Friday, September 21, 2012
Objectively Better Than Our AncestorsIt is an absolute fact, save a brief and unfortunate plateau during the Dark Ages, that each successive generation is better than the one before it in nearly every statistical respect. Things are better today than they have ever been. With each passing year, infant mortality is a smaller fraction of what it once was in our savage days. There is less disease, less war, less violence, less bigotry, more understanding, better technology, more social progress, with each generation and yet people will fight that fact no matter what evidence is presented to them.
Data and facts be damned, every generation will say about it's successors, this generation is lazy, disrespectful and stupid! And every generation will simply be wrong. While we should strive always towards our ideals, and though we delight in the theatre of the stories we tell ourselves about how terrible the world has become and what a dire predicament our species is in, the fact nonetheless remains that today, everything is better. And tomorrow, everything will be better still.
Don't allow this information to make you complacent; do not let it extinguish your desire for a better world for your children. But take comfort in knowing that we have always solved our most critical problems and will likely continue to do so. And just as it was for people just 500 years ago, though cynics certainly demolished the idea as preposterous, it will only be a few centuries time before the world you have always desired to live in will more or less manifest itself, with it's own problems, but with those we experience now as ancient relics of a less civilized era. And they will perhaps look back at this transitional time and think "How could they not have dreamed of something better?"
But we did, in the darker recesses of the social mind; we do dream of better things. As our ancestors did, and as our predecessors will, and history shows that we will slowly but inevitably achieve that better life, one way or another. The hubris of the human race tricks us into believing that no matter where we are in our history, modern times are the pinnacle of human achievement, and science is at it's zenith.
But the fact of the matter is, we are one rung on the ladder, higher than those before it and lower than those to come. And we can take comfort in the knowledge that the Homo Sapien species is still evolving. And we are, as a race of beings - as a plurality of entities - growing up.
Posted by Ian Bowen at 9/21/2012 11:03:00 AM ::