Unfortunately, rather than attacking these big questions with our immense resources, we have settled on dealing with small, banal issues — issues that don’t force us to our face our mortality, our cosmic insignificance, and the sorts of depressing realizations that come with exploring the big questions.
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And on the left, utilitarianism tends to say: “Well, we should have institutions that help everybody in the world.” Well, that sounds nice, but there’s this odd and difficult empirical fact, which is that people are really, really good at extending themselves and helping those that are close to them, and really, really bad at doing it for people far away.
It should be established, first and foremost, that I believe in marriage. The religious aspect of it (obviously) means nothing to me or my loved ones, but I believe in the concept and the beautifully hopeful idea of it. I want more than just a long-term relationship; I want the joining of families and the carrying of last names and the ring-groove on my third finger that will never go away.