UnknownI propose that the United States Constitution be amended to add the following provision:

“It shall be the duty of every citizen to develop the scientific temper, humanism, and the spirit of inquiry and reform.”


Now, you may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one.

In fact, these exact words are already included in the Constitution – of INDIA! (Section 51A(h))


3 Responses to “Imagine”

  1. Scott Says:

    High-minded as that is, the blank spot in the US Constitution is one of its beauties. The only cultural good mandated there is freedom, the one value that underlies all others. Sure, we get our Exleys, but do we want a Chinese constitution making grab-what-thou-wilt law?

  2. rationaloptimist Says:

    Well, I suppose I wouldn’t want anyone prosecuted for failure to comply with such a constitutional mandate. But I think it’s quite a far cry from “grab what thou wilt”! Of course I was being cute; but India really does have this provision, which I think is noteworthy.

  3. Scott Says:

    I’m kind of quibbling. I do agree with the sentiment, but not the idea that greatest-goods should be enshrined in law, except the greatest good for the unique social institution that is government, which is liberty. In other words, the highest duty of government is to protect liberty so that individuals and civil institutions can pursue their own ideas of the greatest good. Just what that is, is one of the great philosophical questions. I’m tending toward the belief that it is “advancement of knowledge,” and that’s at least 50% of what the Indian Constitution says.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: