy (BRZEZINNSKI ZBIGNIEW. 2012: 65).

The manifestation of mass discontent with serious consequences is a relatively new phenomenon in the history of mankind. Its appearance should be attributed to the time of the Great French Revolution. Since then, mass riots have covered Europe from time to time, and in recent years also neighboring countries. Since revolutions are destructive in nature, it is necessary to know the mood of the masses and react to them in advance in order to prevent the negative consequences of possible disturbances. However, is the expression of the ancient Romans Vox populi – vox Dei (Voice of the people – Voice of God) correct, or is it only a trump card of politicians who manipulate this voice?

Thinking about all this, we ask ourselves the question: Where are we going and what will happen next? The German philosopher Rüdiger Lutz gave this answer to this question: "The future is open, uncertain and ambiguously predictable. And this fact also gives us a chance" (LUTZ RÜDIGER. 1988: 9). Philosopher and psychologist Erich Fromm noted that many religious people, and among them many scientists, believe that we are approaching the ultimate world catastrophe (FROMM ERICH. 1986: 61). Another philosopher, Osip Flechtheim, does not exclude the advent of a new Dark Age with the destruction of the achievements of modern culture and civilization, even the total destruction of mankind due to devastating wars, famine, and due to overpopulation and changes in the environment (FLECHTHEIM OSSIP. 1988, 18). Russia's way of waging war against Ukraine shows that this "dark age" has already begun.

At the beginning of the 3rd millennium, the crisis only intensified, and this gives analysts reason to even talk about the "decline of civilization", which entered the period of the so-called "downtrend":

The downward trend allows to manifest itself in sensations – the absence of new wonderful plots in cinema and literature, musical melodies that are stable in the memory, the banality of political discussions; purely formal advances in science are backed by advances that are still in an uptrend, without a hint of the possibility of a breakthrough; the triumph of glamorous townsfolk and terry intellectophobia in the media and on the Internet (DATSYUK SERHIY. 2013).

Many scientists, including philosophers, sociologists, and ecologists, believe that the salvation of mankind can be provided by deep and radical psychological, and spiritual changes in man. Erich Fromm wrote about this need in such a dramatic tone:

For the first time in history, the physical survival of mankind depends on a radical spiritual change in man. (FROMM ERICH. 1986. 21).

But in what direction should changes and transformations take place? Almost every scientist has his own proposals. Sergei Datsyuk believes that the transition to an upward trend of progress should be of a transhumanist nature. Other thinkers are pinning their hopes on futurology. For example, O. Flechtheim compares futurology with medicine:

Just as medicine diagnoses a disease and foresees its further course in order to apply a certain therapy, so futurology will have to diagnose, anticipate and treat the threats and dangers of the present and future (FLECHTHEIM OSSIP. 1988: 19).

Complaints about life and the idealization of the past, the expectations of the end of the world are not new in the history of mankind and have accompanied it since ancient times. There is no such people in whose legends there would be no attempts to predict the future fate of people, but basically, all predictions came down to the "end of the world" (BESTUZHEV-LADA I.V. 1968: 16). Even some of the outstanding thinkers of antiquity, when they looked into the future, saw only a terrible ghost of a catastrophe. According to Teilhard de Chardin, originally a person felt anxiety, since it is associated with thinking, and, obviously, anxiety helped him eliminate perceived danger in advance. On the other hand, social injustice, difficulties, and problems of real life gave rise in the heads of individual thinkers to dreams of a brighter future for mankind, which were formed into utopian theories. Thomas More, Tommaso Campanella, Henri Saint-Simon, Charles Fourier, and Robert Owen can be reproached for having more fantasy than scientific thought in their works, but they cannot be denied the lack of optimism and faith regarding the future of mankind. And such a positive approach to the problem led them to some brilliant guesses that influenced the further development of socio-economic theories, although it cannot be said that they have not lost some utopian features.

Attempts to foresee the future later acquired a scientific form and the teachings of Marx-Engels were already understood as scientific forecasting. In our time, scientific foresight is becoming more cautious and generalized. An example is the work of F. Fukuyama “The End of History and the Last Man” (FUKUYAMA FRANCIS. 1992), the very title of which betrays the prevailing moods in the world. In this book, the author defends the previously expressed idea of liberal democracy as the "end point of mankind's ideological evolution" and the "final form of human government", thereby becoming the "end of history". His foresight is highly questioned and is not recognized at all by Russian philosophers, although in general he only argued that liberal democracy is devoid of internal contradictions, and in fact only rejected totalitarianism as a form of government, and nothing more. While recognizing the possibility of the defeat of liberal democracy in any given country (ibid: 48-50), Fukuyama obviously understands it as a category that can take many forms. In fact, the book deals with liberal universalism, which can be understood in different ways.

