One of the characteristics of science is to reduce phenomena to a set of simple explanations. The medieval Occam’s razor was the inspiration for this process: shaving away extraneous causes and reducing processes to what is taken to be the most obvious explanation. This may seem wrong or inadequate or simplistic, but humanity conspires to prove this approach true. For despite the lofty and complex justifications from this or that temple of power, the unprecedented war and violence of human beings over the centuries points to nothing more simple than a primitive brain stem or amygdala.
It seems no longer possible for humanity as a whole to reach a point of peaceful equilibrium. Can humanity evolve to some point where mature brain functions of the cortex can overtake primitive instincts? We can call these instincts sin or ignorance. We can call our efforts ethics or philosophy or reason. Still, Occam’s razor wants to do away with the ideologies and the cultural superiorities and point to our collective incapacity.
Only enlightened individuals can at least begin the breakthrough in their own lives. This is what sages, regardless of what science they knew, have been telling us all aong.