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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Once and Future Sins

By Stefan Klein and Stephen Cave
Aeon Magazine
Originally published March 24, 2015

Here is an excerpt:

But before we start basking in the glow of spreading goodness, we must realise that these changing values have a price. For many of us, such changes would mean sharing or giving up privileges that we have long enjoyed, or admitting that our comfortable lifestyles are based on industries of exploitation, or otherwise recognising that we have in a hundred ways been wrong. This is not a message we rush to hear: there is a reason why prophets of new moralities – think of Socrates or Jesus – often end up dead at the hands of their own people.

We hope that debating the question of what we might be condemned for in 100 years is a way of easing that transition. To help get this debate going, below are four suggestions as to what we think we might be castigated for by our great-grandchildren. They are, we believe, natural extensions of the progress we have witnessed so far. Just as the suffragettes 100 years ago were campaigning for the revolution in women’s rights that we now enjoy, so there are people who are already pushing for these moral revolutions today (which is not to say that we two authors are already living up to them).

The entire article is here.