Nevertheless, optimistic moods among people still seem indestructible, because in our time there are people who look to the future with faith and hope and try, to the best of their ability, to instill the same view in others. Some circles of the creative intelligentsia, trying to form confidence in the future of society, are looking for new artistic methods in the form of "positive realism", although they do not find those that would expressively depict ways to overcome painful phenomena. Therefore, it would be necessary first to find out whether humanity is sick at all, and only after that to diagnose the apparent disease and look for methods of its treatment.

In fairness, it must be said that in our time there are people who look to the future with optimism and are trying to form such a view in society. Some circles of the creative intelligentsia, trying to form confidence in the future of society, are looking for new artistic methods in the form of "positive realism" for this, but do not find those that would expressively depict ways to overcome painful phenomena. Therefore, it would be necessary first to find out whether humanity is sick at all, and only after that to diagnose the apparent disease and look for methods of its treatment.

Since the human community on our planet has not yet died, has not destroyed itself, and has not degraded to the level of an animal herd, it is logical to assume that, at least until the recent past, it functioned as a complex, but the self-regulating system, and in general, humanity was healthy. In accordance with this, we can know no more about the signs of an unknown disease, not about pathological, but about healthy development. Knowing the healthy past of mankind, it is easier to predict a healthy future than to predict the development of a disease about which there is little data. In general, predicting the future is closely related to the issue of determinism, and anyone who undertakes this business must recognize that the first task is to decide whether the history of mankind has any patterns that lead it to a certain goal. Isaiah Berlin said:

The notion that history is subject to laws, natural or supernatural, that every event of human life is an element in the final model, has deep metaphysical roots: this stream is fed by a passion for natural sciences, which, however, is not the only and essentially not its principal source (BERLIN ISAIAH. 1994: 109).

Isaiah Berlin formed in his own spirit an idea that has troubled historians since their inception. The history of civilization was just beginning, there were no facts for a broad generalization yet, nevertheless, many of them boldly set to work, drawing their own imagination for conclusions:

The creation of explanatory models of the historical process has been a goal for many generations of historians. Beginning with Herodotus and Thucydides, researchers tried to generalize the historical material and deduce the general patterns of the events described. For a long time, Europe remained the main region of study, the generalized material was very limited, and simple verbal models prevailed in the constructions of historians. The inadequacy of such constructions was quickly revealed upon closer examination, and this gave rise to skepticism among many historians and philosophers. (NEFEDOV SERGEY. 2010: 7).

Enriched with historical experience, first of all, we must agree that the history of mankind is a complex non-linear process, a function of many variables that can change linearly, cyclically, spirally, oscillatory, and randomly. Therefore, forecasting the future should be decomposed into forecasting individual processes in human society by determining their nature and patterns. At one time, for the study of fundamentally nonlinear problems, John (János) Neumann proposed the so-called heuristic approach developed by him, the main stages of which can be briefly described as follows:

… the accumulation of information about the phenomenon under study at a non-strict heuristic level based on a numerical experiment, the creation of an intuitive scheme of the phenomenon, its verification at the next stage of the numerical experiment, and, finally, the construction of a rigorous theory (cited in GRITSANOV A.A. 2002: 681).

It goes without saying that this approach with numerous experiments cannot be applied in its pure form in our case, but history itself can give us the accumulation of information and verification of intuitive schemes for the development of individual processes. This means that after certain generalizations, one must, again and again, return to historical facts and check them for compliance with this generalization. The study is complicated by the fact that individual processes, or components of the overall development, influence each other and, accordingly, their patterns of development also change. Obviously, among all the components of the process of human development, it is necessary to identify linear processes that determine its progress to the greatest extent.

This approach to research leads us immediately to the conclusion that our future is in any case determined by the past. The knowledge acquired in childhood influences the future life path of a person; the capitals accumulated by parents provide the best starting opportunities for their children; the language formed in the past affects the mentality of an individual people in the present; practical experience in certain areas of human activity facilitates the assimilation and implementation of new achievements in science and technology, a loan taken from a bank determines human behavior for many years to come. This list can be continued, but these will be examples of causal or mechanistic determinism. However, the world can also be determined teleologically and metaphysically. However, it seems unacceptable that even in a deterministic world there is no possibility of freedom of choice for a person.

