As sentient beings, we seek pleasure and avoid pain. As social beings, we work together to experience pleasure and eliminate pain. This has brought us things like government, education, medicine, and science. Every action groups of people take (that are not simply attempts to subjugate and control) are toward these simple goals: increase pleasure and decrease pain.

In a way, all people acknowledge that problems exist. Otherwise, why would we bother doing anything? It’s a problem if don’t have food or a place to live, so we get a job. It’s a problem that children aren’t born with knowledge, so we send them to school. Even Buddhists, the group people would probably associate most with active separation from problems, meditate and practice their religion(/philosophy) in response to the fact of suffering.

What are we trying to accomplish? Most of us probably just try to eliminate pain and increase pleasure for ourselves and our closest friends and family. However, some of us actively try to improve the general good of all people. Take STAND, for instance, a group of students trying to stop genocide around the world. Some act for themselves (which isn’t necessarily bad, by the way) and some act for others. All act for the same thing.

With increases in technology (brought to you by science!) we are starting to see the real possibility of ending many of the problems we face today. Disease, hunger, many things can be (and will be if certain parties don’t get in our way) stricken from the planet. Wouldn’t that be great?

I think it’s so great that some people might also dream of a day when there are no problems at all. Everyone has a place to live, food to eat, water to drink, and there are laws in place that are perfectly fair and protect everyone equally. How nice that would be.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but that will never happen. Well, that might, but we will never eliminate all of our problems. One of the things that would drive the Utopian society I described would be energy. And coming up with all renewable energy would not solve the energy problem in a strict sense. (People who have read Isaac Asimov’s The Last Question know where I’m going with this. If you’re curious, go have a read.)

There is a finite amount of energy in our universe, and entropy means that we will never be able to completely solve all of our problems. Even if we mastered our sun, what about when it goes out? Alright, move on to the next one. Sorry, dumb idea. They all go out, eventually. And some day, they’ll all be out. And that’s one problem that cannot be solved.

However, I don’t want to come across as negative. For the record, I’m just being realistic. But anyway, I think there is something to strive for in spite of the fact that there will always be an unsolved problem.

What we need to do is reach a point where the vast majority of people don’t have to care about anything. If we provide food, shelter, and medicine to all people for free, that would be an amazing start. From the perspective of the general public, we would be in a world without problems. All that’s required is a small group (a few thousand, maybe more) to focus on solutions to the “bigger” problems like how to harness the sun’s energy or how to migrate to the next solar system before our sun dies completely.

The question is, how do we get there? Any ideas? 🙂

~peace, RR

I welcome comments and suggestions. Comments can go below, suggestions to radiantreason[at]gmail[dot]com 🙂