Goodness and Diversity

I am very interested in profound explorations. What does “good” mean? What is quality? Is it all subjective? If it is, then there is no reason for agreement other than social pressures and conformity; if what is right is just a matter of opinion, then those who enforce their opinions will always prevail. But that seems very dystopian to me.

I am aware of the Humean is-ought problem: that no articulation of what is right follows logically from facts alone, but rather from pre-assumed values. But I think it is increasingly important for us to find a universal definition of what is right, one that doesn’t depend on the dominance of a religion or an empire. I really don’t believe that goodness is spawned by bullying.

I think and I hope that the key to understanding what is good is the observation of all that is beautiful. If we can be open-minded to all things, the foreign, the challenging, the ephemeral, the wild, and the quiet, if we can relinquish our need to dominate, we will delve ever more deeply into the true nature of quality.

It seems to me that diversity and complexity have to be at the centre of our definition of richness. Too often unity is assumed to be a synonym for strength; sameness is celebrated, and the world becomes duller. But in contrast, evolution, the great tester of quality, has never been simply the survival of the fittest; rather it is the enduring creative process of those who adapt; it is the success of those who choose the road not taken.

I think to continue to thrive as a species, we have to really rethink what we value. By this I mean adopting an attitude beyond tolerance; rather than allowing endangered species or endangered cultures to exist merely because the law demands us to do so, or because we fear some loss of popularity, we should strive for a sense of awe and wonder. To annihilate the weak is not brave or honourable. To see beauty where no one else does, that is a gift that keeps on giving.


Leave a comment

    Add comment