"You won't see the world in the same light after reading this urgent and inspiring call to action."
In this thought-provoking book, Dutch philosopher Floris van den Berg proposes a new perspective, called "universal subjectivism," which can be adopted by anyone regardless of religious or philosophical orientation. It takes into consideration the universal capacity for suffering and, through raising awareness, seeks to diminish that suffering and increase happiness. With consistent and compelling moral reasoning, van den Berg shows that the world can be organized to ensure more pleasure, beauty, justice, happiness, health, freedom, animal welfare, and sustainability.
The author emphasizes that today the near-term future is our greatest challenge: our affluent western lifestyle will soon exceed the limits of the earth's sustainable capacity and must soon change drastically to ward off a worldwide environmental collapse.
Knowing this, we should all reevaluate the daily routines we take for granted: taking the car to work, boarding a plane to a business or vacation destination, eating meat, or using plastic bags in stores. There are ethical and ecological objections to each of these examples. In fact, if we applied a strict ethical analysis to our lifestyle, almost nothing we do would pass muster. A lot of avoidable suffering attaches to our way of life. After reading this book, the world won't look the same.
Concluding with an eco-humanist manifesto, this book not only offers much food for thought but, more importantly, an urgent and inspiring call to action.
About the Author
Michiel Horn is well known for his work in Canadian history, including his recent book, Becoming Canadian: Memoirs of an Invisible Immigrant, publishing by University of Toronto Press in 1997. He currently teaches history at Glendon College of York University.