Many years ago I knew this guy named Rodney who was killed at this particularly horrific intersection, where an earlier death had occurred. Everyone knew it was a crazy dangerous intersection. Sometime after Rodney’s death, they redid the intersection. It’s still a mess, but far less dangerous. I remember thinking, “we had to sacrifice at least 2 people to get this problem fixed.”
From that time on, I have viewed progress as a type of acceptable human sacrifice. By raising speed limits, deaths increase. So, we sacrifice a few hundred people a year to the god of expediency. We had an extremely dangerous intersection near our house where countless collisions had occurred–I have no idea how many people were sacrificed over 22 years before they made it a 4-way stop.
We know certain industries like mining result in a predictable number of illnesses and deaths, but we willingly sacrifice them to the gods of energy and progress. And let’s not forget the god of the 2nd Amendment. I don’t have to say any more about that. We have gods of policing, law and order, gods of races, and the list goes on, each involving the sacrifice of human lives.
Will future civilizations look back on us as a culture who routinely engaged in human sacrifice to their gods? Will they recognize our culture not as the pinnacle of progress and human rights, but as a culture of brutality?
Are human sacrifices necessary for our society to exist (and “progress”)? Must there be homeless and poverty for the “greater good?”
I don’t pretend to have the answers, I just anguish over the reality.