May 21, 2011

Our Future In Nature - Human Dignity, Democracy, Earth Stewardship


You are a child of the universe,
No less than the trees and the stars;
You have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

- From Desiderata by Max Ehrmann, 1927

It is Sunday, May 22, 2011 in East Africa, the Cradle of Humankind.  If you are reading this, you were not yesterday raptured into heaven as was predicted by evangelical Christian Harold Camping.  Either you were not worthy of God's heaven or Camping's prediction was wrong.  In all seriousness, there is a viable future for Humankind, here, on Earth, with each other.  Looking toward and building our future soberly, scientifically, humanely will suffice.  I believe it is our only real chance to survive and prosper.

As I have written elsewhere on this blog, I am optimistic that Humankind will eventually bring into existence the global morally and civilization that we have begun and are building.  This new Earth ethic and unified approach to achieving and maintaining human dignity, peacefully resolving conflict, and sustaining the biosphere through our stewardship are the most important and imperative tasks of our present.  To fail will mean the loss of our humanity, community of cultures, and home in the Universe.

In the links below are thinkers who also look to the future.  Some see the future of our humanity, community and the planet in stark, unsettling terms.  As we live our lives forward into uncertainty our notions of all three - humanity, community and Earth - will undoubtedly evolve.  Some of these new definitions will be to our liking relative to how we think of them today, others will not.  It is right that will live only in the time we are given, it is all we have.  But we have an obligation, I believe, to work for a future in a manner that will see the retention of that which embodies the best of our past and present values, beliefs and practices, and a rejection of that which does not.

Humanity, community, Nature are all we have and will ever have.  It has been, is and will be in these areas that our species' most important work will be done.

What Will Happen To Us? by Graeme Wood, Boston.com, May 1, 2011
Future of the Earth, Wikipedia
Ten Notable Apocalypses That Didn't Happen, Smithsonian.com, November 12, 2009
The End of the World and the New World Order:  Black Helicopters, Hong Kong Gurkhas, Global Conspiracies and the Mark of the Beast by Tim Callahan, eSkeptic, October 20, 2010
Toward a Type 1 Civilization by Michael Shermer, The Los Angeles Times, July 22, 2008
The Future is Now by Joel Achenbach, The Washington Post, April 13, 2008
The Singularity is Near:  When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil, 2005
What Will Be Essential in 2020? by Philip Kennicott, The Washngton Post, January 2, 2005
The Future of Calamity by Andrew C. Revkin, The New York Times, January 2, 2005
We Will Get Better The Economist, July 27, 2011

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