Question #5: How can we improve humanity?

Director Roger Nygard traveled the world asking theologians, scientists, skeptics, and everyday people 85 tough questions to try to understand The Nature of Existence! Now that he’s asked the experts, it’s YOUR TURN! To offer your own insights on today’s question, “How can we improve humanity?“, Leave a Reply below!


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50 Responses to “Question #5: How can we improve humanity?”

  1. Mark says:

    There is no changing our current course – we are set for disaster. Nothing we do will be enough do fix what we have done. So consume, consume, consume.

  2. arielle says:

    Give everyone in the world an extasy pill, except for small children, in order to open their minds. Then end all form of government, destroy the media, and destroy money. Seriously. We need to learn to live off the earth again.

  3. Humans have not figured out how to learn from their past. They have not figured out how to work as a species to become sustainable – to balance the triangle ( cycle of adaptation ) – with respect to the relationships between culture, the environment, and biological life. Humans have doomed themselves to falling out of the cycle , not evolving, but going the way of extinction. It may be beyond the point of no return already for the humans.

  4. We have so much accumulated wisdom, it is really just a matter of priorities. Food and air seem pretty important to me. Let’s work on those for a while then get back those philosophical questions later.

  5. hannah says:

    One way to improve humanity is by facing up to the fact that our time on earth is limited and that every day counts, therefore we should make the most of it. The Dalai Lama talks bout the difference between pleasure and happiness. Pleasure is usually temporary and brought about by something external. Happiness is usually longer lasting. It begins by looking inward and is eventually brought out in to the world and shared with others. As human beings, we can focus on bringing about happiness in the world.

  6. Edward says:

    This one is tricky. We have been for millennia on this planet and still haven’t found a way to live in peace with each other or eradicate hunger and disease. Maybe because of what many religions tell us? I don’t know and don’t want to point the finger only at religions when it’s not entirely clear if it’s only their faults. But that’s how I see it. At least for now.

    My answer is: keep evolving, get rid of prejudices and why not, religion.

  7. Ian says:

    Wherever you may go, do not choose
    Wealth or honor, favor or praise or fame.

    Poverty is better than wealth,
    A shade is better than the spotlight of glory,
    Anonymity is better than fame,
    A chair is better than a throne,
    To be lowered is better than to be uplifted,
    Being an impoverished righteous person
    Is better than being a satiated sinner,
    Shabbiness is better than beauty,
    To be treated indifferently is better than to be the center of interest,
    To be rebuked is better than to be praised,
    To be loved from afar is better than
    To be favored from nearby,
    Constant effort is better than perfection,
    To be weak is better than to be strong,
    Stupidity is better than wisdom,
    Foolishness is better than intelligence,
    A house of mourning is better than a house of marriage,
    A quiet truth is better than prosperity,
    And to live in the countryside is better than to live in a palace.

    In all of heaven and earth,
    This is the most peaceful way,
    The safest way,
    The happiest way,
    And the way of life.

  8. DK says:

    We can start by recognizing it (our humanity that is). We could only get there once we learn to see beyond nationality, creed, etc.

  9. Matthew Keevil says:

    We can recognise that wealth is a means, not an end.

  10. Jarek Moore says:

    There are probably thousands of ways we can improve humanity. I’ll just list a few basics, not necessarily in any order:

    1. Expand the circle of empathy to include people in other nations, other states, and other cities.

    2. Expand the circle of empathy to include other animals. Reduce the amount of suffering we are causing on animals.

    3. Reduce the amount of damage we are doing to the environment.

    4. Control the human population (with birth control) so we don’t grow beyond our resources.

    5. Bring the majority of the world’s population out of extreme poverty and starvation.

    6. Nuclear disarmament.

    7. Affording more rights and protections to all humans in our societies.

    8. Guaranteed basic income to keep people from starving. The cost of losing in the free market should not be death.

    9. Break down national borders and cooperate in a global government.

    10. Stop believing in religions, or at least never let them override our compassion for others.

    11. Cure diseases with scientific research, cure genetic diseases with genetic research.

  11. John S. says:

    How do you improve a diverse race of several billion?
    These are simply my opinions, but I think they would go a long way. That said, they would only work if they could be implemented without repercussions.

