The Destiny of the Human Race and the Meaning of Our Lives

and behold, joy and gladness, killing oxen and slaughtering sheep,eating steak and drinking wine.

“Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” Isaiah 22:13


and

“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

All these are the beginning of sorrows….

“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves,
….
The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire.

Matt 24:7-8; Luke 21:25; Rev 16:8

The Apostle Paul said:

If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.
1 Cor 15:32

More and more nutjobs and terrorist states are getting nuclear weapons. Any bets on the likelihood of a nuclear, chemical, biological conflict of large scale? One doesn’t need an ICBM to deliver a bomb, just bring a boat close enough with a device to the shore of some country and set it off….Heck, some boats with the equivalent of dirty bombs, just my spontaneously leak and cause damage:
https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/russian-nuclear-subs-meltdown-danger

What about global warming and overpopulation? Famines indeed.

Additionally, Michael Lynch, Bryan Sykes, John Sanford and others think the human genome is deteriorating. Sykes gives the human race about 100,000 years. How long will the human race last?

So here is your chance to agree with my grim assessment of the destiny of the human race or provide a more optimistic PollyAnna viewpoint.

Additionally, in light of the grim future of humanity, here is your chance to express where you find meaning in human existence. Maybe all you have is just a search for amusement. Some are amused by science, some by phylogenies, some by mythology, some by sports, some by promoting YEC, some by flying airplanes, some by playing video games, some by running a business, whatever. Minimizing pain, maximizing good times seems a reasonable strategy for a lot things in life.

I suppose it would help if some go to heaven after this miserable world ends, but in the meantime, if you have the chance, you can also have a good time. Nothing wrong with going to casinos and having a good time eating and drinking and then going to church. Casinos have the best cuisine on the planet such as in Las Vegas (provided you don’t get killed by some nutjob):

stratosphere

old vegas cuisine

As far as sermons, here is my favorite by Joel Osteen (net worth 55 million dollars from book sales). Here is a 55 million dollar sermon, my favorite! I’ve listened to it many times. Osteen expresses how I find meaning in life:

So here is your chance to speculate on the destiny of the human race and speak about what gives meaning to your life in view of the grim future facing the human race.

115 thoughts on “The Destiny of the Human Race and the Meaning of Our Lives

  1. More and more nutjobs and terrorist states are getting nuclear weapons.

    Not really.

    Yes, there’s North Korea. And our nutjob of a president is giving them good reasons to have nukes.

    Fortunately, Iran has turned away from the nuclear race, at least for now. Unfortunately, our nutjob of a president is doing his damnedest to get them back into the nuclear race.

    Human Destiny? It seems to depend on how far crazy Christian creationists will go, in trying to force their ridiculous nonsense onto everyone. With their supporting of Donald Trump, conservative Christianity is losing all credibility.

    They have long preached “For what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world, but lose his own soul.” Conservative Christians should have thought about that before they abandoned their moral principles in a lust for raw political power.

  2. As far as sermons, here is my favorite by Joel Osteen (net worth 55 million dollars from book sales).

    “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

  3. There are certainly existential threats to civilization as we know it. Intertwined with those are existential threats to the myths you hold dear. But those are not existential threats to the existence of the human species. The only thing that threatens humanity as a biological entity right now are the planet-killing asteroid, or the gradual vagaries of evolution.

  4. There was an interesting experiment carried out by the NIH. It speaks of what could happen in a “utopia”.

    https://io9.gizmodo.com/how-rats-turned-their-private-paradise-into-a-terrifyin-1687584457

    In 1972, animal behaviorist John Calhoun built a mouse paradise with beautiful buildings and limitless food. He introduced eight mice to the population. Two years later, the mice had created their own apocalypse. Here’s why.

    Universe 25 was a giant box designed to be a rodent utopia. The trouble was, this utopia did not have a benevolent creator. John B. Calhoun had designed quite a few mouse environments before he got to the 25th one, and didn’t expect to be watching a happy story. Divided into “main squares” and then subdivided into levels, with ramps going up to “apartments,” the place looked great, and was always kept stocked with food, but its inhabitants were doomed from the get-go.

    Universe 25 started out with eight mice, four males and four females. By day 560, the mouse population reached 2,200, and then steadily declined back down to unrecoverable extinction. At the peak population, most mice spent every living second in the company of hundreds of other mice. They gathered in the main squares, waiting to be fed and occasionally attacking each other. Few females carried pregnancies to term, and the ones that did seemed to simply forget about their babies. They’d move half their litter away from danger and forget the rest. Sometimes they’d drop and abandon a baby while they were carrying it.

