reply to post by Doc Velocity
Great thread, a lot of food for thought here, and a lot of varied perspectives. There seem to be however, two main debates running parallel to each
other. The first argument revolves around the human nature issue (are we too violent vs we are not mature enough) and the second, parallel to the
first is the age old spirituality vs logic debate.
The issue of human nature is always difficult to discuss, since we have to make claims based on observation. What we have observed humanity do for the
past two thousand or so years, is generally not pretty. Even to this day, a large portion of our species is engaged in heinous acts that shames the
rest of us in sharing the same habitat with them. However, there is an important aspect that was brought up by one of this thread's posts: there are
nearly 7 billion of us on this planet and we are nowhere near the level of conflict we were experiencing 500, 100, or even 50 years ago.
Our judgment of humanity as a violent species, full of evil and hate, incapable of handling contact with an extra-terrestrial species, is rash, since
it is based primarily on what we can observe. And what have we observed of humanity's history and its conflicts: when you are hungry, you will seek
food, when you are thirsty, you will seek water, when you are poor, you will seek reprieve, when you are dying, you will look for life. The methods
that human beings apply in the search of basic necessities for survival are condemnable at times, commendable at others. Whatever circumstances we are
born into, be it geographic, cultural, or socio-economic, widely dictates how we develop as human beings. We are not blank slates, but we are by and
large products of our environment. Wherever there is scarcity, injustice, intolerance, bigotry, and all those aspects we could in our current state of
development resolve, there will be those who act in direct opposition of what most of us would call "civilized behavior."
As a species we make blunders, we trip, and sometimes we fall hard. But by and large, we have made tremendous leaps as a species. We are a stubborn
race, and sometimes we need to endure great loss and unspeakable suffering to get a point across. It took two massive and destructive wars to signal
to humanity just what the danger was of escalating inter-national conflict. These days, very few conflicts are fought in the battlefield between
states. Conflicts have become regional and are usually between the states themselves and splinter-groups of its populations.
We may have not necessarily be that biologically different from our ancestors 35,000 years ago, but to assume that such a lengthy period of time would
have no genetic significance in the development of a species is a leap in thought. The moment we began using tools, and thus adapting ourselves to the
usage of our own technological creations, we put evolution into fast-forward. The discovery of fire, the design of the wheel, the shaping of the
spear,...fast-forward..., the discovery of Penicillin, MRIs, the Internet, satellite communication, space exploration, etc., do you doubt that any of
these did not have a deep and resonating impact on the development of not only the species, but of individuals within that niche? Technology is our
way of directing evolution, which is why I think of Science as the study of miracles. If you brought a taser back to Ancient Greece, claimed to be
Zeus and zapped the first person to contest you, would you not be seen as a purveyor of miracles? Which brings me to the second debate...
Science and logic are not in direct opposition to spirituality. We cannot confuse spirituality and religious dogma. They are very distinct terms. One
can look at the Universe at large, understand its fundamental principles and the laws that govern it, and still feel awe, still feel a deep reverence
To be continued..