Progress and Procreation

“Remarkably, one of the defining features of the modern era is that the most modern individuals are not having enough children to sustain their societies from one generation to the next. Communities defined by their ancient faith continue to have children in high numbers, believing they have something sacred to sustain in the flesh and rearing of the young. But those most immersed in the pleasures and possibilities of modern life seem least driven to raise up a generation to follow in their footsteps. Societies defined by the forward march of progress are failing to bring life forward in the most fundamental sense. What faith, we are left to wonder, does modern man have in the cosmic significance of modern, individualist, technological life? If procreation is the deepest form of fidelity to one’s civilization, then what does modern man’s infidelity say about the relative greatness (or goodness) of the modern age? Is progress really progress?”

~ Eric Cohen, In the Shadow of Progress: Being Human in the Age of Technology (New York, NY: New Atlantis Books, 2008), 2.


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