2005 : WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IS TRUE EVEN THOUGH YOU CANNOT PROVE IT?

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Physicist, Computer Scientist, Chairman of Applied Minds, Inc.; author, The Pattern on the Stone
Physicist, Computer Scientist; Chairman, Applied Minds, Inc.; Author, The Pattern on the Stone

I know that it sounds corny, but I believe that people are getting better. In other words, I believe in moral progress. It is not a steady progress, but there is a long-term trend in the right direction—a two steps forward, one step back kind of progress.

I believe, but cannot prove, that our species is passing through a transitional stage, from being animals to being true humans. I do not pretend to understand what true humans will be like, and I expect that I would not even understand it if I met them. Yet, I believe that our own universal sense of right and wrong is pointing us in the right direction, and that it is the direction of our future. 

I believe that ten thousand years from now, people (or whatever we are by then) will be more empathetic and more altruistic than we are. They will trust each other more, and for good reason. They will take better care of each other. They be more thoughtful about the broader consequences of their actions. They will take better care of their future than we do of ours.