Therefore, if humanity is now really sick, that is, it has turned onto the wrong path, then it is logical to assume that modern trends are not the result of cyclical or oscillatory processes, but contradict some general line of its development, which should lead it to a specific goal. More than 200 years ago, Johann-Gotfried Herder defined the goal of human existence, although somewhat vaguely, with the word "humanization" (Humanität). With this word, he wanted to designate the noble process of the formation of a person's mind and the need for freedom, pure feelings and motives, good health, and mastery of the Earth. There is much that is unclear in this definition, and it cannot be clear as long as the general line of human development is unclear, since there are different ways to reach such a goal. Opinions about the course of the development process are different, but they are mostly simplified and reduced to one dominant. Yu. Pavlenko emphasizes the special significance of the linear direction:

…the linear perspective of the historical process goes through the entire Middle Ages (both Christian and Muslim) and in the form of various versions of the theory of progress… survives to this day" (PAVLENKO Yu.V. 2002: 9).

It is possible to trace the linear perspective of the humanization of mankind, but it is already difficult because of the absence of such a concept in the philosophical works of ancient times. However, the process of humanization of a person cannot be separated from the development in him of such a mental phenomenon as conscience, which ancient philosophers are already talking about. It is significant that the word “conscience” is not found in the Old Testament, and the first among the apostles to use the corresponding Greek word is St. Paul. After that, it is already quite common in the texts of the New Testament. Understanding the importance of conscience in human life probably arose in the Apostle Paul under the influence of the teachings of the Stoic philosopher Cleanthes (c. 330 – c. 230 BC), whom he quotes in his speech in Athens. Cleanthes characterized conscience as the ability of a person to preserve himself, and his student Chrysippus (c. 280 – c. 208 BC) described conscience as an awareness of inner harmony. The ideas of the Stoics were developed by medieval scholastics as a law of reason inspiring a man by God (FROMM E. 2002: 170). Nevertheless, the growth of the role of conscience as a moral factor in human behavior is so imperceptible that it gave B. Russell grounds to assert that ethics in historical terms "has not reached any indisputable progress – there are no indisputable discoveries in it" (RUSSELL BERTRAND. 1995: 163) This becomes clear when we recall his assessment of conscience in another work as "a very unreliable adviser" (RUSSELL BERTRAND. 2013, 85).

It is impossible to imagine that human conscience could develop in an evolutionary way only under the influence of the circumstances of life and the external environment with a constant struggle for survival. Conscience, as a person's ability to self-esteem, apparently developed from a sense of shame, which deters from certain types of behavior that may be considered unworthy in the eyes of others. Animals have no conscience and no shame, there was no shame and primitive man, which is evidenced by the absence of this word in the Old Testament. The ancient Greek philosopher Protagoras proclaimed: "Man is the measure of all things!". This famous thesis should be clarified as follows: "A person with a clear conscience is the measure of all things".

One can also consider a cyclical model of history, but it can be applied with certain reservations only to the socio-economic sphere and to material culture if cyclicality is understood as development in a spiral. An example is the spread of tattoos in our time, which was popular among primitive peoples and in Europe over the past centuries was found only in certain social groups, and in the upper strata of society and was considered a sign of low culture. If we see cyclicality in this phenomenon, then the cycle period is so long that a wide return to tattoos can mean only the decline of culture. We can agree that the history of culture as a whole reflects the civilizational process, but only its spiritual component can be used to predict the future. Short cycles worthy of study can be found in demographic and economic processes. The pioneers of the theory of cycles in these areas were Malthus and Ricardo, and now many Western scholars are dealing with this topic in relation to the characteristics of the consumer society, criticized by others. All these cycles are simply fluctuations of individual parameters in the automatic regulation of a complex system before it comes to a steady state. They can be ignored when studying long-term historical processes. On this topic of cyclicity in history, we close.

In order to know the past, one must stop and look back in order to obtain facts for assessing progressive development, if any. Such an attempt was made by the French philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in his work "The Phenomenon of Man" written during the Second World War and came to the following conclusion:

Science in its ascent and even… humanity in its march are currently treading water because people are hesitant to recognize the presence of a certain direction and a privileged axis of evolution (TEIHARD de CHARDIN PIERRE. 1987: 119).

The scientist himself firmly stated:

… I believe that there is a direction (sens) and a line of progress of life so distinct that their reality, I am convinced, will be generally recognized by tomorrow's science (ibid: 120).

Isaiah Berlin spoke in much the same way:

To be wise means to understand the direction in which the world is moving inexorably, to identify oneself with that ever more powerful force that will herald the beginning of a new world. (BERLIN ISAIAH. 1994, 119).

