Friday, March 8, 2013

The growth of knowledge and the Human Future

"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age."
HP Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu"
This makes me think of Ernest Becker's thought that modern humans have been disinherited by their own intellectual strength. For some nothing less than a transhumanistic utopia or a final solution will do. For others retreating to the illusions of our ancestors is the answer. Could there be a middle way... a path that avoids hubristic utopias and destruction.

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