LATELY — 22 May 2009

What beliefs will horrify future generations?

On Reddit eliot2000 asked: “So many of our grandparents were racist, and some of our parents are homophobes. Which of our own closely held beliefs will our own children and grandchildren by appalled by?” Phil Dhingra collected some responses:

  • That drugs were illegal
  • Eating meat
  • Privacy
  • Our lack of racism
  • Religious overtolerance
  • Monogamy (or anti-polygamy)
  • Nationalism
  • Nudity and Pornography taboos
  • Charging money for information
  • Representative democracy over direct democracy
  • Our aversion to eugenics or designer babies
  • Imprisonment vs. rehabilitation

Some thoughts:

  • eating meat - I think this will be difficult to score because we’ll probably mostly be eating artificial meat. (It will be cheaper, more environmentally responsible, healthier and cleaner.) My guess is that some people will still eat “real meat” for various reasons (prefer taste, can afford it, connection with the past, squeamish about the artificial stuff), but that there won’t be much outrage about this because so few people will be doing it.
  • charging for information - I very much doubt they would find this appalling. It’s quite likely that we won’t pay for information in the same way that we do now, but I think future generations would see why things now are arranged the way they are. (Historical reasons, because it’s possible to.)
  • attitude toward the poor - This is one thing we could be doing much more about, but aren’t. I reckon we’ll get smacked by future generations for this.