Earth needs a virtual country: #Rationalia, with a one-line Constitution: All policy shall be based on the weight of evidence
Sounds wonderful right? A Utopia of pretty people making decisions based on perfect knowledge ran through perfect intellect arriving at the perfect outcome. The fly in the ointment being, as Kevin D. Williamson of National Review points out, Human understanding of the world, and human intelligence, is far from perfect.
This means that Rationalia is going to be governed by those who think they're perfect (gods), but are in fact flawed. What Neil deGrasse Tyson is really calling for is no better than that of any other Narcissist, his deification.
All hail Tyson! and what not.
The problem with this is that a move toward a rational society requires, by definition, the elimination of the irrational from the equation. The only way to accomplish this completely is to either enslave, incarcerate or eliminate. In most cases it's all three.
In many ways, we're already moving toward Mr. Tyson's wet-dream fantasy of a ruled state. Already the Democratic party is calling for the incarceration of so-called "climate change deniers" in their official platform and the idea that people who make choices the 'rational' establishment considers wrong should be denied those choices continues to spread. As a society we've decided that it's totally acceptable to kill, unborn, those humans who we consider to be undesirable. And we've killed humans that we consider to be undesirable for years now. (i.e. the death penalty). How much further do we have to go to decide that death is a "rational" punishment for those who refuse to partake in the bounty that is Rationalia?
Is this a slippery-slope argument? You bet. But the reality is we've been told "trust us" many times by the authoritarians among us and they've leaped that hurdle every time. (Remember "we're not trying to FORCE anyone to adopt unisex restrooms. Honest?)
Avoiding the science fiction based world of SkyNet and Soylent Green for a moment, lets think about something a little more believable.
For one, I don't think that lining up American citizens behind the storage sheds and shooting them all in the face will ever happen. But with the rise of genetic research, selective breeding and the movement toward cradle to grave government education and stewardship of our children we are raising a society that is going to be bred, trained and hardwired to comply.
Your soon-to-be-born baby has a genetic marker that has been shown to imply a predisposition to cancer? Abort it. The babies that are born will be placed into the education system as soon as they are weaned. From day care to post-graduate education (which, considering the current state of decline of the American education system will be required in order to land a remedial office job) your child will be offered learning from the brightest minds, the best of the best. Instructors such as Neil deGrasse Tyson as an example.
Now let's say you remain a malcontent. You choose to believe something different than the established scientific line. Your options? You will be consigned, permanently, to the perpetual underclass doomed to live a soulless existence with all of your freedoms taken away, and all of your choices made for you. You will be provided food, shelter, medical care and other necessities but you will not be allowed to breed (your rebellion being viewed as a genetic defect that must be culled) and you will not be allowed to move freely. In short, you will be enslaved to a life of hard labor from which you can never escape due to your inferior intellect and every decision in your life will be made by someone more enlightened. If you don't think this is possible, or if you laugh it off, take a look at the news today.
A bigger problem is what to do with the surplus population. A rational view of the world, based on the weight of evidence, suggests that poverty is prevalent because there are just too many people clogging up the arteries of Gaia for her resources to be allocated effectively.
This is bad, because it means that huge swaths of humanity must either be eliminated, or ignored. In Rationalia enlightened individuals such as Mr. Tyson will determine who makes the cut and who doesn't. In the real world it's going to be decided through the rule of force, as it always has been.
In other words, you first Mr. Tyson.