What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals—and yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me—nor woman neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so.
My lord, there was no such stuff in my thoughts.
Shakespeare eloquently captured mankind’s struggle in just a few words. With science and research, political policy and any decisions involving the future of mankind the discussion ultimately boils down the young prince was talking about.
Progressives simply believe that mankind can change the world, that our intellect and technology enables us to be as Shakespeare said, “In action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god!” Since we can change the world we have a responsibility to change it for the better.
Conservatives look at mankind like the troubled prince, to them man is merely the quintessence of dust. Mankind’s action can have no impact on heaven or Earth.
In looking at problems like Climate Change Progressives “know” that mankind is a powerful enough force to change the very planet we live on. They look upon the landscape that has been transformed by technology, mono-crop states, dams large enough to change the spin of the planet, satellites in Earth orbit where the most powerful volcanoes can’t reach and think human ingenuity can do more than nature.
Conservatives in their hearts deny that man can have an impact. In looking at Climate Change the heart of their argument is that the planet is so big and we are so small we can’t possibly be affecting it.
This goes for other arguments as well. With peak oil, we’ve burned 1.25 trillion barrels of oil out of an estimated 3 trillion barrel global supply. Progressives feel that man’s actions by burning nearly half of our global supply of a non-renewable resource will cause us to run out. Conservatives feel we can’t impact the Earth so it must be environmentalist are getting in our way of getting more oil.
As far as investments in research and development, Progressives see the new products and services that arise out of technology as the way to grow our economy. Conservatives feel no actions can affect the economy so money is better put into the financial sector so they can keep passing it around while creating nothing.
It all boils down to your vision of mankind, whether you believe that humans can continue to progress so that they can be in apprehension like gods, ultimately able to reshape our world and eventually our solar system; or if they are merely the quintessence of dust unable to affect their surroundings.
A special thanks to Vet who encouraged me when making my “evil” character to really look and try to sympathize with them, leading me to really examine why people are against progress.