The Impossible Question

The Internet Gods guided me to a YouTube recording of a Sam Harris podcast with several members of The Atlantic editorial group. The title of the discussion was, “The Future of American Democracy.” It took most of the two hours, but to my surprise supposedly, someone from the streaming audience texted the question that was quickly described by Mr. Harris as the “impossible question.”

How do we, as reasonable thinking humans, take the level of fear, anger, and tribalism, in our communities down to a level where people can reset, open their minds, use their brains, and critical thinking to make real decisions and have real mindful conversations?

  • Unmentioned contributor to the Sam Harris podcast 274 - The Future of American Democracy

Qued to the presentation.

The impossible question is significant to me, because I conceptualized my scholarly research with a less eloquent question to myself in early 2001: why are things so out of whack? My follow-up detailing of the question was merely: with all of this modern technology that we have, and exercises in reasoning, why is there so much disagreement, and misunderstanding?

Upon analyzing this confluence of independent volition of a specific social ideal, I recall that Rodney King is remembered for the primary utterance of this ideal six years prior; “why can’t we all just get along?”

Mr. Harris is noted for publishing several books suggesting that the practicing of theist religions are not in alignment with that of modern education and subsequent reasoning. I agree, and I am very impressed by Mr. Harris’ presentation of information and critique of theist religions. His ability to quickly describe the question to be the “impossible question” leads me to suspect that he has probably contemplated this concept long before its presentation in the podcast.

Why must it remain impossible?

Why don’t we figure out how to organize the deliberation “to make real decisions and have real mindful conversations?”

If we can do that, wouldn’t it probably be beneficial to good government???
Is that not our modern sophisticated expectation for the legislative branch - to deliberate issues with “mindful conversations”?

That’s not what you want???

I really need a Venn diagram to comment on this one.


I say again many of us here do not live in the USA.
Apart from the disaster that would befall the world as we know it today if the “American System” should fail catastrophically, I DONT GIVE A RATS about you or your Constitution which is all you blether on about.

As an atheist, living as far away as is possible from the US (well that is hyperbole) I don’t believe in the claims for any god or gods.

I live in a country you would consider socialist (such is the abysmal state of US education). There are libertarians, English Monarchists, Scots Separatists, “rootin’ tootin’ good ol boys” and a few sensible Canucks, (without a collection of semi automatics) on these forums.

We only agree on one thing…that the claims for a god or gods is a nonsense until proven.
No dogma, no rules, no fucking clubhouse, no secret handshakes, no badges, no passwords, no secret business ( unless Cog’s toilet habits qualify). Now will you please just fucking stop?

Get the message: most of us DO NOT CARE about your solution to electing fucked up morons as your president and one issue suit hangers as the rest? ok?

Edit for shouting at clouds.


I did not confine my interrogative to the American government system. I am thinking of a global system. And I am very confident that it will be Americans who construct a reliable charter system for a global government. The climate change issue is dependent on a global governing system.

Bitch, I have another argument about the need for a reliable semantic ontology that you have commented on. So keep your shit straight.

Thanks for explaining that. Are you trying to derail this discussion?

You really need to ignore my discussions as you promised a dozen posts ago.