    The few secluded spaces housed a population Calhoun called, “the beautiful ones.” Generally guarded by one male, the females—- and few males — inside the space didn’t breed or fight or do anything but eat and groom and sleep. When the population started declining the beautiful ones were spared from violence and death, but had completely lost touch with social behaviors, including having sex or caring for their young.

    In 1972, with the baby boomers coming of age in a ever-more-crowded world and reports of riots in the cities, Universe 25 looked like a Malthusian nightmare. It even acquired its own catchy name, “The Behavioral Sink.” If starvation didn’t kill everyone, people would destroy themselves. The best option was to flee to the country or the suburbs, where people had space and life was peaceful and natural.

    Today, the experiment remains frightening, but the nature of the fear has changed. A recent study pointed out that Universe 25 was not, if looked at as a whole, too overcrowded. Pens, or “apartments” at the very end of each hallway had only one entrance and exit, making them easy to guard. This allowed more aggressive territorial males to limit the number mice in that pen, overcrowding the rest of the world, while isolating the few “beautiful ones” who lived there from normal society. Instead of a population problem, one could argue that Universe 25 had a fair distribution problem.

    The fact remains that it had a problem, and one that eventually led to its destruction. If this behavior is shared by both mice and humans, can we escape Universe 25’s fate?

  5. As far as sermons, here is my favorite by Joel Osteen (net worth 55 million dollars from book sales). Here is a 55 million dollar sermon, my favorite! I’ve listened to it many times. Osteen expresses how I find meaning in life:

    Prestigious!

    Of course someday the rotten corpse of Darwinism will reach a point where it will no longer be able to censor and persecute ID scientists, and a great new day of discovery will ensue.

    Millions of papers will note nearly every aspect of life and the universe and show conclusively that they were designed. Nothing else will be learned in biology and cosmology, but humanity will revel in the facts that show that design occurred by unknown means for unknown purposes and they will know that homologies exist from before divergence and not after divergence for no reason at all. And they will praise the Lord.

    Glen Davidson

  6. Regarding Trump and the Evangelicals:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/23/cyrus-prophecy-evangelical-support-donald-trump

    Persian king might have been a pagan, but he still served God’s plans. For some Christians, Donald Trump does just that


    “Donald Trump is anointed by God,” my Indianapolis Uber driver confided. I’d asked why she had Trump/Pence stickers on her rear bumper. It was the day before the presidential election and I would have asked anyone, but I was particularly interested because she was a decorous, middle-aged black woman.

    “Well,” she’d begun, “I’m a Christian and I’m very much against abortion, and I don’t approve of same-sex marriage either. And, Mr Trump has said he’ll appoint supreme court justices who agree.”

    I told her I understood. Still, I wondered how she could support someone so greedy and self-aggrandizing, so profane and offensive to women and minorities, someone who seemed so “un-Christian”.

    “Yessss,” she responded slowly. “You’re right. But he doesn’t have to be a Christian to be part of God’s plan. Our minister says he’s come to tear down the corrupt order just as Nebuchadnezzar did.” And just as the pagan Nebuchadnezzar had the prophet Daniel to counsel him, “Mr Trump has godly men around him. Governor Pence, Jerry Falwell Jr, Mike Huckabee.”

    Did her whole congregation believe this, and who were they? “Oh yes,” she said. “We all do. And we’re multicultural, too. Black and white and Hispanic. Although,” she added, as I was getting out of the cab, “There are also many who believe that Mr Trump is not Nebuchadnezzar but a Cyrus.” Nebuchadnezzar, I remembered, had destroyed the first temple in Jerusalem, forcing the Jews into the Babylonian captivity.

    So the question for the lefties, do you think the world will survive Donald Trump?
    If so, then Trump isn’t the apocalypse. Personally, I didn’t vote for him, but I like him more and more every day. His speech in South Korea was awesome. He compared the left-wing Godless world of North Korea with the right-wing Christian capitalist world of South Korea. God bless Emperor Cyrus.

  7. So here is your chance to agree with my grim assessment of the destiny of the human race or provide a more optimistic PollyAnna viewpoint.

    I’m a PollyAnnaTic. So while Salvador is all doom and gloom I’m all positivity and Trumpiness.