    Education. Education fosters knowledge and understanding, and encourages people to work together. It would lay the groundwork for societies of open minds and improve the everyday quality of people’s lives. Furthermore it would encourage growth in the science, technology, and medicine.

    Elimination of religion. Although many religions teach understanding and compassion as part of their doctrines, in real life practical applications it generally only serves to divide and alienate people. It frequently fosters ignorance or blind servitude to causes and has been manipulated throughout history to control people. The elimination of religion would further serve to unite peoples around the world and would be one less dividing force.

    Implementation of religious ideas as societal codes and morals. To make up for many ideas that would be lost in the elimination of religion, many of the ideas would be reintroduced as societal priorities. It would fall to societies and families to stress the importance of compassion, understanding, forgiveness, respect (of others, of nature), sharing, cooperation, justice, fairness, discipline, and loyalty.

  12. Spencer says:

    People have self created “blindnesses”. Generally spoken people will choose to “get on board” with common knowledge thus leaving truth staked to a post to die.
    The general tendency with people is to overshadow the truth with a lie/threat complex, and then after a period of becoming accustomed to the nature of this lie accept it as “the truth of common knowledge”.
    We make progress. Unsually knowledge comes; not from “getting on board” but from really really thinking about it; without planning on how you can be “center of attention” or profit, or gain power, or be the one that proscribes the game biases or rules.
    An example of one of the things people did was in the early days of the heat engine they quashed the best version of Heat to HP and now we are all of the mind that it “could not exist”, or is simple and naturally obsolete. It was made artificially obsolete so as to control a growing fuel industry and market. Heat recycling is not the same as heat discarding or internal combustion. “Heat recycling” is the basic nature of the steam engine or the origional working engine of choice.
    It is not hard to understand the concept of these two kinds of engines, it is hard to see how one works way better than the other because the one that uses less fuel because of its nature, has been deleted from common knowledge by business agreement. It worked that way because humans are vulnerable to believing for status or not questioning in certain kinds of hierarchal structures. It is hard to understand something if it has a “tarp” covering it or it is warehoused in a locked warehouse.
    The guy who invented or is given credit for inventing the steam engine was named Watt. It is hard to say how much he understood the thermodynamics, since he was largely concerned with turning heat to physical motion. This began somewhere around 1770. Then it was the engine of choice as it developed over the next 150 years. It would still be the engine of choice if it were not quashed for the far more wasteful engine that we use today. None of us are actually motivated enough to battle with big money and big central power to try to change this. Mostly it is because when Jesus did it they dragged him off and gave him a sham trial and then they spiked him to a post in the most uncomfortable position to die.
    We need to get the heat recycling steam engine back from forced obsolesence. and make it modern and a main mechanical power source.
    This could work, or it could continue to be suppressed. Forcing people to burn twice as much or more than they need to seems abhorrant if one knows that’s what’s happening. Otherwise if they don’t know; it is just status quo.
    Why is this so hard to see? I have seen no physical examples of the steam engine other than toys in the stretch of my lifetime.
    High efficiency is something that would be appreciated by the lower classes, but it would be a disaster for the “investor classes”.
    We could get it back but it would probably be illegal for “reasons of convention and common practice”.

  13. Spencer says:

    If status quo was about adapting we would have less problems. In my lifetime it has been games of oppression and destruction, but that was simply my circumstance living in a modern world with people who try to adapt and operate by “speaking for god”. As a child i was constantly being regarded as evil because i could not conform to all the conflicting beliefs that i was being deluged with. It is like thinly vieled death threats for non conformity or not saying the “appropriate” words when prompted. (Jehovah’s Witnesses… waddaya gonna do?)
    We have these modern inventions, but people don’t seem to be able to change. In fact they seem to become evermore imbred with their scheming, gaming, and rationalizing for status.
    While we might need money we also make money into “a proxy for God”. Money is like common knowledge, as is status and status in terms of hierarchy or “god rules”.
    Oft times people will get their own rule making mixed up with commandments straight from god. You can tell it’s a people kind of rule if there is a personal death threat involved for not believing something the “elders” or hooplah purveryors have decided upon.
    Humanity is at its best when they are actually helping one another and not trying to display their status for talking for god.
    Most people seem to feel that God more or less gives them the right to abuse logic and other people while deserving recognition, or center of attention/authority positioning. This simply means that they believe that God is essentially detatched, lying, demanding, and punishing like hierarchy.
    We tend to like big noise, recognition, shiny stuff or awards. Basically competition for more gets people in trouble and messing one another over.