Teilhard de Chardin built his theory on the basis of the development of nature and transferred his generalizations to the history of the development of mankind as a comprehensive law. Perhaps it is precisely because of its certain abstractness that it has not yet become universally recognized. The general line of development of mankind, if it exists, should be the sum of individual components developing according to different patterns…

Of course, there have always been skeptics who did not believe in the possibility of predicting the future, and among them were such respected thinkers as, for example, Collingwood, who wrote:

It is the matter of the historian to know the past, not the future, so as soon as historians claim to be able to determine the future even before the implementation, then know: there must be something wrong with their basic concept of history. (COLLINGWOOD ROBIN G. 1996: 111)

Of course, it is impossible to predict the future in detail, but there are some patterns in the development of certain phenomena, and knowing which, you can predict the future of their kind. For example, the decline of the colonial empires of Great Britain, France, Belgium, etc. made it possible to foresee and collapse of the Soviet empire. Perhaps if Collingwood had been his witness, he would have changed his mind.

Similar predictions based on analogies are fairly easy to make. It is difficult to predict changes in the worldview, and learned views if it is not clear how outdated they are:

In today's medicine, psychology, economics, and politics, Cartesian concepts are no longer acceptable, because we live in a world that is fundamentally connected and intertwined, in a world in which biological, psychological, social, ecological phenomena are dependent on each other.(Capra Fritjof, 2000, 219).

The current state of the world A.P. Nazaretyan explains the techno-humanitarian imbalance, which manifests itself in the fact that the means of cultural regulation do not correspond to the increased power of production technologies (NAZARETIAN A.P. 2004). The main cause of the imbalance is the lag of the humanities behind the development of the natural sciences, and this is due to the spread of a phenomenon that Max Weber called in German "Entzauberung der Welt", which can be roughly translated as "getting rid of the spell, demythologization of the world." The essence and consequences of this phenomenon are defined as follows:

… scientific and technological progress and the growing influence of the natural sciences lead to reliance on the fundamental predictability and technical controllability of a world in which gods and other unpredictable forces are not involved. Absolutely no more belief in an exclusively rapturing God (HOFFMANN JULIA. 2014: 1).

It is not easy for a person to part with traditional views and habits, he is characterized by inertia of thoughts and behavior. In order for radical changes to occur in human society, recognized and influential authorities must explain the surrounding world and the person in it in a new way, moving away from the mechanistic ideas about them that developed in the previous historical era.

Modern physics has taken a big step since the time of Descartes and Newton and no longer considers the material world as a mechanical system but has not yet built a clear picture of the universe, considering it as a complex fabric, or network of relationships. Confused by these obscure relationships, physicists put forward the idea of a "cosmic spirit" to which those relationships are subject (CAPRA FRITJOF. 1988, 223-224, SMOLIN LEE. 1997. . 1997, 17). Obviously, this spirit reflects one side of God's activity.

The importance of comprehensive knowledge of God in recent decades for many thinkers is becoming more and more obvious, although, without the participation of God himself, it goes beyond human capabilities. Collingwood, for example, asserting the unknowability of the essence of God, wrote that His character as a substance is "… not only not open to the human mind without His help, but even incapable of being shown. All that we can know about God is His activity"(COLLINGWOOD ROBIN G. 1996, 103).

In principle, science is engaged in the fact that it studies the activity of God, without particularly emphasizing the ultimate goal of conducted research. Characteristic in this regard is the exploration of space, which provides material for various ideas about the creation of the universe, in particular for the development of the "big bang" theory. This theory is based on an extrapolation into the past of the recession of galaxies discovered by the American astronomer Edwin Hubble. The method of extrapolation to the past is used in historical geology and paleontology for the same purpose – to clarify the question of the origin of the Universe and life in it. Here it would be appropriate to recall the words of a famous physicist, which can relate to any evolutionary processes:

We cannot explain the modern picture of the Universe if we do not have certain ideas (or at least hypotheses) about the initial conditions for its evolution (SAKHAROV A.D. 1968, 74)

However, physicists, not having a real idea of the initial conditions for the evolution of the Universe, are looking for them and not finding them, they are forced to ask themselves questions, the answers to which, in the current state of physics, can only be sophistical in the spirit of Aristotle. For example, Einstein was worried all his life about the question: Did the Lord have a choice when creating the world? Are the laws that govern the universe unique, and in what situation could they be so different? (REES MARTIN. 2002). Fifty years later, Lee Smolin raises the question, did God create the laws of nature when He created the world, or do they have a certain mathematical form, fixed in some abstract principles (SMOLIN LEE. 1997: 17). In fact, these thinkers, having posed a very difficult question how the Lord created the world, are looking for an answer to it and do not find it. Meanwhile, answers to the questions what exactly he did would be more fruitful. After receiving the most obvious answers to it, it will be possible to move on to more complex and interconnected questions, such as why and for what. The exact sciences cannot answer these complex questions. They are philosophical, that is, this task should be set before the humanities, but with the modern techno-humanitarian imbalance, it is useless to wait for an answer from them.

