Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Roots and Shoots

If human history seems to be following a certain course, are we obligated to maintain it and not to set a different one if we can? Human nature itself, as it exists in individuals, compels the development of human society. Are there seeds of ethical growth in each of us, that spontaneously take root and push out their shoots and over time entwine with those of others into a mass of supernatural vegetation that speaks to us like the burning bush? We do not even have a working definition of morality. How can we believe in something as presumptuous and supernatural as moral progress? We are making a wager at stakes we are unable to afford, because it is the penalty, not the reward, that is potentially infinite.

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