Saturday 27 June 2009

What do we need to make an almost perfect world?

Having almost reached my 76th birthday; I am in a position of having seen what has gone wrong in this world. I have travelled quite extensively around the world and as a criminologist; I have addressed the United Nations 23 times since 1975 on such topics as justice and human rights. I have also counselled prison inmates and practiced in the field of law. That being as it is, I have arrived at the following conclusions.

There must be honest and caring governments for humans to peacefully coexist within each nation and between nations. Admittedly, it is very hard to find leaders and politicians who are both honest and capable but they do exist. Those that don’t meet the expectations of honesty and the capability to govern; should be removed by the electorate.

Governments must change with the times. As our planet becomes much more technologically smaller, the nations of the world must have much more cooperative interaction with one another.

Each national government must allow its citizens certain basic fundamental freedoms. The general rule on fundamental freedoms is that anything should be allowed so long as others are not adversely affected by the actions of one’s fellow citizens. Dictatorships and one party systems do not allow for any society to make its own determinations. Therefore, the form of government should be self-government through democracy. True freedom includes not only the right of free choice, but also the ability to exercise the right of free choice.

It is a basic principle that governments should promote the advancement of humanity toward its citizens. Good governments enact laws that encourages good deeds and discourages evil acts. Such governments should bring about charitable programs, (such as welfare, unemployment insurance, food stamps, aid to dependent families, free medical aid, etc) so that no one suffers for want of any of the benefits of these programs and other such programs that can be can offered to them.

Obviously, individuals must sacrifice some of their freedoms in order to live in society, such as for example not being able to play loud music in an apartment building or let their dogs roam about in the community. It goes without saying that in order for the world to be at peace and every nation have peace within their communities, crime must cease. That is a difficult goal to achieve because there are evil and dangerous people in every community but efforts should be undertaken by every community to treat the offenders, not only after they commit their crimes but even before they commit them. Such treatment includes guaranteeing children a good home life, a good education, an opportunity to extend their educations in colleges and universities and opportunity to participate in after-school sports and other activities.

Everyone should be able to find employment if that is their wish and no one should be forced to retire from their job if they are still capable of fulfilling their tasks. Eventually, robots, computers, and machines will be able to perform much of the work that needs to be done, and by themselves create unlimited production capabilities, which will free humans from the binding chains of boring, tedious and strenuous work and therefore allow humans the true freedom to pursue happiness and fulfillment both in their work and free time.

In a near perfect world, the environment will be protected so that no one is poisoned by the air they breathe or by the food they eat. Insects will be controlled so that they don’t harm the food that human or pets eat or their bodies.

Religion will continue to exist but no religion will be detrimental to the welfare of anyone, be they a member of that religious body or outside that religious body.

Knowledge in the hands of good people can prevent the formation of evil in any of its forms. Knowledge can also lead to surplus food supplies and cure illnesses. Knowledge can stop pollution and create faster and safer forms of transportation. Knowledge can find the means for near human immortality. Knowledge can lead to unlimited production capability and therefore a top-of-the-line standard of living for all humans. For this reason, no one should be poor. Everyone should also strive individually to increase their knowledge and encourage their children to pursue the path of knowledge so that both the individual and society as a whole reap the rewards that knowledge can bestow on everyone.

The future of Earth is an unknown event, and as such can only be speculated about. We will never achieve a perfect world. However one way to bring us closer to it is to follow a rule that has been with us for a very long time. I am speaking of the Golden Rule which follows one of the edicts of the Lord’s Prayer. ‘We should do unto others as we would have them do unto us.’ If we see a blind man struggling to get across the street, we should assist that person, even if it takes us out of our way. If we see a hungry person, we should give him or her the means to obtain food. If we know of a person who has lost a loved one, we should try and comfort that person. This also means that business firms should be honest with their customers and not cheat them or give misleading information about their products or services. There are many ways that we can live by the Golden Rule and if all of us live that way, then truly the near perfect world that we dream of will be closer to us than we thought. We who are presently alive may never see a perfect world but hopefully, those that follow us may see such a world. If we want them to live in such a world, we who are already here today have to start working towards that goal for our children and their children.

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