So, in order to predict our future, we must first overcome the techno-humanitarian imbalance through the intensive development of the humanities. An increasing number of thinkers will come to the realization of such a need, and this process is already noticeable. In one of the latest works devoted to the future of science, the very content of the articles is indicative: "In the Shadow of Culture", "What Children Will Teach Scientists", "Toward A Theory Of Moral Development", "The Future of Happiness", "What is Life?", and "Are We Going to Get Smarter?" [BROCKMANN JOHN(ed). 2002]. Despite the fact that there are many thoughts about the future in the collection, there is also such an opinion among them:

Given the unpredictability of cultural development, any speculation about what will happen in fifty years seems meaningless. However, you can prepare for the unexpected in order to meet them with dignity. To do this, you should do exactly the opposite of what the compiler of the collection suggests – do not guess about the future, but, if possible, fully discuss modernity, especially those aspects of it that are hidden in the shadows and are just beginning to come to light (GOODWIN BRIAN. 2002).

Let me disagree with the author of these words. It is not enough to fully discuss modernity; to understand the present well, one must look deeper into the past and find its connection with the past. It was said above that Johann Gottfried Herder determined the goal of the existence of mankind in humanization. Obviously, the idea of humanization of mankind was already in the air of Europe, because enlighteners, such as Voltaire, Holbach, Diderot, and others who denied the existence of God, had to rely on their own philosophy to explain the universe, which was largely formed on the humanistic ideas of Confucianism. But if humanity follows the path of humanization, then where is its starting point? It was Kun Fuji (551-470), better known as Confucius, who recognized the need for the humanization of human society earlier than anyone else. The fundamental concept of his teaching is "rén" – humanity. But the humanity that Confucius preached is not all-encompassing, it should be defined more precisely as "structured humanity". According to the principle of "rén", people should show special attention and love to those who are older in age and social status.

Confucianism has been the main ethical teaching for the Chinese intelligentsia for thousands of years of history and the main tool for governing the state due to the flexibility of its orthodox canons. The teachings of Confucius developed and its canons changed depending on the characteristics of the crises that accompanied the entire history of China. However, Confucianism has always remained the central source of China's political, cultural, family, and spiritual life. (RYBACHUK SERGEY. 2018: 132).

The Lord, creating our world, proceeded from the idea of structuring the future human society horizontally and vertically, which distinguishes each complex self-regulating system. The first step in the implementation of this idea was the division of the human species into three races, and further miscegenation led to the formation of derivative races of the lower level, which provided the additional variability and polymorphism of man necessary for its evolution. Long-term miscegenation of races could gradually lead to a population of the Earth that is largely homogeneous in terms of its anthropological characteristics, and this could harm human development if the structuring of the human community according to other characteristics did not take place. Simultaneously the anthropological, ethnic, and social structuring began. In accordance with the structured society, humanity, according to the plan of Confucius, should have been more related to those persons who themselves professed humane principles, and these could be educated and experienced older people.

During the era of the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD), Confucianism became the state religion and was the main spiritual teaching of China for more than two thousand years, shaping the Chinese civilization (PAVLOV S.V. ao. 1999: 51). Simultaneously with Confucianism, the development of China was influenced by the doctrines of Taoism and Buddhism, which, being humanistic in their essence, ensured the pluralism and polyphony of the spiritual sphere on a fundamentally unified platform. A similar phenomenon is not observed in other parts of the world. Currently, China has the largest population, the second largest economy in the world in terms of GDP, and, compared to Western countries, great prospects for the future. Of course, the Chinese have assimilated and effectively use the scientific and technological achievements and moral and ethical norms of Europe, which can be explained by the ethno-mentality of Europeans, which has developed under the influence of natural conditions and dominant religions among their most active productive part. However, European humanism had a fundamentally different, liberal character. This distinction did not appear immediately. As long as there were legitimate social classes that ensured the structuring of society, European countries developed dynamically. The necessary polyphony in the forms of public consciousness in Europe was ensured by its multinationality. When democratic forms began to spread not only to the political system, but also to spiritual life, and public consciousness fell under the pressure of globalization, Europe entered a period of protracted systemic crisis.

