By James Wadman
Yesterday, I asked what you would do if you knew you could change the world. I often ask myself this question every day, but it always comes with a catch: the world will only change if society is first prepared to make a difference. While uncharacteristic to the nature of my writing, I feel as if desperate times call for me to make a list to express the concise points I find essential to the stability of American society in the coming years. I chose three revisions that society must make by the year 2020 in order to eliminate the buffers of change and stay afloat as we progress toward a prosperous future.
- Morality can exist without religion. This is a tough one, largely due to its defiance to traditional values upheld by American society. This is made apparent by the notion that any presidential candidate must hold true to christian ideals or else risk crucifixion at the mercy of the media. However, once we realize that less and less children are being raised with these same ideals and the world is not yet falling to pieces because of it, we will be able to see how religion is not the end-all, be-all of morality. Religion has its place in the comfort and guidance of many Americans’ routines, but it will soon be realized that it is not necessary to live a fulfilling life. Many arguments can be made in support of religion, and my point here is not at all to disagree or detract from those arguments.
- “Equal” is a term for mathematics, not society. Wait. Isn’t the United States built on equality? Yes, but it was also built beginning in the 18th century. It is far more reasonable to say that men were born to equal back then and it doesn’t quite make the same amount of sense anymore. Consider that social mobility in the earliest stages of democracy was like climbing a ladder with rungs a reachable distance away. Now it is more like thousands of different ladders accessible only if you are born to a certain platform, and if you are not you can only gaze off into the distance at those who are and likely always will be higher than you. Ideologically we fixed this awhile ago by giving everyone equal rights, but in action we never fixed everything because we gave people with unequal opportunity the same rights. We can only fix this by addressing the issues that occur at birth, continue through early development, and ultimately perpetuate the cycle of poverty and disparity. Education is the key here, but I can’t possibly believe such a terrible system can be fixed by 2020, so let’s discuss that point another time.
- Neglecting to engage the scientific method is lethal to our progress. Our trust in science seems strong on the surface, but there are many ideas that we still reject due to the blindness propagated by societal factors. Politics, economics, and general perceptions of public figures and institutions are all culprits of preventing the natural explosion of scientific progress, because they can find ways to either deny science or promote their own views by circumventing the scientific method. Examples of this involve perceptions of the relevance of space travel and expansion into space, societal perspectives on genetically modified organisms, and climate change. Hostility breeds in scenarios where society and the scientific method clash, and society generally prevails simply because it is easier to take a peripheral route as a method of understanding complex issues. Science will tell us one key thing that we should always follow: if we are not progressing, we are falling behind. And when society accepts ideas that can be rejected by scientific evidence, we are not progressing — we are falling behind.
There is no definite conclusion to these points, though I am confident that we are going to overcome these key issues soon.
It is up to us as inhabitants of this society to create our future.