Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

...to all you US citizens out there. It's a holiday we can all get behind (well, all of us except the Native Americans, I would suspect), nice and non-religious. Kind of like Christmas.

From Daniel Dennett in the Washington Post on being thankful:

When I gaze in wonder at a starry sky, or the waves crashing on the granite shores of Maine, I am not just thrilled to be alive on this wonderful planet; I am grateful. But to whom?

There is no person who created the universe, or the planet, or the biosphere, so there is really nobody to thank for that.

(A God who is not a person is not an appropriate recipient of thanks. Or should we thank the Law of Gravity and the Second Law of Thermodynamics for all they make possible? I don’t think they care, do you?)

But there is a suitably responsible cause of my health, my security, my freedom from want and from fear, and it is composed of, and the achievement of, persons. I can thank goodness–the wonderful fabric of excellence created by individuals working together in human civilization to make this planet a better place.
Happy Thanksgiving!

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