It’s guilt. But an odd sort of guilt. I feel a reluctant acceptance of the futility of hope. Not hope, the hope of some magical change is hanging on. It’s effort. But why else do you make an effort if not motivated by hope? I try not to be as bleak as all that sounds, but I’ve retreated. I can’t pretend otherwise. Ivory towers. That’s academia. I superficially have no desire to change anything expect minds. When you think about it, what difference does a logic and evidence backed position on free will make to the men, women, and children around the world suffering every day in very really and almost unimaginable ways? Will uncovering another unconscious bias humans have cure the world of its hate? Who will it feed?

I believe the world is mostly good because no one has killed me yet. It wouldn’t be difficult. I’m weak. I’m a pacifist. I would resist being murdered, but all it would take to overcome me would be regular weight lifting and/or a better weapon than I have. I accept this as part of life and refuse the aid of a gun. That would bring no comfort to me. Not because of the statistics but because I decide to trust. A coward can kill me if he or she likes no matter how many guns I sleep with. And no one, yet, has.

Other parts of the world are different. History is different. It’s easy, as a twenty-something, to forget the recent past. The 1960s. Civil rights are barely an arms length away. The KKK killing civil rights activists is forever in the memory of people living today. Not always in my mind, but I shouldn’t forget this and other atrocities around the world. In the recent past and currently happening. I cannot retreat into comfort.

Are we more bad or more good by nature? I don’t know. I live in books. I live by science. Maybe I’m scared of what’s outside my front door.


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