Are Humans Bound by Nature? by Paul Von Ward January 22, 2014
A central tenet of most supernatural religions is that humans may live “in nature,” but their faithful believe they are “above nature’s rules.” In a similar vein, most secularists, based on their apparent total control of some physical experiments, are certain that their technical innovations are always appropriate.
Such hubris in both sectors leads people to assume their behaviors will bring about their desired outcomes. Only a few groups plead caution, and ask the question “Is what we are about to do the Best for our future generations?” The last hundred thousand or more years demonstrate humans cannot control their destiny with wishful thinking. It is clear that our species has not yet learned how to shape a safe and healthy world for our children's futures.
Driven by emotionally-based ideas (seated in the prefrontal cortex, but charged by the brain’s amygdala) that give us only self-gratification, we ignore the consequences of our short-sightedness. The largely materialistic, current lifestyles sought by most people can be described in agricultural terms as “a family eating its seed corn.” That means “we pleasure ourselves today and ignore future famine.” As a result, world food prices are soaring.
Let’s talk about climate change as an example. Television screens every day are filled with images of our green-house Earth getting hotter and much more volatile. Ironically, the people who are most serious about this situation are owners of insurance companies. They know the odds that the damage claims from rising sea levels, violent storms and floods, droughts and fires, famine, and other calamities will bankrupt them.
A large majority of citizens around the world choose to connect daily events to randomness or just believe the way events swing from time to time. They are blind to the fact that the Arctic ice is warming quickly, when the 13 hottest years in hundreds of thousands of years occurred in this century (only 14 years old). Ditto the circumpolar vortex heating twice as fast as the rest of the globe. The global jet stream has become more wavy, with bigger floods and longer droughts. Additional persuasive evidence is here <www.realitydrop.org>
Such evidence notwithstanding, we still dump nine million tons of CO2 into the Earth’s atmosphere each day, increasing it by 2.1 parts per million. We eschew clean sources of energy for petroleum, coal, and other contributors of greenhouse gases that thicken our atmosphere towards that of planet Mercury (the hottest planet around our Sun).
Such short-sighted, selfish views are responsible for enduring economic and social problems: Serfdom/slavery/poverty. Religious wars. Elites criminality. Avoidable sickness. These problems and others come from the manipulation of public and religious educational strategies that are based on myths and institutional legends that separate humanity into protagonists. We have been taught that haves and have-nots are unavoidable products of either God or Nature.
At this point, we cannot take a piece-meal approach to resolve these issues that fragment humanity. We cannot solve current wars and terrorism by present diplomatic and military tactics. We cannot erase poverty by schools and job training. We cannot stop the present turbulence of our planet by laws and regulations. We cannot improve health by more insurance and regulation of medical practices. We cannot have equity in use the Earth’s resources by legislation. We cannot depend on such technical fixes.
The way out of this conundrum is to “fix ourselves” and aim to develop our full potential. How we saw ourselves in the universe during the last century shaped what we believe today and how we live with one another. To understand the problems and solutions for this century, Homo sapiens must face their past.
In these circumstances, humanity’s most constructive route in the future is to undertake the most profound existential Species Self-Assessment in our galaxy, or even beyond. Its purpose would be to develop a cross-cultural, reality-based vision of the human potential on this threatened planet. Earth has provided the cradle for the birthing and training of humanity, but only fully self-aware humans can realize a new vision based on the reality of our multidimensional universe.