From all this, it is possible to conclude that the systemic crisis, which Western intellectuals are now talking about, is not and cannot be universal, that is, there cannot be a single indicator on the path of progress. Throughout the history of mankind, the role of leaders alternately belonged to various peoples and states. Even in Europe itself, at different times, different states dominated or fought for leadership. It is somewhat reminiscent of a team pursuit race on a bicycle track. The team wins, but all cyclists take the role of leader in turn. Among the leaders of Europe, there were still no Slavic countries, which are, so to speak, its golden reserve, which is not present, for example, in China or even in America as a federation of states. At one time, Russia unsuccessfully tried to assume the role of the leader of Europe, but at the present time, Russian philosophers are looking for a new opportunity to become an example for all mankind:

Isn't it time for us to completely eradicate this complex of professional inferiority and overcome the remnants of humiliation before Western philosophy? In order to finally free ourselves from the feeling of "incompleteness" or "incompleteness" of our national philosophy in comparison with other national schools, we need, based on the experience of all Russian philosophy, including the authors of the projects presented above, to offer the world a number of original projects of civilizational development (REZNIK Yu.M. 2020: 27).

As an "original" project in Russia back in the 19th century. an idea arose about a special path that would lead her to a brighter future. This opinion, in principle, matured from a critical assessment of the Western world, which continues to exist to this day, as can be seen, in particular, when considering the works of the Russian scientists cited above. However, the undoubted achievements of the West have confronted Russia with the difficult task of choosing whether to go its own way or follow European traditions:

In solving this difficult task, a special role was assigned to Russian philosophy, and above all to the philosophy of history (historiosophy), the development of which was associated with the main vector of understanding the universal foundations of the historical process and one's own spiritual revival. Philosophy was seen as the knowledge that allows us to combine the histories of individual peoples into one whole and identify the vector of development to which their destinies and the fate of all mankind are subject. (SIZEMSKAYA I.N. 2021. 2021: 50).

In fact, in solving this dilemma, Russian thinkers used not historiosophy, but phantosophy subordinated to the idea of great power, which turned out to be fraught with retrograde and even obscurantism in some areas of science, and I felt this very well from the experience of my own research work. Although one might think that the time of historically recognized leaders has already expired, nevertheless the Slavs remain the "gold reserve" of Europe. It is possible that the Russians in a radically reformed state will still make a significant contribution to the development of human civilization.

According to the comprehensive principle of the polymorphism of the universe, when determining the path of human development, one should not limit oneself to the analysis of the dominant worldview values in the states that have been successful so far, but take a closer look at those that have recently shown great progress. In this sense, structured Chinese humanism can be an example to follow. One can speak less confidently about the role of China's socio-political system in its economic success, but "pure" democracy is not a universal form of government for countries of different historical experiences and traditions. Political scientists and philosophers are in no small measure shocked by the fact that democracy does not work in post-communist countries. Power as it was, and remains anti-people. Under nominal democratic institutions, states are actually led by oligarchic clans, government members are improving methods of embezzlement of public funds, abuse of power, corruption, and bribery are developing on an unprecedented scale, and the population is getting poorer. The decline of morality can only be stopped by a mixed government under a democratic secular government and an authoritarian spiritual one.

The current state of Europe is well reflected in the title of a recently published work by the Czech philosopher Stanislav Komarek. His critical analysis of the crossroads at which Europe now stands, and his reflections on the way out of it, can be taken to correlate the principles of European policy for the future. The author does not rule out the possibility of the degradation of the European democratic system and has his own thoughts on its improvement in order to preserve it for the future. In particular:

The sad reality is that if democracy is to maintain its regulatory function, it cannot promise only rapid economic growth under any circumstances – at the same time, it must demand self-denial from citizens (KOMÁREK STANISLAV. 2020. 2020. 231).

In this case, Komarek understands self-denial in a narrow sense, but in other places, the same idea has a broader scope. At present, the policy of European states is formed in the confrontation of a limited number of influential parties, but all of them have, in his words, a "protest" character and have long lost any ideological movement. In order for a party to be supported by the masses and, accordingly, to be successful, it must have an idea that is attractive to the masses. Recent history shows that even a false theory can play a positive mobilizing role and inspire people to do great deeds. But the same historical experience convinces us that the implementation of any idea requires building a party on a foundation that is far from democratic. Therefore, we return to the idea of authoritarian spiritual power. This idea can be realized quite easily, one has only to look at our closest neighbors to Ukraine. It is much more difficult to come up with an idea that is attractive to the masses. This confirms the philosophical doctrine of the primacy of ideas in relation to matter.

