In reaction to WorthRemembering1 (^zhurnal, 28 Dec 2000) some Philosophy Breakfast friends suggested several other noteworthy achievements of the 20th Century: space exploration, communications technology, cheap and fast transportation, public sanitation and health initiatives, mass education, widespread literacy, etc. Good things, undoubtedly.
But one idea (tnx, BD & GdM!) was so outstanding that perhaps it deserves to win not for the century, but for the whole Second Millennium: individual worth. All human beings are precious. It's no longer acceptable for some people to enslave others. Rape is wrong. Murder is wrong. Exploitation is wrong.
We're still trying to figure this concept out. There are plenty of disagreements left, in areas such as abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, war, wealth distribution, social justice, animal rights, racism, sexism, and intolerance in general. But over the past several hundred years, in most of the world the trend is clear --- and it's a wonderful trend. Individuals matter.
Sunday, December 31, 2000 at 21:39:03 (EST) = Datetag20001231