Huxley’s moral dilemma

From Caitrin Nicol’s thoughtful essay occasioned by Brave New Worlds 75th anniversary:

Indeed, although democratically we will always be striving for a better society, and scientifically for a better life, the frequent conflict between these goods should remind us that we will never reach Utopia. And paradoxically, it is in the exercise of liberty and the pursuit of happiness that we may inadvertently damage the character of liberty and happiness themselves. Brave New World, then, is more than just a bleak inhuman specter of our future; it is an invitation to consider how to balance and preserve the things that matter most for ourselves and our posterity. We may remember Prospero, who, leaving behind his magical utopia for the brave old motley world of treason, dynasty, debauchery, and forgiveness, reclaims real responsibility and resumes his throne. It is part of man’s intense dignity that he is heir to multiple thrones, among them scientific mastery over that which no other form of knowledge can control, and moral insight into that which science may never see. Abdicating either one would frustrate all we strive to be.

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~ by staticandme on February 9, 2009.

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