Thursday, 17 April 2014

The Origin of Morality

The sky above us is filled with worlds we know nothing about. A century of science fiction obscured the fact that we'd never confirmed a single planet beyond our own solar system until 1995. That was a gas giant, just over the county line in Pegasus, 300,000,000,000,000 miles away. It took another fourteen years to find one remotely like Earth. (Gliese 581 d; an estimated 40,000,000,000 other terric worlds are yet to be detected.) By that night, as I stood in the barnyard, we'd logged nearly a thousand. Carry the 3… comes to functionally none.

We need to know this.

Humans are ignorant. Cœlenterate ignorant. Morality is remembering that.

(Adapted from 100 Days on the Mountain, copyright RK Henderson. Photo of 51 Pegasi, the sun around which the first-ever confirmed extrasolar world orbits, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and Percy Meza.)
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