  8. Neil Rickert: Yes, there’s North Korea. And our nutjob of a president is giving them good reasons to have nukes.

    North Korea had no good reasons to have nukes before, but now they do! Thank you Donald Trump!

    Neil continues to pile up the absurdities.

  9. In 1972, animal behaviorist John Calhoun built a mouse paradise with beautiful buildings and limitless food. He introduced eight mice to the population. Two years later, the mice had created their own apocalypse. Here’s why.

    One of them was named keiths.

  10. stcordova: So the question for the lefties, do you think the world will survive Donald Trump?

    It survived eight years of Obama. And eight years of Bush. And eight years of Clinton.

    I think we’ll be ok.

  11. stcordova: So the question for the lefties, do you think the world will survive Donald Trump?

    The results of yesterday’s voting are encouraging. Overall, the voters seem to be rejecting Trump’s politics.

  12. I found that stream of unconsciousness ramble offensive to my intelligence and do not care to participate. This is not your personal blog. Have some respect.

  13. stcordova: So the question for the lefties, do you think the world will survive Donald Trump?

    Mere survival is a pretty shit measure of “success” in my opinion. I don’t just want the world to survive. Even speaking of mere survival is to admit that something is emphatically wrong at the highest level of government in the US.

    The world should be flourishing, not trying to survive a sitting US president.

    Yes, the world will “survive” Donald Trump, and yes I do find it implausible that the Donald Clumpenführer will end human existence. But how will the world be different when we are finally rid of him? Either he manages to totally fuck up the environment (And I’m not just talking about climate change) and start world war III, or (I almost pray to God) you manage to get the manchild impeached before he can do too much damage.

  14. Neil:

    The results of yesterday’s voting are encouraging.

    Encouraging for Lefties, not Righties.

    My sunday school student of creationism lost his incumbant seat in the house of delegates to a leftwing feminist! At least she doesn’t look like Triggly Puff.

  15. Neil Rickert: ““I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.””

    Unless, of course, the rich man tithe a high proportion of his wealth to his church.

  16. John Harshan:

    I found that stream of unconsciousness ramble offensive to my intelligence and do not care to participate. This is not your personal blog. Have some respect.

    Awh, c’mon lighten up. You’re taking this place too seriously as if this is a place for purely scholarly discussion.

    But there is a reason for this thread — as in Pascal’s Wager…

  17. I assume that you are aware that Jesus was a lefty, if not an outright communist.

    No he’s not. He would smile more on Right Wing Christian Capitalist South Korea than Left Wing Commie Anti-Christian North Korea.

    In fact, did you hear Osteen’s sermon from Jesus parable of the talents (money)? The ruler gave more money was given to the guy who made the most of what he had. He didn’t do a Bernie Sanders commie redistribution to the undeserving unachievers.

  18. stcordova: My sunday school student of creationism lost his incumbant seat in the house of delegates to a leftwing feminist! At least she doesn’t look like Triggly Puff.

    And Danica Roem, an openly transgendered woman, defeated a 13 term Republican homophobe in the Virginia election. I am very optimistic of the future.

  19. stcordova: He would smile more on Right Wing Christian Capitalist South Korea than Left Wing Commie Anti-Christian North Korea.

    Spare me your sermons, you’re just another clueless ground-ape. As if you have even a clue what the purported Son of God thinks about anything.

    They always come hand-in-hand. The people most desperate to tell us that there’s a God are also the same people most bent on telling everyone else how they should live their lives, structure their societies, and when, where, how and with whom to have sex.

    You can’t just be happy with your faith. No, we all have to believe it too and live our lives the way you see fit.

  20. stcordova: No he’s not. He would smile more on Right Wing Christian Capitalist South Korea than Left Wing Commie Anti-Christian North Korea.

    Aside from the fact that South Korea is almost 50% Buddhist, Jesus was the non-working son of two asylum seekers. A man who opposed banking.

    And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.” Acts 2: 44-45

    For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”” 2 Corinthians 8:13-15

    Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

    Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”” Matthew 19:21

    And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”” Luke 3:11

    And all who believed were together and had all things in common.” Acts 2:44

    Sounds more socialist than capitalist to me. But feel free to misinterpret the scriptures to suit your own ideology. As all christians do.

