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Saturday
Nov022013

Imagine This

In the lyrics of John Lennon’s “Imagine” the song asks us to imagine that there’s no heaven, no hell below us, and above us only sky with all of the people just living for today.

For me it conjures up an interesting philosophical question. Let’s suppose that some urgent cataclysm was about to befall the Earth. We only had enough time to get about a thousand or so young children to a remote Pacific island that would be the only sanctuary from the impending doom. There would be a mix of races contained in the group; however, none of them would be yet old enough to have any understanding of the world as it exists and there would be no time to leave any information behind.

Boom. The world as we know it with all of recorded history is gone in our hypothetical situation. These children would be left to explore the Earth all over again.

If they were going to survive at all they will need to remake some basic discoveries quickly such as the importance of fresh water and how to make fire.  As the learning of various things such as the building of shelter would progress the basics of geometry and mathematics would undoubtedly be rediscovered. I’m not sure how many generations it would take but one of them sooner or later would wonder what force holds things to the ground. As their curiosity of gravity would persist a new scientist would calculate the formulas and equations of Isaac Newton again.

On the other hand, would any of these children or their descendants find Jesus with no one else around to tell them about Him?  Would any of them find Muhammad? Would they even conceive the notion of a creator? How much importance would they pay to their different skin colors? Would they reconstruct society with different social levels and an importance of a monetary system of some kind?

The developments of nations, strata in society, and the tenants of being rewarded with an afterlife are concepts that have existed since our oldest civilizations and frankly are ones that we have not as yet moved past. Would these children repeat these same ideas?

I would hope that these children would not start worshipping some giant white rock on their island. I would hope that they would recognize that their fate would depend on all of them working together to understand and develop the resources around them for the betterment of mankind.

It follows then that the question that needs to be asked is why don't we? Does the world need to be destroyed for us to come up with some new ideas?

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