Recently I have noticed that I am bothered anytime I hear/read something along the lines of:
- one should leave the world better than we found it
- one should try to improve the world
- one should try to make the world a better place
I remember from The blank slate by Steven Pinker that there is such a term for the belief/view that humans can be improved, I believe it's called Human Improvability and it had something to do with whether or not "nature" is fixed or not.
I would like to know if there's a technical term that I can use to look up some bibliography and learn more about it.
End of the question
What follows is just context on how I got here, if the community feels it's not relevant to the question I will remove it.
The notion of changing the world has a similar flavour as the one about improving oneself (human enhancement), except that they refer not an individual but to an external system.
The reason it bothers me not because I disagree with it but because I don't really have a strong logical argument to defend it.
In part it's also due to agreeing with Nassim Taleb when he argues against interventionism in his book Anti-fragile. Taleb says something like, trying to intervene to improve the state of any complex/big system will most likely result in making it worse and he explains how he uses hokus pokus --convexity analysis or something-- to evaluate whether a given system is more likely to benefit or suffer from intervention.
I don't think I can evaluate the validity of Taleb's claims but I have to admit that he started me thinking about non-intervention a lot. Of course there are plenty examples where intervention was very successful, e.g., vaccination, same for the other case.
keywords: beneficience, benevolence, utilitarianism