In 1651, Philosopher Thomas Hobbes wrote that in his observation, the life of the common man was, "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."
He was not exaggerating.
In all previous history, the majority of human beings lived their lives
as subsistence farmers. The average life span was less than 30 years.
There were no doctors or dentists. There were no cures for most diseases,
nor reliable repairs for injuries.
But at the end of the 18th century, a new age of enlightenment began to take hold. With steam engines, factories, canals, world trade, electricity, well ordered cities, and a burst of scientific discoveries, many more people became educated, and for the first time began to assume in their majority, the aspect of full persons. With the discovery of methods of utilizing new energy sources, coal and oil became powerful instuments for the realization of the cornucopia of material prosperity that has made our contemporary consumer culture a reality.
Now our life,
and the affluence that makes it possible for us to grasp the atom, and
reach out toward the stars, is threatened. The traditional energy and
material resources that sustained us and fueled our growth over the last
150 years, is rapidly becoming economically unfeasible.
A project of the Humanist Society of the Suncoast 2007, Rev. 4-2014 ©