Sat 11 Mar 2006 6:07 PM
At our last meeting, I was pegged as optimistically unrealistic about the future (dare I say, charmingly so) because I believe that the world isn’t rotting in the toilet of some cosmic, trucker rest stop bathroom. This isn’t entirely true. I think that things could go either way. Or, rather, all ways. I do believe that — though things look bleaker than I ever imagined possible — the fight has yet to be called. All it takes is a sea change in global and national priorities for things to turn around. Granted, this is no small feat but it’s been known to happen throughout history when situations become untenable — much like now. I do
contend that things are better now than they ever have been. Yes, mostly for the rich and/or the white, but the problems being fixed in the priviledged community could theoretically be distributed to all people should things become more egalitarian in the future, which I think is inevitable. The exchange of ideas today is not only far more widespread, but instantaneous. Human creativity has accelerated past anyone’s ability to measure or anticipate it, and it’s here that I place my faith in civilization. You can still debate whether or not humans are a virus to an otherwise healthy organism, or a unique type of life yet to reach equilibrium with its environment. But I believe the race as a whole has shown an increase in survivability over thousands of years, and that this survival has selected — and will continue to select — traits that are morally virtuous. Even if a person’s rights are ignored or violated, at least the social consensus in a large part of the world is that they have those rights to begin with. This is a very recent development and we’re still working it out, but I think that ultimately we will. And I
think we will before a nuclear holocaust. But maybe I just like to sleep at night.