Thoughts on… progress and tolerance

This morning I have been looking at the news, particularly focusing on computing, engineering and health. Some of the news pieces come from sources such as the IEEE Spectrum and the h+ Magazine.

We are really living in very exciting times… where machines and medicines are beginning to solve some of the toughest problems that humanity faces, and has faced for some time – long term physical disease, debilitating mental disease, “disabilities”, longevity problems, genetic problems, general “health & safety”

Meanwhile, there is an increasing level of hatred:

  • in Europe we’re seeing communities becoming increasingly harsh towards immigration,
  • in Eastern Europe and Russia we’re seeing increasing tension about nationality,
  • there is continued conflict in the middle east, and some arabian and african countries,
  • we’re seeing more and more hatred between fundamentalist atheists and the fundamentalist religious, in both directions! – and a loss of a voice for those in the middle!
  • we’re seeing people become quite vocal against people in same-sex relationships and marriages, or those that have a different gender or are transgender
  • more tension between “democratic countries” and “communist countries”/”ex-communist countries”
  • democratic countries are starting to move towards more authoritarian structures, and less democratic.

Why so much hatred in the world? Is there a link between good technological/scientific progress, and intolerance? Or is it simply as we become more globally orientated, that we also find that we have more conflicting beliefs?

Fortunately, I am sure that the readers of this blog will know the need for tolerance within a truly free society, and, of course, empathy is also an important human characteristic.

Unfortunately, I doubt that the message of the necessity of tolerance and empathy will reach the masses.

We, as individuals, should feel the need to:

  1. Improve ourselves, so that we can be the best we can, and to effectively serve humanity.
  2. Improve humanity through sharing the need for tolerance and empathy, and establishing communities.

Of course, “we are only human,” and we fail. In fact we fail quite a lot. However, we should have each other there, to be able to pick each other up and progress, for our own sake and for the sake of humanity. Without unity, the fall is quite a big, and always ends in pain.

This post is not intended to be political in any way, it does, however, highlight some of my own philosophical perspectives. The primary point of this post is to highlight that we have good technological and scientific progress, and I hope that there should now be an urge to improve humanity to match that progress. Do you agree?

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