Nature

Who do you think we are?

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“Our mastery over the forces of nature has led to a rapid growth of population, and a vast accumulation of wealth; but these have brought with them such an amount of poverty and crime, and have fostered the growth of so much sordid feeling and so many fierce passions, that it may well be questioned, whether the mental and moral status of our population has not on the average been lowered, and whether the evil has not overbalanced the good.”

Alfred Russel Wallace


That was more than 150 years ago. Alfred Russel Wallace was born 194 years ago and became a leading scientist, who independently proposed a theory of natural selection, which prompted Charles Darwin to publish his own theory.

I wonder what instilled his negative view on the evolution of human society. It is also remarkable to read his historic assessment of our proliferation and its effect on our ethics. What would he think if he were around today? Did his voice go unheard?

On another note, it is also Elvis Presley’s birthday today.

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Life

A word from Socrates

“Strong minds discuss ideas,

average minds discuss events,

weak minds discuss people.”

Socrates


Did Socrates have our media or god forbid our society in mind?

Not to discuss Socrates, here are just a few tidbits about him straight from Wikipedia:

Apparently he never wrote a single phrase. He left it to Plato to tell us about his philosophy.

“I know that I know nothing” is probably the most famous quote attributed to him.

He was morally, intellectually, and politically at odds with many of his fellow Athenians. He told them they were concerned with their families, careers, and political responsibilities when they ought to be worried about the “welfare of their souls”. He believed people should focus on the pursuit of virtue rather than the pursuit of material wealth. What a forward thinking chap.

In the end he was prosecuted and found guilty of both corrupting the minds of the youth of Athens and of impiety. His sentence was death by drinking a mixture containing poison hemlock.

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Inside Out

Our Responsibility

“The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children. Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945)

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945)

Today, I feel, our society is not doing that great. It seems to me that we are not taking care of our planet as we should. We let politicians and corporations pursue short-term goals, that undeniably hurt our planet in the long run. Personal gain and individual wealth are more important than collective well-being and true happiness. Many worship and idolize the loud lifestyle of celebrities. The voices of moderation get lost in the daily noise of what we call news. Maybe I am wrong.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a priest and a vocal opponent of the Nazi dictatorship. He was arrested, imprisoned for one and a half years, tried, and executed just weeks before Allied forces liberated the concentration camp, where he was held captive.

70 years ago today, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was killed by hanging, stripped of all clothes, but not his faith and spirit.

Today we should remember this noble man and our responsibility for each other.

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