In the work of the Russian philosopher cited above, "civilizational projects" are based on Christian values that are associated with Russian Orthodoxy (REZNIK Yu.M. 2020: 24). However, Orthodox churches have always been dependent on secular power, so Orthodox doctrines are not entirely suitable for the mixed government since the authoritarian and democratic branches of government must be independent of each other. If we focus on Christian values, then in the Catholic, that is, in the universal sense. The Catholic Church almost never depended on secular power, and this would facilitate the implementation of a mixed form of government with its participation, but at present, this seems impossible. However, approximately this form of government exists in some democratic countries of Europe, in which the king to a certain extent personifies spiritual power. The seeming anachronism actually reflects a certain historical pattern, when the overthrown monarchy is replaced by a dictatorship. In different countries, this social transformation has national characteristics that do not change the overall picture. In England, after the execution of the king, power passed to the Lord Protector Cromwell, in France, in a similar situation, Napoleon was eventually crowned emperor, after the overthrow of the monarchy in Germany, Hitler came to power, in Russia – Stalin, in Spain – Franco, in Portugal – Salazar. The figures of Mussolini, Horthy, and Antonescu add nuance to such a pattern, which meets the demand of mass consciousness in an authoritative leader. Of course, there are also democratic aspirations among the masses, which also need to be taken into account, and this is quite possible under a mixed form of government:

In the depths of his conscience, man detects a law which he does not impose upon himself, but which holds him to obedience. Always summoning him to love good and avoid evil, the voice of conscience when necessary speaks to his heart: do this, shun that. For man has in his heart a law written by God; to obey it is the very dignity of man; according to it, he will be judged. Conscience is the most secret core and sanctuary of a man. There he is alone with God, Whose voice echoes in his depths. In a wonderful manner, conscience reveals that law which is fulfilled by the love of God and neighbor. (GAUDIUM ET SPES, 1965, 16))

This raises the question of what specific benefit conscience brings to a person. Although a good conscience promotes health, as noted in the German proverb "Ein reines Gewissen ist ein sanftes Ruhekissen" (a good conscience is a soft pillow), it cannot be said with certainty that people with a good conscience enjoy God's special favor in their activities. However, conscience plays the role of protective inhibition and it can be assumed that it is a catalyst for energy processes occurring in the human body. These functions are not only favorable for human health but also protect him from everyday troubles.

We are trying to find out how much the future is determined by the past, while some events may be exactly non-deterministic (transition of an electron from orbit to orbit). For analysis, let's take the events of the recent past, about which we can know more than about remote times. An example of the correlation between deterministic and indeterministic historical events is the defeat of Germany in World War II and a dozen and a half unsuccessful assassination attempts on Hitler, including November 8, 1939, and July 20, 1944 (FÄRBER MATHIAS. 2003. 44, 447). Without going into a detailed analysis of these events from the point of view of the relationship between free will and God's providence, we note that their interpretation may be different if we assume that it was not the defeat of Germany itself that was determined, but the borders of post-war Europe. Even if the defeat of Germany is determined, it is still impossible to say with certainty that Hitler should have been killed and remained alive purely by chance.

Thinking about the riddle of "providence" that Hitler boasted about, we can resolve this paradox by saying that after the assassination attempts, Hitler remained alive by chance. This may be so, and according to the theory of probability, one can mathematically calculate the probability of such an outcome. But here mathematics turns out to be pure calculation, and the theory of probability itself is not recognized by everyone as a mathematical science:

Mathematics (by which I shall mean pure mathematics) has no grip on the real world; if the probability is to deal with the real world it must contain elements outsides mathematics; meaning of 'probability' must relate to the real world, and there must be one or more 'primitive' propositions about of real word, from which we can then proceed deductively (i.e. mathematically) (LITTLEWOOD J.E. 1953: 54).

Littlewood goes on to argue that in order to explain the operation of the theory of probability, there must be a primary proposition, which he calls the "Axiom of Probability", which cannot be proved either mathematically or philosophically, as demonstrated by contradictions in the evidence (ibid, 1965, 60-62). This is reminiscent of attempts to prove the existence of God and also suggests that probability in the real world is controlled by God. Littlewood himself does not draw such a conclusion, does not even hint, but he points out that the "axiom of probability", although it lies outside of pure mathematics, is not entirely connected with the real world, it is somewhere about the real world.

In principle, people have long recognized the need to know God and relied on his decisions in difficult situations, when, for example, they perceived probability as the “finger of God” when using lots in courts. Such and similar facts testify once again that the entire history of mankind is a common act of creation of God and Man, and there is nothing new in this concept, but it requires concretization, as Arnold Toynbee did in his time:

The episodic and ephemeral nature of man's participation in earthly history becomes redeemed when he gets the opportunity to play his role on Earth as a voluntary helper of God, whose power over everything gives Divine weight and significance to human efforts, insignificant and miserable without it (TOYNBEE ARNOLD J. 1995. 1995, 108).

God has given great freedom of action to man as a sign of high trust and does not punish for the mistakes made, but takes under His care people who do not act against their own conscience. It seems incredible, but Hitler, although he was guided by an anti-human idea, still had certain signs of conscience. Even in the face of the imminent defeat of Germany, he did not order the use of chemical weapons, because he himself suffered from their use during the first world war. This fact may indicate how much God appreciates the presence of conscience in a person. Compared to Hitler, Putin is characterized by complete immorality. He lost the remnants of conscience when he ordered the bombing of peaceful cities in the deep rear of Ukraine, that is, he should be deprived of God's guardianship. His further fate is connected with the fate of all of Russia.

