Suppose all of humanity was contaminated by a virus that left us all infertile–nobody will come alongside after us. How would you react to such a world? How would you are feeling when you realized that the final people had simply been born? On this cheerful notice, EconTalk host Russ Roberts launches one other considerate (and thought-provoking) dialog with thinker Agnes Callard. However actually, what would you do? Would you attempt to make the world extra engaging simply in case somebody got here after you? Would you try and protect cultural artifacts? Would it not nonetheless really feel significant to learn a novel???

Callard appears uncertain. She says, “…sure leisure mental pursuits may make sense to us inside the context of a life that’s anchored in a much bigger story. It’d make much less sense as soon as we kind of decouple it from that.” Let’s hear what you suppose. Use the prompts beneath to begin a dialog both right here with us or offline. We’re right here for the dialog, wherever it would occur.



1- Callard argues that our personal deaths don’t have the identical kind of impact on us as we’d count on within the apocalyptic situation described above. They don’t induce in us this sense of despair over the meaninglessness of all the things that we’re doing. It’s not the deaths of those who trigger us the despair Callard says, however all of the non-births. To what extent should we depend on future people to offer that means to our lives as we speak?


2- Callard and Roberts ask us to consider what we’d do if we had a free hour to do no matter. What would you select? What does Callard counsel that such a thought experiment-regardless of your answer- may reveal? What does it counsel concerning the affect of conformity on our life selections?


3- Callard proposes the “primary massive human advance” is human rights. To what extent do you agree along with her? Roberts suggests another candidates; are you able to add much more? And naturally, there’s his corollary question- is the interior human life actually making progress?


4- Roberts and Callard talk about a well-known query as soon as posed by thinker John Grey: if faith disappears, will our cultural legacy go along with it? How would you reply that query? Maybe one other approach to say that is to ask, what’s the function of fantasy in human expertise, and the way needed does this function stay as we speak?


5- Returning to part of this episode’s title,  what must be the goals of schooling? What does schooling must do with the search that you just really feel we’re on to make the world a greater place? To what extent ought to schooling aspire to make human beings of the future higher?

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