By Simi Barr
Simi Barr graduated from Miami University with a degree in biology and environmental science. He has worked the last two years as an outdoor educator in California.
At Beth Adam, we are fortunate to have discussions with interesting, smart, and influential people from around the world. A few weeks ago, we got to hear from astrophysicist Dr. Joel Primack and Nancy Abrams. Ms. Abrams spoke about an idea she has come up with where she uses the word “god” to describe what arises from the collective aspirations of all people.
Basically, she thinks by using the word “god,” even in a way not aligned with its traditional meaning, we can all get on the same page and work from there. There are so many divisions in the world today in people’s thoughts and actions, maybe working from some sense of commonality would be good. I certainly agree humanity is faced with some the greatest challenges we have ever faced, foremost, the destruction of our environment. We have deforested, polluted, and emitted tons of greenhouse gasses into our atmosphere.
We must now work against the clock to mitigate these problems, and having common ground to work off would be great. However, I don’t think the word “god” is the commonality we must find. We have nothing more in common than our species, our DNA, we are literally the same animal. Why use this word to draw us closer when we could try to draw our commonality from the fact that we are the same species living on the same planet? There is nothing more unifying than this fact. Either way, we do need to get more people buying into the idea of working for a common good, or else there will be nothing to work for at all.