  21. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Korea

    In 1910, Korea was annexed by the Empire of Japan. After the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II, in 1945, Korea was divided into two zones, with the north occupied by the Soviets and the south by the Americans. Negotiations on reunification failed, and in 1948, separate governments were formed: the socialist Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the north, and the capitalist Republic of Korea in the south. An invasion initiated by North Korea led to the Korean War (1950–1953). The Korean Armistice Agreement brought about a ceasefire, but no peace treaty was signed.[16]

    North Korea officially describes itself as a self-reliant, socialist state[17]

    About South Korea:
    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/08/12/6-facts-about-christianity-in-south-korea/

    South Korea has no majority religious group. Its population includes a plurality of people with no religious affiliation (46%) and significant shares of Christians (29%) and Buddhists (23%). South Korea’s current president, Park Geun-hye, is an atheist with connections to Buddhism and Catholicism, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

    Christian share of South Korea’s population2In 1900, only 1% of the country’s population was Christian, but largely through the efforts of missionaries and churches, Christianity has grown rapidly in South Korea over the past century. In 2010, roughly three-in-ten South Koreans were Christian
    ….
    As of 2012, South Korea had low levels of government restrictions on religion and social hostilities toward or among religious groups, based on our most recent analysis. In fact, religious restrictions in South Korea are lower than in the U.S., and significantly lower than the median level of religious restrictions in the Asia-Pacific region.

    Below is a picture of North Korea from the satellite view . Notice how much brighter the Christian Capitalist country of South Korea is compared to left-wing “utopia” of North Korea.

  22. stcordova: In fact, did you hear Osteen’s sermon from Jesus parable of the talents (money)? The ruler gave more money was given to the guy who made the most of what he had. He didn’t do a Bernie Sanders commie redistribution to the undeserving unachievers.

    “Woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.
    Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry.
    Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.
    Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.”

  23. Nobel Prize winner in Economics and champion of Capitalism Milton Friedman did some amazing stuff.

    https://panampost.com/jose-nino/2015/04/22/40-years-later-milton-friedmans-legacy-in-chile/

    Though democratically elected by a narrow margin in 1970, Salvador Allende was determined to turn Chile into the next Cuba by undermining all of its democratic institutions. Through price controls, arbitrary expropriations, and lax monetary policy, Allende put the Chilean economy on the verge of collapse. By 1973, inflation reached 606 percent and per capita GDP dropped 7.14 percent.

    Under the command of General Augusto Pinochet, the military deposed Allende’s government. Despite this tumultuous change, the military ruler did not have a clear economic vision for Chile.

    Milton Friedman’s visit to Chile in March 1975 proved to be quite fateful. Friedman was on a week-long lecture tour for various think thanks. Eventually, Friedman sat down with the general himself for 45 minutes. Right off the bat, Friedman recognized that Pinochet had very little knowledge of economics. After their meeting, Friedman sent Pinochet a letter with a list of policy recommendations.

    Friedman was blunt is his diagnosis of Chile’s economy: for the country to recover, it had to truly embrace free-market measures.

    Ideas Put in Action

    Cooler heads prevailed and Pinochet let the Chicago School disciples occupy various posts in the military government. In April 1975, El Plan de Recuperación Económica (The Economic Recovery Plan) was implemented. Soon Chile curbed its inflation, opened up its markets, privatized state-owned industries, and cut government spending. By the 1990s, Chile was experiencing the largest economic boom in its history.

    Left-wing critics will say Chile is a disaster. Oh really? Compared to Communist Venezuela, I’d say Chile is paradise!

    Chile’s economy. Note the dip reflecting the Communist government and then the influence of free markets after 1975.

  24. Sal, what does the economy of a couple socialist countries have to do with whether or not Jesus hung left? Canada is effectively a socialist country and does quite well for itself. As do the scandinavian countries.

    Canada has abortion on demand, paid by the government. Sex change operations are paid by the government. Teen girls can get prescriptions for the birth control pill without requiring parental approval, and the doctors are not allowed to inform the parents. We have universal health care. Infant mortality rates are lower in Canada than in the US and life expectancy is higher. Homosexuals have been able to marry for over a decade. We have hate speech laws (limits on free speech). We have strict gun laws and have had one mass shooting so far this year. The US ha had 307. The nazi party and KKK are illegal organizations. All of these left-wing policies and we still manage to keep our heads above water. In fact, Canada usually ranks in the top few countries in the world to live. We encourage immigration. We welcome refugees. In fact, we even have refugee camps for refugees from the US. We encourage immigrants to maintain their cultures. We have not had a bank failure since before the 1929 depression.

