Thoughts On Living
This article is about the dilemma that global warming poses to us all. Do we vigorously deny that it is happening thereby ensuring that we can continue to nourish our self-interests, prejudices and ideologies? Do we ignore it, or put it to the back of our minds and get on with our lives? Do we accept it is happening and try to do what we can whilst hoping that it won’t be as bad as suggested, or science will find a way around it, or there is still time to tackle the issue? The scientific consensus is clear, by 2030 we must transform our global economies and societies to reduce our CO2 emissions and prevent the increase in global warming rising above 1.5C. Do we embrace the facts or rationalise our way out of making the necessary sacrifices? What about Humanism? It values reason, a rational and evidence-based approach to decision-making so shouldn’t it be leading the charge?
We were warned years ago, and with increasing urgency lately, that global warming was happening and that the consequences, if it was not addressed, would be severe. However, most of us have done very little that will really make a significant impact to stopping the catastrophic heating of our planet. Plenty of us have tried our best in all sorts of ways but it is not enough. Do we need throw ourselves into campaigning to reduce its impact? Or do we become stoics knowing that we have gone too far for rescue to be a realistic option? Do we go quietly into the night? What will you do and is Humanist philosophy any help?
Damasio’s ‘Strange Order of things’ had such intellectual thrust it was hard to know where to start. I wrote this review as an attempt to capture how magnificent the concept of homeostasis really is and how much the idea is contributing to a paradigm shift within biology.
This essay was inspired by the various humanist community outreach programs and begins to consider other future potentials. It draws on Eastern and Western thought and considers how a humanist approach embodies the spirit of trial and error.
Talking Points on Humanism and Artificial Intelligence for discussion groups, based on the article “AI on the Go: Notes on the current development and use of Artificial Intelligence” by Carl Mahoney, Australian Humanist #121.
Introductory remarks made to the Canberra Humanist Meetup on Tuesday 2/2/2016 in the Castle Room of King O’Malley’s Hotel at 18.30 pm.