In his recent TV series, The Human Universe, Brian Cox says it is reasonable to conclude that we are alone in the universe. Traversing the disciplinary boundaries from astrophysics he then suggests that because we are alone we are precious as the inhabitants of this lonely planet.
We all need to live and to survive together. There are strong cosmopolitan implications in this point of view. The conduct of petty wars of retribution, terror attacks, wars on terror, preemptive strikes, drone assassinations, repulsion of asylum seekers and border protections are scarcely conducive to harmony within the world’s populations. Couple this with a pervasive carelessness about the plight of others in poor countries, or indeed the plight of the poor in wealthy countries, and the prospects for peaceful coexistence are not good. The world, striated
with national boundaries, sees border protection as a powerful statement of collective selfishness. This is not to deny that important responsibilities rest upon states and their governments, but to call for a transformed outlook on the world from within its separate communities. The essays in this collection seek to address problems of separation from various angles.
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