Culture One

Culture One - Discussions on Cultural Differences 

We are getting acclimated to our new book, HOMO DEUS, by Harari. Most members have access to a copy of the book; others can probably borrow one from a member of the group. Everyone should have read the first half of the initial chapter, "The New Human Agenda," which summarizes the accomplishments of Homo Sapiens as of today. These pages,"Homo Deus Intro," are available upon request, see below.

Now we are being introduced to the new, daring goals of humans in the second half of this chapter, namely, making a serious bid toward immortality, happiness, and divinity. Our discussion will be centered on the challenge of avoiding death, how this is defined, rationalized, and operationalized, its challenges and opportunities. Who’s in favor, who is not, and by what means.

Next, we find that the second big human project described by Harari is finding the key to happiness. A related issue is whether happiness is defined as an individual, personal quest or a governmental, collective project. Addressing some historical examples, such as schools, health and welfare system, provides a context for viewing changes in these individual and/or organizational goals. Limitations in obtaining and preserving happiness are also explored. In fact, the question emerges as to whether humans' seeking of bliss and immortality is in fact trying to upgrade themselves into gods. Much to grasp, explain, discuss, including whether to venture toward such goals: for what?  Is this inevitable or optional? A fine program for our study group, with perhaps some time to address other issues.

For information about our readings, references, or inviting guests to attend our meetings, please contact Sue R. Rosner, email: rosnersue@gmail.com.

SUE ROSNER