The Tragedy of Humankind

We humans are amazing, awe-inspiring creatures —  as justifiably declared by Sophocles, one of the ancient Greek “Shakespeares.” We are not only intelligent, contemplative, curious, and able to use symbolism and language, but able to dream the future.

And, through the invention of the scientific method, we have discovered the patterns and laws that govern natural phenomena. Then, based on this knowledge, we created machines and modified the environment in order to suit our needs and our well being.

And, prospered we did, blanketing the earth like a red liquid on a gigantic ball — now, all 7 billion of us, 3.5 billion years after the first life form appeared on this earth — the cyanobacteria.

We humans unfolded to our present form roaming the immense continent of Africa — where we all came from, and then spreading on the entire planet, according to the established, scientific evidence. Unfortunately, in the process, we are messing up the very place in which we live, making it uninhabitable for many other fellow creatures. Worse, and I am afraid soon, it may be uninhabitable for ourselves as well.

We have replaced the sticks and javelins of early tribal warfare. We used to jab against other tribal members in the plains of Africa. Now with atomic bombs and biological weapons, we continue to snarl at each other — tribe against tribe — just like we were doing  “back then!”

Our conquest of the earth depended in addition and, above all, on cooperation — displaying altruism, cooperation, and the ability to act in unison. We understood early on how to use the benefits of “sociality” for our enormous success. We also developed a yearning, most likely now in our genes, for narratives of a supreme being that governed it all.

Early on, we discovered the wonderful “do unto others as you would have then do unto you.” In addition, “don’t do unto others as you don’t want done unto you.” These two statements appear almost identically in at least five major religions in the world. Practicing them certainly ensured our survival thus far. Except for one thing: each tribe/major religion meant that these rules should be practiced exclusively and tragically for each’s own tribe. Each tribe declared that “our” God, is a bigger and better God than “your” God. This is irrational and tragic. After all, “Allah” means God just like “Theos” in Greek, “Dieu” in French, “Gott” in German, and the “Great Spirit,” of the American Indians.

HE is the very same God for us all but each tribe commandeered the very same supreme being as if it was the private property of their own tribe. Then, each tribe use the name of God to attack and kill the adjoining tribe — now named the “enemy.”

These traits and attitudes are still with us, on a collision course with our lethal weapons, including atomic bombs which have replaced sticks and javelins. We exercise this irrational and lethal behavior in plain sight using emotional resonating code words, like “them,” being utterly evil. The “them” is the adjoining tribe, now named “enemy.”

Ironically, and glaring in each rationality, we are oblivious to the stupidity of it all. These traits are aided and abetted by power-hungry leaders and profiteers.

Let’s not forget that 99% of species appeared on this earth are now extinct. With these beliefs and behavior, our turn make come soon as well.

Fortunately, there is an increasing awareness world-wide of the irrationalities I mentioned in this article. There is a  a rising world-citizenship Earth identity in addition to the one of our local tribe. One hopes that, in the coming years, humanity will be able to set aside these irrationalities under the pressure of modern realities.

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