Monday, April 9, 2018

What Is Wrong With Humanity?

The Times once asked famous authors to respond to the question, “What’s wrong with the world today?” G.K. Chesterton responded simply, “Dear Sir, I am. Yours, G.K. Chesterton.”


"We have met the enemy, and he is us." - Pogo 


“The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either -- but right through every human heart -- and through all human hearts." - Alexander Solzhenitsyn


It's pretty obvious: a lot of things are broken in the world. The headlines of gun violence, human trafficking, #metoo, corporate greed, cyberbullying, terrorism and abusive sex cults remind us that something about the human enterprise is clearly failing on an ongoing basis. For every area in which we make progress, we seem to offset that by regressing in some other way.


"Etcetera #18: What's Wrong With The World?"

In this episode of a podcast I host with journalist Beth Milligan, I take a look at the brokenness the permeates our lives. The headlines of gun violence, human trafficking, #metoo, corporate greed, cyberbullying, terrorism and abusive sex cults remind us that something about the human enterprise is clearly failing on an ongoing basis. For every area in which me make progress, we seem to offset that by regressing in some other way.

So, what's the problem with humanity? Is it our biology, our environment, or our souls? Has our DNA doomed us to dance to its tune? If not nature, have the forces of nurture forced us to become who we are? Are our spirits or souls (qualia, for all you philosophers) the problem? And depending on what we conclude, what is the best course of action?

Spoiler alert: I think we have to look at all three possibilities. If we want to find the right cure, we need the proper diagnosis.

"Etcetera #19: Why Are We So $%&$^ Angry?"

This follow-up episode riffs on the same theme. Maybe it's the ubiquitous nature of the news; maybe social media brings out the worst angels of our nature. Whatever the reason, we seem to have become an increasingly bombastic and angry culture, demanding our right to say what we want however we want to with no thought of civility, decorum or respect. In other words, technology has enabled us to broadcast our brokenness to the world - and we sure do love to do it.

Beth kicks this episode off by looking at a local spat involving a controversial mural (see links at the end) before we move on to the simmering anger and hostility so often front and center cultural discussions. How did we get here?  What we can we do to address the issue?

You can listen to all our episodes of our Etcetera podcast on Soundcloud or on various apps (such as Podcast Addict or Stitcher Radio).  As always, we appreciate interaction with you! Feel free to comment on this blog or on our Facebook page.  We value your feedback, as well as any ideas for future guests or shows!

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Recommended Links

"If This Isn't Nice, What Is?" (the Kurt Vonnegut speech Beth referenced in Episode #19)
Psychology Of Anger

To give you an idea of what Beth was talking about in reference to the mural in Episode #19, check out two articles she wrote on the issue as well as the comments that follow.

Here's The Mural Coming To Traverse City's Open Space
Open Space Mural Artists Withdraw From Project

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