The impotence of reason

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  The world is a far from perfect place. There are so many problems confronting us – wars, poverty, injustice, racism, climate change. And it’s not just humans who are facing such devastation. Animals are being killed  by the trillions, annually, in industrial food systems and are perishing in their dwindling and increasingly polluted habitats.  Many of us want to change the world for the better, make a difference, but only a few actually go on to do so. Why is that?Philosophers at least as far back as Plato have focused on ethical questions and wondered about the best ways to bring about change.  Yet even when a theory for ethical social change emerges, not much action results.  Of course, there are many reasons why people don’t act – political, material, and ideological forces can create an array of obstacles to action.  But there also appears to be a problem of motivation. As we are facing global suffering and tragedy as never before, people are unmoved to act.  Part of this relucta…

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