Comments 2

  1. My tolerance is tapped at “immortality, happiness, and divinity.” One cannot be a truly committed post-theist and literally appropriate for oneself the very attributes the premodern world gave to the gods. The only thing worse than seeking literal immortality would be to find it; even the most literal religious believer has to admit this is only an unelaborated and mysterious hope. To realize immortality in history would immediately make civilization as we know it unsustainable without reducing the population to a tiny number.

    To identify happiness with comprehensive knowledge that is also reductionist and instrumentalist, focused on mastery, power, and control — this is symptomatic of an illness. Children, poor people, and those living in what we see as primitive conditions must be desperately unhappy in this view. I cannot see how they could be allowed to exist with any freedom in the future Harari wants.

    1. Gerry,
      I appreciate your thoughts. Indeed, the society Harari envisions has many horrifying implications. In his defense, he does intend his book to catalyze conversations about the implications of such a society. He seems to think that, though the path we are currently pursuing is reductionist and instrumentalist, it is not too late to reconsider our values as a society; Harari believes that humans can re-shape their cultures.
      Though it seems contrary, I think Harari would not advocate for an instrumentalist view of people. He is certainly very concerned about the well being of animals (hence the veganism), and it would be hard to imagine such an individual accepting the abuse of his fellow man.

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