A reader, Scott, suggests that I believe in "the glorious triumph of humanity." He argues that I've fallen prey to what he called "the Enlightenment project's fatal weakness," namely "a too-optimistic evaluation of humans' ability to perfect themselves and the world (in rough terms)." In responding just now, I managed to capture some things I've been thinking about for a long time. It needs a lot of work and elaboration, but I thought I'd throw it out here, slightly edited, to see what reaction it garners.
I make no claim that we humans can perfect either ourselves or the world. I do claim some other things:
1. Whether we know it or not, we're all serving as part of a cosmic construction crew, as workers laboring in the continuing creation of the universe we inhabit — a creation that appears to be a project of a Creator.
2. I surmise that the Creator puts to use, not just our successes, but also our failures. I say this in part because we have been given the ability to learn, and to pass along lessons learned to others.
3. We don't really know the purpose(s) of the project. It's not unreasonable to hope, however, that the Creator won't just dismiss us when our service is over, but instead will let us share in the project's fruits.