About the goals and motives from which Putin started the war against Ukraine, let psychologists speak, it is not easy to understand him. In this war, Ukraine is headed by Zelensky, and it is also not easy to understand why the people chose him as President. To solve this riddle, you need to start from the principle Vox populi – vox Dei. What did the people of Ukraine see in Zelensky's personality? And he saw him on the TV screen as a man with a clear conscience, who led the country out of a deep crisis. It must be assumed that in society there was an expressive request for such a President. Zelensky's real human qualities, nationality, political experience, and profession did not outweigh the human conscience demonstrated to the masses on the scales. Now victory in the war will depend on whether the leaders of Western countries have a conscience. However, world public opinion, as the voice of God, cannot put up with Putin's immorality and will push the governments of influential countries to take decisive action. The unity of the whole world in the intention to support Ukraine promises the inevitable collapse of the last colonial empire.

God created and perfects man, and the conscience of man, which has the highest priority in comparison with reason, shows us the direction of moral perfection. A person must study God and become His voluntary helper, otherwise, he will be at odds with Him. Thus, we can conclude that the future of mankind will depend on how people will be guided in their behavior by the inner voice of conscience, and not by their own theories, excessive ambitions or the desire for irrepressible satisfaction of individual needs in a modern consumer society.

Conscience, as the law of God, must be instilled in every person, but people listen to the voice of their conscience in different ways, and it is not known what size the conscience of each person is. It seems that we cannot talk about the size of conscience, because we cannot calculate it. But this does not mean that it is impossible to do this at all. It is possible that someday a way will be invented for this, but in the first approximation, the level of conscience and its control of a person's behavior can be reflected in his language. In particular, the frequency of using phrases with the word conscience can already indicate how relevant the issue of the prevalence of this virtue in society is. Conclusions can be drawn to the contrary depending on the context or circumstances. Determining this frequency for a representative set of a particular human society is difficult, purposeful studies are needed. But there is data on how often such phrases are used in the languages of individual peoples. They are reflected in folk sayings, that is, in sayings and proverbs. The most frequently used such phraseological units are collected by ethnographers and a collection of various authors has long been published. The Ukrainian material was collected and classified by M. Nomis (real name Matvey Simonov), and the Russian material was collected by Cossack Lugansky (Vladimir Dal). To assess how Ukrainians and Russians differ from each other in terms of conscience, the number of units with the word conscience in each of these collections was counted. As it turned out, the word conscience occurs 29 times in Dahl's collection, and once in Simonov's collection. Such an impressive difference must be comprehended.

The theme of conscience was presented in Russian literature very widely and sharply. This is well known in the world, and, in particular, the works of Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Chekhov, published so far, make a great impression precisely because of their comprehensive consideration of the phenomenon of conscience. In Ukrainian literature, the theme of conscience is presented sparingly. Taras Shevchenko never used conscience at all, although it simply asks for the plots of his works. On the contrary, in the work of Gogol, whose more famous works realistically describe the state of Russian society, the theme of conscience is central. Obviously, the problem of conscience in Russia was relevant and attracted the attention of both ordinary people and thinkers. The acquaintance of Western European philosophers with Russia through the works of Russian writers led them to erroneous conclusions. In particular, Oswald Spengler considered Dostoevsky to be a harbinger of the birth of a new religion, which, having fertilized Western Christianity, would give it a new form (SPENGLER OSWALD. 1920). However, the picture of the Russian revolution forced him to hastily abandon his forecasts, and the promised chapter "Russia and the Future" of his major work "The Decline of Europe" was never written. In Soviet times, the cultural achievements of Russia were lost and it was people with a clear conscience who fell victim to repression in the first place. This made the broad masses forget about this phenomenon, and, apparently, this oblivion continues to this day.

Although Russia has long been in a state of confrontation with the West, the West itself is now experiencing a systemic crisis (see The Crisis of Liberal Humanism). With the sympathy for Russia preserved in the intellectual circles of Europe, the contradictions could be overcome on the way to the convergence of existing worldviews. However, the outbreak of the war against Ukraine closed this possibility and crossed out all the claims of the Russian intellectual elite not only to the role of leader but also an example for the whole world. The internal logic of the development of this state should lead to its dismemberment and its remnants will join the Western camp because civilizational Russia belongs to Europe. One can only hope that the course of the war will also lead to a change in priorities on the general path of the humanization of the world.