  14. david nunes-childs says:

    love is the only way . have hope

  15. Nebula says:

    Not just academics, but everything. Knowledge about current and historical events, far away places and people, scientific principles, natural history, languages, the arts, specialized skills, and so on…
    Knowledge begets perspective and understanding, and enables people to appreciate how the world works and motivates them to help find ways to improve it. Everyone in the world should be as well-informed and well-educated as possible.

  16. Nancy M says:

    How can we improve humanity? Freedom.

  17. Brett M. says:

    1. Natural Selection

    2. Increasing knowledge

    3. Surviving #2 long enough to not destroy ourselves. Currently, we know just enough to be dangerous in many areas.

    4. Minimizing the effects of ego; maximizing the effects of community.

  18. Carole says:

    Humanity is perfect the way it is. We just might not understand this because we judge, but judging itself is an experience that differs from one person to another.

  19. Robi says:

    By constantly remembering that no matter what our ideology is, we need to coexist. And the more peaceful it is, the better. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  20. [...] about existing? Love What is our purpose? Is the world a better place for having had humans in it? How can we improve humanity? What is the best advice or philosophy for [...]

  21. Norine says:

    God plans to take care of this by destroying it all and remaking everything new. The new will exist under God’s righteous authority and evil will exist no more. We will no longer have to think about these questions, because we will know all truth and know all things.

  22. Robert says:

    I think you’re on a slippery slope by asking such a question. One first has to decide what, precisely, is meant by the word “improve”, and then proceed with EXTREME caution in following the ramifications of that definition.

  23. Albert says:

    How can we improve humanity? Understand the only law, the trancendental love and realize the inner peace.

  24. Aaron says:

    Humanity needs much repairing of its attitudes before it can become progressive in its development again. Excepting natural catastrophes such as super-volcanic eruptions, massive asteroid strikes, extreme solar flares and so on, the simple dynamic of natural competition and scarcity is no longer sufficient to drive our evolution.

    As a result, once we’ve disavowed ourselves of the fallacy that the world and the universe exist for us alone and that we’re meant to shepherd or rule it all, we can focus on beginning our own self-evolution. Ultimately what is required is proper educational material, proper education methodology, an acceptance that what we know will change over time as we discover more facts and to accept those changes, and above all we must refuse to accept as wholly true all that which cannot be demonstrated by fact or experiment.

    If we do that…maybe we can move forward.

  25. Jason says:

    The default mode of human thinking needs to change. As long as people fail to practice metacognition to avoid bias and psychological pitfalls, we’ll never utilize our higher reasoning effectively as a species. Intelligence is really all that separates humanity from everything else.

  26. SWEJ says:


  27. Jeff says:

    As Robert Ingersoll said, “The man who is not willing to give to every other the same intellectual rights he claims for himself, is dishonest, selfish, and brutal.”

    Humanity will be improved through the work of free minds.

  28. Cait says:

    We can improve humanity by ending religion.

  29. Papa Ron says:

    We can remind people to focus on the ends of their paths and the traditional goals. The warrior should be reminded about the code, and that honor is worth more than gold. So many waste their lives accumulating wealth.

    The artist should focus on quality for this is what touches our souls. They should also be told to practice, practice, practice.

    The intellectual must be honest and objective, and not overreach. Some humility would also be nice.

    Lovers should accept their roles as care givers and seek to love without condition.

    The awakened should focus an happiness for all.

    We must start with growth inside.

  30. Chief Lewal says:

    First, integrity. When that isn’t enough, compassion. With these aspects of human betterment, all else follow.

  31. Sarah says:

    Reduce the number.
    Go vegan and spread resources more evenly according to need.
    One religion or one commonly agreed set of principles.

  32. wallpaper000 says:

    Improved humanity?? Sorry to say but this idea is nothing more than a wishful thinking…….All ideas sound good in theory, but in reality, none works….

