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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas is Progressive

Robert Creamer at the Huffpo has an article on the real attack on Christmas coming from the Right, not the Left. He discusses the importance of Ayn Rand's Objectivism to their philosophy. He compares that to Christ's parable of the Good Samaratan as the true spirit of Christmas and Christianity in general. He finishes with this statement:
    
A few years ago I read a book by a planetary scientist named David Grinspoon called Lonely Planets. It explores the question of extraterrestrial life.

     Toward the end of his book, Grinspoon speculates on the chances of survival for intelligent life in the universe. He argues that every civilization of intelligent creatures must pass through a gauntlet that tests whether the values and political structures of the society are capable of keeping pace with the exponentially increasing power of the society's technology. If its values and political structures can keep pace with technological change, the society may pass into a phase of enormous freedom and possibility. If it does not, the power of its own technology will destroy it. Perhaps, he postulates, civilizations are like seahorses. Many are born, but only a few survive.
     For the first time, a little more than half a century ago, human society entered that gauntlet. Our technological growth reached a point of takeoff that for the first time gave us the power to destroy ourselves and all life on our tiny, fragile planet. From that moment on, the race began.
The next several generations of humans will decide how that race turns out. We won't simply observe it, or describe it; we will decide it. Whatever the future holds will be a result of human decision for which we are all responsible.
     I believe that progressive values -- love your neighbor and empathy -- are our greatest evolutionary treasure.
     Progressive values: that we're all in this together, not all in this alone; unity not division; hope not fear; equality not subjugation; the premise that if each of us is better educated all of us will be wiser; that it is not true that for me to be richer you have to be poorer -- but rather that if each of us is more prosperous, all of us will have more opportunity; that our success comes from cooperation and mutual respect. These progressive values are the most precious assets that will give human beings the ability to make it through that gauntlet -- and to create a truly democratic society.
     That is just one more reason why at this time of year, we should celebrate these values -- the true spirit of Christmas -- and defend them from those who want to take society back to a time of social Darwinism, to the law of the jungle, to "survival of the fittest." Because the fact of the matter is that in the future, if we govern our society by the precepts of selfishness and the survival of only the fittest, we may find that human society is not fit enough to survive at all.



2 comments:

Michael Manning said...

Your post reminded me of the late Johnny Carson's admiration for Carl Sagan--who appeared on "The Tonight Show" many times.

P M Prescott said...

That's high praise, Michael.