Dangers of over simplification

[ 14/June/22 ]


It seems clear to me that Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was very close to truth when he wrote “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either – but right through every human heart…even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains…an uprooted small corner of evil.”

We are all far more capable than we would like to admit of doing things we would not like to admit to.

There is no justice in the genetic lotteries of our conception, and little more in the early development of our brains. Precious little more in the societies of our birth and childhood, and even now in our social order.

And the fact that we are all here, are all alive, and can use this technology to communicate, is hard evidence of the fundamental cooperative nature of all human beings, and we can all compete if the context demands it of us. Yet it is cooperation, not competition, that is the fundamental glue that makes social interaction possible.

Our social systems are far from perfect.

Every human being is far from perfect.

It is our tendency to over simplify that which is actually truly complex that leads us to simple classifications like good and evil. We are all vastly more complex and nuanced than that.

We need social and economic systems that embody justice, not ones that perpetuate injustice. And that is a deeply complex subject for which there are no simple answers possible. Any workable answer has to accept fundamental uncertainty, fundamental respect for diversity, and an eternal need for conversations and change. Nothing less is survivable, long term.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) with reasonable security, tools, resources and degrees of freedom, and reasonable examples of the natural environment; and that is going to demand responsibility from all of us - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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