“Unbending rigor is the mate of death/ And wielding softness the company of life: Unbending soldiers get no victories/ The stiffest tree is readiest for the axe.” (Tao Te Ching: 76)
Yes – all true enough in a sense, and all about to become obsolete in another sense as our ability to understand and influence systems from the atomic level on upwards matures.
In a few decades we will be able to achieve changes in individuals in weeks that would have taken many generations.
Personally, I look forward to the improvements in longevity and abilities such understandings will bring.
I eagerly anticipate the development of systems that will mean the probability of dying from biological causes decreases significantly with every year lived.
And yes, our biochemistry, our electro-chemistry, our computational and sensory systems are extremely complex. We will make mistakes. We will need to act cooperatively, and to rescue those who unintentionally pass risk thresholds into dangerous territory.
It is not simply a matter of chemistry or conditioning, it goes much deeper into the realms of computation, abstraction, interpretation, strategy and risk assessment/mitigation – all of which appear to be infinite domains of possibility.
No hard rules are even conceptually possible in such domains.
We face very interesting times indeed.