  25. Thanks folks, but if I want to find the true meaning of my life, I think I’ll do it elsewhere, not at TSZ. As warm and wonderful a bunch of folks as you all are.

    But I did want to comment on one dire prediction that Sal Cordova cited: that at the present rate of mutations, the human population would be extinct within 100,000 years.

    That’s assuming we do nothing about it. But we could
    1. Find out why the mutation rates are so high, and take action to alter those aspects of our lives (chemical exposures, for example), or …
    2. Sequence parents and offspring to find out where the new mutations are, and use new biotech methods to reverse them. That might even prevent the new mutations from affecting the phenotype of that individual. But even if it didn’t, it could prevent the mutant allele from being passed on to subsequent generations.

    Point 2 may sound impossible, but actually I would say it’s 10 years away. Let’s be conservative and say 20.

    So one disaster is quite avertable. Now back to random topics supposedly connected with our lives being fulfilled. (Joel Osteen?? Joel F**king Osteen??? Really????)

  26. stcordova:
    Contrast the free-market Chile with Left-wing commie Venezuela:

    Right wing equals paradise on earth

    “Operation Condor (Spanish: Operación Cóndor, also known as Plan Cóndor, Portuguese: Operação Condor) was a campaign of political repression and state terror involving intelligence operations and assassination of opponents, which started in 1968 and was officially implemented in 1975 by the right-wing dictatorships of the Southern Cone of South America. The program was nominally intended to eradicate communist or Soviet influence and ideas, and to suppress active or potential opposition movements against the participating governments’ neoliberal economic policies, which sought to reverse the economic policies of the previous era.

    Due to its clandestine nature, the precise number of deaths directly attributable to Operation Condor is highly disputed. Some estimates are that at least 60,000 deaths can be attributed to Condor,and possibly more. Victims included dissidents and leftists, union and peasant leaders, priests and nuns, students and teachers, intellectuals and suspected guerillas. Condor’s key members were the governments in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Brazil. The United States government provided technical support and supplied military aid to the participants during the Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan administrations.Such support was frequently routed through the Central Intelligence Agency. Ecuador and Peru later joined the operation in more peripheral roles.These efforts, such as Operation Charly, supported the local juntas in their anti-communist repression”

  27. Acartia: Unless, of course, the rich man tithe a high proportion of his wealth to his church.

    Yes, it’s all about the money.

    Sure, they claim it is all about Jesus. But it is all about the money. By their fruits ye shall know them.

  28. stcordova: Encouraging for Lefties, not Righties.

    Encouraging to true Americans. Encouraging to those who support the constitution, but not to those who want to subvert the constitution and replace it with an authoritarian system of theocratic rule.

  29. scordova:
    “No he’s not. He would smile more on Right Wing Christian Capitalist South Korea than Left Wing Commie Anti-Christian North Korea.”

    I just worked out what the little cross symbol does (the one beside the time and date of a comment.

  30. timothya

    I just worked out what the little cross symbol does (the one beside the time and date of a comment.

    It increased the intelligence of the conversation. Just like magic.

  31. It is the best of times and the worst of times.
    The bible teaches mankind has terible times to come.
    Right now we have on earth the most healthy, wealthy, happy, timres mankind ever had man for man and in final great numbers.
    The problems are trivial or false.
    there is no threats from nukey countries or ever was.
    There is no global warming or genetic mutation problems.

    the problem is the afterlife and decay before that.

    There are secondary problems./
    Canada has many. Gasy marriage, feminism, immigration, ethnic segregation and discimination(against canadians) and general interference. Judicial dictatorship and
    a , in fact, overthrow of a parliamentary government.
    Abortionism, censorship in every way of associations and speech.
    However cAnada is not the foundation or fortess of civilization.
    AMERICA IS!
    America has problems but is really doing fine for the most people.
    Other nations are now better.

    Last point.
    I love capitalism and socialism is for failures and losers in history.
    Yet I don’t agree natyions do well because of capitalism.
    I say they do well because of intelligence and being industrius.
    Its just a special case that not INTERFERING with those people will make a better economy then otherwise.
    so with these South American nations the credit really goes to the people in raising a intellectual curve. Not in the Chicago school of minor policies.
    Even though those policies are right and should replce other ones.
    Chile is a good example but not for policies.
    Thats just old time ADAM SMITH gobbiligook.
    All human accomplishment comes, after god, from human intelligence with a wee bit of hands on work.
    Don’t interfere with human intelligence unless to raise human intelligence and everywhere on this planet will be a, materially, glorious place as it is now for, I think, a quarter to a third.

