'The Relation of Science and Religion', Richard P. Feynman
Originally published by the California Institute of Technology in Engineering and Science magazine. Personally I would replace Christianity and the 'church' with 'religion', as this applies to many different forms and types of modern belief systems.
If one could really change the world in a long lasting meaningful way, it seems to me that a few barriers will always stand unless they are either a) stripped away ( which is unfortunately incredibly difficult with existing inertia and legacy frameworks and systems) or b) that of slowly replacing or superceeding that which is already there or appears to be working. Sometimes there is a slow and barely noticeable evolution; one that you don't notice until you actually stand back and see where you have come from, and other times there is massive paradigm shift that results in huge change by virtue of an idea, an invention or some catastrophic event ( which generally only lasts a short time in corporate or societal memory).
I posit that five basic concepts or issues are of utmost importance to how we think, live, learn and treat both our ecosystem and fellow sentient beings.
[ However, sometimes you find people have beaten you to it ;) http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/ )
a) mortality ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortality )
b) scarcity ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarcity )
d) education including information transparency and unfettered access to said information / knowledge
So perhaps improvements could be made, or these concerns addressed by:
a) immortality - by constantly replacing or reprogramming our cells and fully understanding atomic / quantum interactions on molecular biology etc
b) nano-technological fabrication of goods and facilitation of services ( energy issues? ) and population control http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_control either voluntarily or involuntarily via governmental eugenics http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenics or Nature re-exerting balance via some form of mass infertility and hopefully preventing some form of Malthusian Catastrophe
c) a sweeping new unified religion / belief system similar to, if not expanding upon buddhism in its synergy with modern science, universal compassion and tolerance... or even a spontaneous new mass movement or group awakening / Enlightenment which seems to be brewing due to accelerating global disillusionment
d) free ( as in beer ) universal education and wider topics of learning for younger generations, including digitization thereof and free access to the sum of all human knowledge including all global libraries, universities and educational publications
- http://laptop.media.mit.edu/ One Laptop Per Child... http://laptop.org/
- http://www.gutenberg.org/ Project Gutenburg, Free Online Books
- http://www.oreilly.com/openbook/O'Reilly Openbooks
- http://cnx.org/ Connexions, Free Scholarly materials
- http://ocw.mit.edu/ MIT Open Courseware
- http://www.ocwconsortium.org/ Open Courseware Consortium
- http://www.pugwash.org/ Pugwash
e) go vegan or vegetarian for everyone and everything's sake, including your own sanity and health! Why?