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What is the biggest problem facing society?

What is the biggest problem facing society?

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November 8, 2023

Question: What is the biggest problem facing society?

 That's a hard one. I'm just going to mention one and I don't know if this is the biggest one, but I would say with respect to younger people: the gap between aspiration and their skillset. 

 That we live in a rich society and we have huge amounts of evidence available to young people, that they should be able to live a beautiful life, and they really want that when they're young people. But, by the time they are young adults typically, the skillset that they need in order for them to achieve that for themselves has not been developed for various reasons.

 Just to take one kind of stereotypical example, if you imagine someone who is addicted to video games as a young person, becomes very proficient at video games, and thinks of himself or herself as highly proficient; but then that's the skillset you've adopted. When you leave the video game world behind and go out into the real world, you don't have the skillset to take on the real world. You're only dealing with a virtual reality. 

 That becomes enormously frustrating and thenpsychologically destructive things can happen. So, that's a problem I worryabout a lot.

Stephen Hicks Ph.D.
About the author:
Stephen Hicks Ph.D.

Stephen R. C. Hicks, Ph.D., is Professor of Philosophy at Rockford University, Executive Director of the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship, and Senior Scholar at The Atlas Society.

He is author of The Art of Reasoning: Readings for Logical Analysis (W. W. Norton & Co., 1998), Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault (Scholargy, 2004), Nietzsche and the Nazis (Ockham’s Razor, 2010),  Entrepreneurial Living (CEEF, 2016), Liberalism Pro and Con (Connor Court, 2020), Art: Modern, Postmodern, and Beyond (with Michael Newberry, 2021) and Eight Philosophies of Education (2022). He has published in Business Ethics Quarterly, Review of Metaphysics, and The Wall Street Journal. His writings have been translated into 20 languages.

He has been Visiting Professor of Business Ethics at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Visiting Fellow at the Social Philosophy & Policy Center in Bowling Green, Ohio, Visiting Professor at the University of Kasimir the Great, Poland, Visiting Fellow at Harris Manchester College of Oxford University, England, and Visiting Professor at Jagiellonian University, Poland.

His B.A. and M.A. degrees are from the University of Guelph, Canada. His Ph.D. in Philosophy is from Indiana University, Bloomington, USA.

In 2010, he won his university’s Excellence in Teaching Award.

His Open College podcast series is published by Possibly Correct Productions, Toronto. His video lectures and interviews are online at CEE Video Channel, and his website is StephenHicks.org.  


Instagram Takeover Questions:

Every week we solicit questions from our 100K followers on Instagram (a social media platform popular with young people. Once a month we feature Stephen Hicks' answers to select questions, transcripts below:


Also several articles, selected for likely interest to Objectivist audiences:

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