  32. Acartia: It increased the intelligence of the conversation. Just like magic.

    Yes, but at the cost of entirely eliminating one side of the conversation.

  33. Byers:

    There are secondary problems./
    Canada has many. Gasy marriage, feminism, immigration…

    Yes. “Gasy marriage” is a huge problem, both in Canada and worldwide.

  34. I see the Earth as a kind of workshop in a much broader framework of existence. I also think of the Earth in a kind of multiverse multi-timeline perspective, so I’m not concerned about how things play out in this particular iteration in any overall sense.

    What I am concerned about is learning what I came here to learn and developing the skills and attributes I came here to acquire via my experience here, to carry that through to the astral/heavenly dimensional states of existence.

  35. Joe Felsenstein:

    . (Joel Osteen?? Joel F**king Osteen??? Really????)

    Well, not every sermon he preaches. The one I linked to, yes, I really really liked it. I think I want to listen to it again today.

    Anyway thanks for your perspective on the mutation rates in humans. It is the one are of concern by evolutionists and creationists. Like you, John Sanford is very concerned with the effect of chemical mutagens.

  36. William J. Murray: I see the Earth as a kind of workshop in a much broader framework of existence. I also think of the Earth in a kind of multiverse multi-timeline perspective, so I’m not concerned about how things play out in this particular iteration in any overall sense.

    Self delusion is a powerful tool. When it us manipulated by organized religion to its own ends, it becomes an evil tool. I prefer to accept that this existence is the only one that I will have and make the most of it in this subjectively moral world.

  37. stcordova: Like you, John Sanford is very concerned with the effect of chemical mutagens.

    Now if you could just convince your narcissist-in-chief of the dangers of human impact on the environment, the world would be a much better place.

  38. I can’t say how “grim” the future for humanity is in the long-term, though I’m sure that climate change will pose extraordinary challenges over the next hundred years. Some societies will adapt, and others will not. I am not confident that what we call “Western civilization” will survive — nor am I confident that it deserves to. But humanity is far more than Western civilization, both in historical depth and future possibilities.

    As for what gives my life meaning, I find value in making my small contributions to the expansion of human understanding of ourselves and our place in the universe. My contributions are incredibly small, and perhaps they will be eventually forgotten, but I make them in the hope that they will make some tiny difference in the grand scheme of things after all.

    That, and being a force for good in the lives of the people I love, and nudging the world slightly towards justice when possible — yep, that’s about it.

  39. Isaiah had some things to say about the future of humanity, but Salvador forgot to include those quotes in his OP. Probably because they conflict with his own doom and gloom outlook.

  40. Acartia: I assume that you are aware that Jesus was a lefty, if not an outright communist.

    I don’t know if Jesus was a communist, but his first followers certainly were.

    All the believers were together and had everything in common.

    – Acts 2:44

  41. Joe Felsenstein: (Joel Osteen?? Joel F**king Osteen??? Really????)

    He got rich from “preaching the gospel.” He must know what he’s talking about. You won’t find him in a casino. Or with a hooker.

  42. Neil Rickert: And we have Donald Trump trying to destroy it all.

    More stupid talk. Donald Trump gets rich, gets elected to the presidency, then all of a sudden wants to throw it all away. That just makes so much sense Neil. Except it doesn’t.

    I love Trump for the sole reason that he exposes just how irrational some people are.

  43. Neil Rickert: Encouraging to true Americans. Encouraging to those who support the constitution, but not to those who want to subvert the constitution and replace it with an authoritarian system of theocratic rule.

    What’s so great about the Constitution?

    Most of it was a practical solution to a practical problem: how to get political unity between slave states and free states. That’s why we have the 3/5 clause about Congressional representation, the Electoral College that gives more political weight to smaller states, and the authority of the Senate (in which slave slates and free states are equally represented) over the House of Representatives (which would strongly favor free states if not for the 3/5 clause).

    And it failed. The Constitution failed to do one of the most important things it was designed to do: prevent a civil war over slavery. This in itself should hardly be surprising: the Constitution was written by intelligent, educated people of that time and place, but they couldn’t have foreseen how the argument about slavery would intensify as slave states refused, again and again, to accept any constraint on the expansion of slavery.

    While the Constitution certainly has some grand aspirational principles behind it, we should not fetishize it or treat it as an idol. It’s a badly flawed document that has largely outlived its purpose.

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