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Utah State University Faculty Honor Lectures


The Faculty Association, Utah State University

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Two fearsome possibilities preoccupy thoughtful men everywhere in the world. These worries are unique to our own age and time. Lord Russell puts it succinctly, "The world is faced, at the present day, with two antithetical dangers: (a) the human race may put an end to itself by a too lavish use of H bombs; and (b) the human population of our planet may increase to the point where only a starved and miserable existence is possible, except for a minority of powedul people."

Each of these dangers has its own characteristics, its own special perils, and its own possibilities for prevention. Nuclear war would bring swift and complete destruction of life as we know it. Whether or not such a war occurs, seemingly depends upon the wisdom of a few trusted leaders. On the other hand, so it is said, starvation is a gradual and agonizing phenomenon, already stealthily engulfing the world. The extent to which we endure the slow and dehumanizing destruction that is synonymous with starvation, depends on the individual decisions of literally billions of human beings.

The two threats are inter-related. A world in which one-third of the people live in extravagant opulence while two-thirds live in oppressive squalor is not conducive to political sta,bility. Such a world is particularly susceptible to violence, including mass nuclear destruction. There is little question that, as a rule, man's inclination towards aggressiveness declines in proportion to the spaciousness and comforts of his life.


This work made publicly available electronically on August 16, 2011.

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