Question of the Week: 12/19/2017

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What do you think was the most important story or event from 2017 having to do with the challenges to science, reason, and humanist values?

The person with our favorite answer will receive a copy of Brief Candle in the Dark by Richard Dawkins.


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9 COMMENTS

  1. For me the most challenging and therefore important story of 2017 is the acceptance of virtually the entire world with the Exception of the USA to the Pairs Climate Agreement. Aside from the obvious impact to the success of a vital collective human action to ensure the stability of our environment and societies that rely on it; the opting out of the USA supports non-belief in science in more general terms, and thus lends support to Religious groups as well as other attacks on the credibility of science and it’s place in the world as apply to such areas as education, public policy, environmental protections (not just climate) and wealth distribution inequities.

  2. The most important story of 2017 has to be the freefall of the USA.
    Never before has such a large democratic institution, as stable as it seemed, has fallen so fast to racism, corruption and greed, promoting global tensions and undermining the stability of the world.
    In such a short period of time, the USA has lost respect and influence, maybe forever.
    We are now faced with ecological disasters that will not be recognized by the current administration.
    More importantly, is there time left to save the planet?

  3. Yes the fall of the USA. The discovery that it has no checks and balances worthy of the name because it doesn’t reserve more institutions from political meddling and buffer them with long cycle expertise. The FCC is a puppet of monied interests and the media a joke. The fourth estate lacks any status by having no ostensible standards, leaving the average American with a shattered mirror and a lot of deserved bad luck. Education is in the hands of citizens and not experts and politicians in the monied pockets of vested interests. “Society” has no apparent part to play in the crimes and successes of its individuals and a wild selfishness haunts the land that gives no-one pause to suspect that their unfettered “right” to arm themselves to the teeth puts a hundred dollar gun in the pocket of a fifteen year old black kid whose life of choice is ended years before.

    The USA is palpably a land of responsibility shirkers bamboozled even now as to why the “money” doesn’t of itself deliver them the goods and excellent services they need. Religion like Christianity and Neo-Liberalism has fucked their morals and their reason.

  4. as the most important event of 2017, I believe that unmistakable evidence of the impossibility of God’s existence in the concept of an omnipotent and omniscient intelligent being, as opposed to I. Kant’s dilemma, has been published. Unmistakable evidence of the impossibility of having an immaterial soul in the body and a post-mortem life was also disclosed. A book titled “Mysteries and Controversies Behind Us” was published by the author of this paper under the pseudonym Stephen W. Dobisz with his own 300-page book in the Czech Republic.

  5. I think the biggest takeaway for me about America has been how Trumpism has revealed the complete amorality of the Republican side of American politics. Not just the politicians but the voters who continue to support a president as unethical, mendacious and mentally unstable as Trump, preferring to put party over country. No doubt there were many voters who didn’t look carefully enough to realise how corrupt Trump is before voting for him and just wanted what they mistakenly thought was a non-insider but that excuse is long past now. No one can be in any further doubt that racism and bigotry drove his campaign as it has his life but still they support him as well as people like Roy Moore.

    Unlike Phil I think that the checks and balances have somewhat ameliorated the harm that Trump wanted to do to some extent and the elections later this year might strengthen those if the Dems take either the House or Senate but still the power of the presidency is far too great and it’s too difficult to remove an unfit president. The founding fathers believed they had carefully implemented a system to elect a president which would ensure the cream of the candidates rose to the top but they could not envisage that 200 years later the effects of twitter, tv sound bites, money from mega rich donors corrupting the system and a stupid and low information electorate would result in something else entirely floating to the top. That in fact the system would not elect the best of the best but the worst of the worst. As such they didn’t envisage having to cope with or put checks and balances on a man so unstable and mentally ill and they gave the office too much power. The 25th amendment was supposed to deal with this but it has few teeth and relies on the decency and common sense of those in congress which is no longer a given or even much of a pipedream.

  6. Arkrid,

    I actually agree that there was some check and balance but nowhere, nowhere near enough. The enfeeblement of US Government and state institutions has been long standing and systemic.

    I believe that it is precisely this that needs addressing to restore health to the country. Cutting out the canker that is Trump is nowhere near a sufficient enough solution. “The Fall” is not Trump but what enabled Trump.

  7. I like our representative, parliamentary democracy, cabinets around the first minister, civil service running to the highest levels and such like guards against individual tyranny.

    Staunch anti-monarchist, nevertheless I propose we keep our current queen. Perhaps have her stuffed like Bishop Berkeley? Perhaps we can flog the Harry and Meg franchise to Disney?

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