We’re not tech­no­log­i­cally capa­ble — yet — of lit­er­ally destroy­ing the world. What we are capa­ble of, how­ever, is ren­der­ing its sur­face utterly inim­i­cal to human life. From that rather self-​​centered per­spec­tive alone, then, we should be care­ful about what we develop, deploy and refine.

It doesn’t mat­ter if we use atom­ics or fusion weapons. It doesn’t mat­ter if it’s in the form of biotech or nanos. It doesn’t mat­ter if it’s robots or par­ti­cle can­nons. The sick thrust to pro­duce big­ger, bet­ter and more effec­tive killing tech­nolo­gies has cost us a more or less lit­eral par­adise on Earth. We have the power to trans­form our world into a peace­ful place of health, well-​​being and hap­pi­ness … and yet we stub­bornly con­tinue to choose not to.

For the money we have wasted wag­ing war against one nation that did us no harm what­so­ever we could have pro­vided uni­ver­sal health cov­er­age to all Americans and revi­tal­ized the edu­ca­tion sys­tem. We could have and damned well should have been a bea­con of hope and pros­per­ity for the rest of the world — and instead we’ve become sad, clown­ish and self-​​satirizing.

We’re the most pow­er­ful nation in the his­tory of our species and we’re piss­ing away our grandchildren’s inher­i­tance — in the name of what?

That’s the part that ran­kles most about all the reli­gious swarms. None of them seems to want to con­sider the pos­si­bil­ity they might be wrong, that they might be killing hun­dreds or thou­sands of oth­ers in the name of some­thing which sim­ply doesn’t exist.

To behave in the way many of the reli­gious do requires not sim­ply arro­gance, but total dis­re­gard for the human­ity of oth­ers and total uncon­cern for any­one but one’s self. Religions which claim to pro­mote altru­ism and self-​​sacrifice ulti­mately prove to be about self­ish­ness and solipsism.

Religion short-​​circuits intel­li­gence. Every time.

There is no do-​​over. There is no undo but­ton. If we fuck our­selves off the Earth, we’re done. That’s it.

Part 4 of 5, con­tin­u­ing where we left off.

Reality Check? page 13

Reality Check? page 14

Reality Check? page 15

Reality Check? page 16

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