Only a few hours into my time off and I accomplished my first goal. I finished reading Beggars in Spain today. Clearly a great book that really made me think. It has the basic scifi stuff I like such as a view of the future, genetic engineering, a new form of cheap energy and its effect on the economy.
The book starts by proposing an interesting question: are we wasting time sleeping. Personally, I love to sleep, but it does feel like a waste of almost 1/3 of our lives sometimes.
But Beggars in Spain is not about the scifi nor this “sleeper” question. The books heart is about how the strong relate to the weak. Do the weak have any claims on the strong? Does a poor beggar in Spain have any right to ask for money or help from a the rich? Oddly enough, I found my free-market economy, The Wealth of Nations, roots agreeing with one of the main characters that “the weak have no claims on the strong”. But as they find out, this is a shallow argument. My personal view is while the weak may have no claims on the strong, the strong DO have an obligation on the weak. Not only because the weak may one day be strong (as the book argues) but because we are all created by God and of certain inalienable value.