The State Of Humanity Address

Posted on January 10, 2007
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 presidential_seal.gif What is the state of humanity In the early years of the 21st century?

Each January the president of the United States gives the state of the union address.  This speech describes the current situation in our country and world, and outlines a vision and plan for the future.  With that in mind let’s assess the condition of the human race and call it the state of humanity address. state_of_the_union.jpg

On the positive side, we have made significant technological advances which have greatly affected our quality of life with spectacular advances in health care, communications, and transportation, just to mention a few.  Yet with all of our technological advances there remain many nagging questions about how we are really doing as a people.  Why, if we are constantly changing, learning, and evolving, do we still struggle with basic problems like racism, human rights, and war?  Why can’t nations and peoples within nations get along?  There are by some counts 56 wars being raged right now.  In the last century alone more people were killed by their own governments than have been killed in all the previous wars throughout history. 

Let’s also consider the difficulties that advancements in technology have brought.  Medical advances with all their benefits have raised ethical dilemmas that are almost unimaginable.  Living in the nuclear age has enabled us to build weapons of mass destruction and cause people all over the world to live in daily fear of an attack or accident.  We are now able to do things that we don’t know weather we ought to.  Technological advances often bring an equal ability to cause harm. 
If humanity is so good then why do people do so many bad things?  Why do people intentionally murder one another?  Why are there people dying of starvation every day when there is the ability to feed them?  Why do we call it “ethnic cleansing” when whole groups of people are slaughtered?  What kind of person intentionally creates a computer virus?  Shouldn’t we have progressed beyond the point of having to deal with these kinds of problems by now?

On a more personal level, how are we doing individually?  If lying, cheating, and stealing are wrong, then why is there so much of it?  Why do we each fall short of our own moral standards?  Are people basically good and getting better or are we experiencing these kinds of enduring problems because we have a fundamental flaw and are in need of serious help?  One cultural critic put it this way, “We may be smart, but we are not all that good.”  Selfishness, pride, violence, impurity all seem to flow out of a person from deep within. 

The purpose of the annual state of the union address is to identify current realities and look to the future to make changes.  The question is what the true nature of the human condition is and who can help solve our problem?  Here’s to 2007.


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