  33. Subhash Madan says:

    By being really “Human”. The golden rule being
    “do unto others as you would have them do unto you, but ask them first!”

  34. Terry says:

    Eliminate all beliefs in god(s). This won’t remove all the evil in the world but it will remove a lot of unncessary evil. Especially people killing other people in the name of their god(s).

  35. Pradeep Yamujala says:

    Just feel that, you are just one among thousad (not literally) other species and nature shows same about of feeling to every species. Accept that reality, respect them and live as long as you can.

  36. TJ says:

    The best efforts seem to not have done much to improve the lot of the common man. He still labors in vain. He needs drugs to cope and continual diversions, or hope in some kind of faith.
    Assuming we are talking about common men.
    The ruling class support the devil; the Status Que which keeps them in privileged positions. Without that they end like Saddam Hussein & Gaddafi.
    How can you make this arrangement better? Shuffle the deck again?

  37. Richard says:

    By protecting every person’s individual rights and respecting them in turn.

  38. Kelly says:

    Educate our children about self esteem, self worth, self confidence, self belief. Teach them that it is pointless to measure themselves against anything in the material/external world. Teach them that every human being has the opportunity to contribute and their contribution will be a reflection of how they love, respect and trust themselves. Teach them that their feelings are not “caused” by others, they are to be listened to for self knowledge and guidance to make healthy choices for oneself and therefore others. Unfortunately, our primary care takers (normally our parents, older siblings, etc) are not the best teachers because their self esteem is not in tact. We need to structure a proper method to provide healthy tools to our future leaders and followers!!! A happy person is not necessarily wealthy, famous, strong, beautiful, etc… Happiness comes from how we feel about OURSELF… We will continue to destroy our planet and each other until we can understand that the human failure is believing that we can be superior independently, when united we can achieve more than any one individual.

  39. Jim Palmer says:

    By doing away completely with religion and teaching our young to think critically and scientifically.

  40. Theo says:

    Now that is a challenge. Perhaps we can do very little without making the connection with our higher self and acknowledging our spiritual nature.

  41. Jesse Brogan says:

    I am a performance engineer; an expert in supporting those who have things to accomplish through gatherings of people.

    Long ago, I asked myself how to improve human life. The answer has come to me only recently. The challenge seems complex until we learn the secret that has been keep from humanity – and it is so obvious that I can present it in this short message. Man is mankind. Everything that civilization owns, is owned by people. The only ones entitled to receive benefit from human civilization are people. Civilization only does what people do. The secret: There is Only One Real Party in Interest; and it is us.

    In engineering, this would be known as a transform; a conversion of the question which cannot be answered into a question we can address. How does a person improve civilization. The answer is improving for each person; and the answer is activism. I have just finished the MSS of the Activist Manual for finding mandates for changes that can be directed to leaders; tools for enlisting people to support these, delivery to leaders – enlisting them to lead the changes, and monitoring the changes while being made.

    I am looking for pre-publication feedback – and will give out a limited number of e-book copies to those who are interested in being (or supporting) civilization-level Activists. Get back to me at Let me know that you are willing to become effective at this level. Let me know that you have the passion for beneficial change, and for bringing people together to make it happen.

  42. qrichou says:

    by becoming ourself .

  43. Federico Pizarro says:

    we got to chill with all this religion stuff, relax, and for our sake improve science on every level

  44. Sunyoung Lee says:

    We love and respect each other.

  45. waqas ahmad m.a social work says:

    we can improve humanity by thinking about others needs,wishes and by giving prefrence to otehers than our needs and wishes

  46. James says:

    There are three virtues which are, in my mind, of supreme importance. They are empathy, individuality, and reason. If human beings can make a practice of exercising these three things, that will itself create an improvement of our lives.

  47. Daniel says:

    Reduciton in numbers. Large population is the greatest source of unhappiness.

  48. Mitchell Reedman says:

    Knowledge, more of it. Know how to live longer and better know why things tick.

  49. kasi says:

    Nothing is impossible. So we improve our knowledge

  50. Laura says:

    More required community gatherings, whatever that means. People too often get stuck isolated these days. Mandatory biweekly town dinners!

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