Reason and Thought and Western Civilization
Something that caught my attention recently was the title of an article on the cover of Reader's Digest: The People that Time Forgot. It was obviously about a tribe of Africans who had not been affected by Western science and technology. But why is it that people whose way of life hasn't been corrupted by our 'civilization' are considered 'forgotten' by time? They are just as much a part of our world, and a part of the present as us. Why should we feel the need to force our technology on them?

True, the title bugs me, but here's where the core of the issue lies. If science and technology (as they are popularly defined) were the only innovation of Western thought and civilization, then my doubts above would be justified. But fortunately, the foundation of our science, which stems from a tradition of increasing self-awareness and rationality from the Greek philosophers onward, is what we have to offer other cultures.

This doesn't entirely redeem us, because science and rationality are often confused with technology, and information. I would submit that before we endeavor to 'enlighten' other dark, backward peoples, we first concentrate on making our own society more self-aware, aware of the forces that form us and our actions and attitudes, and more rational, good, principle-centered people.

This whole paragraph I hope to develop further and better, because in it I refer to concepts and ideas that have a certain meaning to me, based on the things I've read and thought, and the context in which I heard them. I also hope to make this page a page of thoughtful, meaningful opinion on issues.


Back to my soapbox.