Humanity’s Future, Questionnaire Example
Is the well-being of the human population improving or declining?
Key Players: For Against
Bruce R. Scott X
Indur M. Goklany X
Indur M. Goklany maintains that humanity is progressing as measured by an increased life expectancy and, decreased hunger and infant mortality.
Claims: Reasons: Key Player:
Per capita income by itself is Indicators improve as per capita Indur M. Goklany
not a good measure of income rises, but relationships
human well-being. are not linear.
The average inhabitant is less Increase in agricultural activity Indur M. Goklany
likely to be undernourished. and trade leading to lower food costs.
The gap between developing Advances in agriculture, public Indur M. Goklany
and developed countries’ infant health, nutrition, and medicine
mortality rate has been halved diffusing rapidly from developed
over the past half century. to developing countries.
Gap in life expectancy beween Diffusion and transfer of Indur M. Goklany
developed and developing technology and knowledge
nations closed to 11.6 years in to developing countries.
Bruce R. Scott argues that free trade is not truly free since rich nations can impose immigration and agricultural barriers that advance their own economic interests and keep poor nations poor.
Claims: Reasons: Key Player:
The income gap between rich Barriers against immigration Bruce R. Scott
poor countries is growing. erected by industrialized nations.
Inability of poor countries to
attract foreign capital.
Economic theory assumes Focus on economic stability and Bruce R. Scott
market-based prices can growth, instead of institutions
allocate resources correctly. that underpin markets.
Rich countries disregard for Economic development requires Bruce R. Scott
failing government institutions the transformation of institutions
in poor countries keeps them and creation of effective states.
Low-skilled labor is not free Immigration barriers erected by Bruce R. Scott
to flow across international rich nations.
boundaries in search of
Your Commentary on the Ethical Dilemma:
Bruce R. Scott presents and supports his position well. From his claims and reasons, it appears valid that the gap in income between rich and poor nations is growing. However, I have to side with Indur M. Goklany when he states that income growth is not the best indicator of human well-being and progress. A nation’s wealth does not guarantee the well-being of its citizens, as we see homeless and sick unable to attain proper medical care right here in the United States. It is better to look at indicators such as those described by Goklany. Are the people hungry? Undernourished? What is the health of the people? How long do people live and how many babies survive past the age of 1? I would add indicators such as education,
employment, and women’s rights. The circumstances of the average person’s day-to-day life is a far better indicator of humanity’s progress than are dollar signs.
Time is precious
don’t waste it!