We’d like an end to all prejudice, bullying, crime, and painful accidents. These are seen as obvious positives, yet we rarely stop to consider the immense costs of these pursuits. Good intentions often do more harm than good particularly when it comes to creating an environment of human flourishing. What we think we want is rarely in our best interest and, even when it is, the path there is usually full of unintended consequences that dwarf the intended good.
Ironically, if there is any sort of utopia that is possible in our lifetime it won’t be built through greater ease and convenience, but by a culture that demands effort, growth, personal responsibility, and an understanding of the essential role of discomfort and risk. Instead of asking the world to eliminate all pain and expand pleasure infinitely, we should be asking what societal structure pulls us to be better humans? For that we’ll need to embrace imperfect social constructions such as shame and honor.Read More