We live in a genuinely unique period of human history, one in which the alarmist's hackneyed warning that "the end is near!" could actually come true. The world is cluttered with increasingly powerful advanced technologies. Global warming and biodiversity loss are unchecked catastrophes that will likely push society to the brink of collapse. How are we to respond to this situation? What can we do to maximize the probability of a positive outcome for our species?
The End surveys the expanding wilderness of big-picture hazards before us. It offers a comprehensive and detailed analysis of our evolving existential predicament, which includes risks from synthetic biology, nanotechnology, nuclear weaponry, and (possibly soon) superintelligence. But understanding the science of risks isn't enough to effectively mitigate them: One must also understand the social, political, and especially religious contexts in which advanced technologies are being developed. The End provides this knowledge by showing how faith-based belief in religious eschatologies (or end-time narratives) is inching us ever closer to a secular apocalypse.
Action needs to be taken immediately to avert a disaster. The question is whether humanity will choose reason over faith, observation over revelation, and science over religion.
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A compelling argument for the need of reason
I found this book an excellent summation of the existing and future existential threats facing our species, as well as many new and original thoughts stemming from these factors. I found this so compelling, I will likely listen to it a second time to properly absorb all the information the author conveyes.