Forget Nations. How Do We Live as a Species?

We know who speaks for the nations. But who speaks for the human species? Who speaks for Earth?

–Carl Sagan, Cosmos, 1980

 

When democratic elections fail in other countries we often hear the quip that you cannot impose democracy in cultures that have no conception of liberty. That chaos and havoc are the natural result of such a clash of ideas. That it will “never work”. Continue reading Forget Nations. How Do We Live as a Species?

What Do You Think of the Environmental Movement?

Well, in short, it’s a mess. There is no such thing as a cohesive “movement”. What we have is a grab-bag of politicians, entertainers, corporations, and bought-science combined with a public that refuses to think for itself and seems willing to spout the platitudes of anyone who uses pleasing (or inflammatory) rhetoric.

The crucial question is the science. Are humans contributing to warming? That seems undeniable. Is it catastrophic? Well, that remains an open question. Continue reading What Do You Think of the Environmental Movement?

On the supposed clash of civilizations between Muslim world and the West

I don’t see a clash of civilizations at all.

Civilization (singular) is a human creation, and one of its greatest. Civilization is nothing more or less than the organization of society under the rule of civil law. It is the enforcement of rights. On the personal level, it is the implicit understanding that we get what we want from other people by entering into discussions and agreements with them, not by putting guns to their head.

Civilization is the understanding that the opposite of rights is the monstrous wrong of using physical violence to obtain our ends, and the legal protection against it.

The very word clash seems to imply an unresolvable impasse between two equal forces. Well, there can no more be a “clash” between civilization and its opposite, than there can be between food and poison. Only one sustains life. Continue reading On the supposed clash of civilizations between Muslim world and the West