Who are we?
Peter Gomes is an American Baptist minister who has served in The Memorial Church at Harvard University since 1970. Gomes is also the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and is the Pusey Minister in The Memorial Church. Gomes is commonly regarded as one of the most distinguished preachers in America. He was named Clergy of the Year in 1998 by Religion in American Life and offered prayers in the inaugurations of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.
Educated at Bates College and the Harvard Divinity School, Revered Gomes alsoholds thirty-six honorary degrees. He is the author of numerous books on the Bible, including the national best-sellers TheGood Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart and Sermons:Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living.
Question: Who are we?
Peter Gomes: Well the trajectory that I see that persists, and that has been present from the very beginning, is the trajectory of curiosity, of desire, and the search for value and meaning. And I think we’ve all been caught up in that. We all want to make sense of where we are. We want where we are to be betterwere, and we want to be better than we were. There is a fundamental, moral question at the heart of our identity. And I think that has been the common search. All religions have tried to come up with answers to this – a way to frame these questions intelligently and with some system to them. But I think if there’s anything that defines us as human beings is this desire for not simply clarity and understanding. I think we have this desire for meaning, value and purpose. That’s what drives humankind. And if we can’t find it in the things that are around us, we make them up! We invent things. We create things that help us do this. And that … I think as long as there are human beings, that will always be a part of who we are. Thus I think religion is unavoidable and ineradicable. It is a part of the human DNA. We are spiritual. We are spiritually seekers. than where we
Recorded on: 6/12/07
We are driven by a search for value and meaning.
The ability to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully is easier than you think
The ability to communicate effectively can make or break a person's assessment of your intelligence, competence, and authenticity.
Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.
- Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
- As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
- If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
- Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
- By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
Journalism got a big wake up call in 2016. Can we be optimistic about the future of media?
- "[T]o have a democracy that thrives and actually that manages to stay alive at all, you need regular citizens being able to get good, solid information," says Craig Newmark.
- The only constructive way to deal with fake news? Support trustworthy media. In 2018, Newmark was announced as a major donor of two new media organizations, The City, which will report on New York City-area stories which may have otherwise gone unreported, and The Markup, which will report on technology.
- Greater transparency of fact-checking within media organizations could help confront and correct fake news. Organizations already exist to make media more trustworthy — are we using them? There's The Trust Project, International Fact-Checkers Network, and Tech & Check.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.