It’s no secret that humanity thinks highly of itself. We are the only species that continually finds new and inventive ways to kill itself and yet we have ironically named our species homo sapien- Homo sapien means wise man, or knowing man. Humility is something we as a species lack.
We really don’t know much. I work as a researcher and every year the number of discoveries made really blow me away not just in my own field but in the totally of human scientific and technical endeavors. Comparing science today to how it was 70 years ago is amazing. There is so much we don’t know and we need to remember that often.
We find ourselves on the earth. Some of us argue that that is significant of what I am not sure. We have over the millennia come up with elaborate social, and personal constructs that help us find meaning and in trying to find meaning we look the other way at some key facts:
We are by nature greedy and that’s not bad. There are some situations where greed is bad but I can imagine living like caveman wasn’t easy and when there was a surplus of food, we wanted more for ourselves. It would pay to be greedy under those circumstance. However 1/6 starving kids and tons of food rotting isn’t so good in a post enlightenment post industrial age not so good.
We are by nature lazy and that’s not bad. If things are going well we will resign ourselves to do nothing or next to nothing and “enjoy it”. Nothing says lazy more to me than tanning (probably because I was born festively tanned) - laying out in the sun like sedentary fruit being dried for some nefarious pleasure. Conservation of energy is important.
Cynicism can Save us
There is historic and almost evolutionary precedent to many human behaviors. We are a social animal comprised of many distinct groups. There is a definite herd mentality that politicians and businesses utilize to get their way. The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits of the masses is important in a society that focuses on material acquisitions.
So then let us just agree that naturally:
- We want more for ourselves, and those peoples to whom we are loyal and can care less for people we are not connected to.
- We don’t mind exploiting others to get what we want, open up any history book.
- We are aware that we die and suffer a constant mortal anxiety i.e the constant strife and change that’s the hallmark of our existence is felt very acutely.
My plan is quite simple:
If you are religious, no matter what religion you follow let us admit that we have in no way lived up to the fraternal and gregarious guidelines our religion gives us. Let us stop thinking we are the paragon of animals and have dominion over nature admit that we as a whole through our industrialization and modernization we are on the verge of causing the 6th mass extinction on our planet. Let us admit we have used religious as an excuse to exploit our further human beings. Let us admit that we aren’t that special; that we would statically rather stay with our head in the sand or squabble over trifles only to ignore the larger issues.
If you are an atheist: let us just admit that we don’t treat each other well period regardless if we are religious or not or whatever ideology we subscribe to. Human beings are great fans of genocide, we may use religion in some cases to justify it, or we may use nationalism, or fear etc. Let us while we are here since this is the only life we get, live in such a way that some of use in the future may say that for a while we lived with a dignity that raised up above the animals – I dont think we collectively have earned that yet.