Religion in a Modern World
Pete Peterson: Be a good, helpful human being.
I think it is important to realize that making-the-world-a-better-place has a specific meaning. It means human-centric, as in making the human experience in this world better.
Eco-terrorism, for example, could see excessive human activity on this planet as detrimental to the environments and creatures of 'this world,' and seek to make this world better by attacking human civilization.
So then, the purpose is not to improve this planet (this world), but to improve the human experience on this planet. Thus 'this world' is a specific term which refers exclusively our experience of and the evolution of human culture.
Unfortunately for that philosophy, human culture is subject to many diverse influences. For example Christian Evangelicals could work towards realizing Armageddon, as a final mutually destructive confrontation between Islam, Judah and Christianity, which will hasten the second coming of their Lord. Obviously when Jesus is here, the world will be a much better place.
So what are we left with then? What are the parameters for making-the-world-a-better-place?
Perhaps we could focus on the individual and improving the individual's experience. But isn't that kind of like the American Dream, where the individual has free reign to rape and plunder the earth in whatever way they can get away with? That brings us right back to the eco-terrorist who seeks to eliminate mindless individualism.
I think that we need to focus exclusively on the Human Song: where we can from, where are we going, and what are we doing. Do we really need to be a 5-car family? Do we really need Jesus that badly? Do we really need to believe that death will be better than life?
I think that the-world-will be-a-better-place only when we sing a better Song. The Human Song is the genetic and cultural coding through which humanity is expressed: the Human Logos.