Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Treatise on the Differing Views of Humanity

I do not, as a habit, provide a large amount of links to other bloggers on this site, preferring to make this outlet mainly a source of my own views and activities, but I think I must refer people to a post by Kevin Baker at the Smallest Minority. This is a very (VERY) long post, but I feel it is worthwhile, and references some writings that illuminate the variety of mindsets involved in our current political environment. In its essence it deals with a fundamental question: Are humans, inherently good or evil?

I think I have made it clear to those who know me best that I feel the latter is more likely. Through the course of human history, from the earliest known writings to the events of today and tomorrow, it is clear to me that mankind, while sophisticated beyond the scope of most animal activity, is still bound to viscerally and biologically animal responses. In other words, the good or noble results and impulses of our species are the result of conditioning, NOT the result of an inherent nature towards goodness or nobility. There are others in the world who truly, deeply believe that mankind is good and noble, and that the social injustices of the world can be vanquished, letting us all enjoy our goodwill towards each other without the need for violence or oppression. I cannot partake of their view, nor seek to destroy their hope that we all might someday get along. Their hope, their self-sacrificing commitment, and their will to improve the plight of humanity is what has led us to all the good things in society. I must believe the Jesus was one of these people, likewise many of the prophets, the founder of the Red Cross, and many others. My fiance and her family are included in this view. I will be the first to say that this response is NOT EVIL. It can never be evil to hope and it can never be evil to try to help people. Love is kind, it is not quick to anger. HOWEVER, every hope must be balanced by action, and protected against those that feel this hope threatens their own position. I would love to believe that all of mankind is inherently good, but as an Eagle Scout, I always find myself wanting to Be Prepared. To do otherwise would be to abandon my duty to humanity, that nothing evil should happen without me opposing it, that no disaster might arise that I do not have a least some cursory preparations to survive it, and bring as many as I can through it with me. As Rudyard Kipling phrased it, the Sons of Martha must work tirelessly to assure that the Sons of Mary have that good part, which they have chosen.

The end result is, take the time and read the post Kevin has put up. It was written from a very conservative viewpoint, but he does at least attempt not to be dismissive or 'knee-jerk.' It is quite instructive, and even illuminatory, and quotes some interesting movies. And so, here, I will add a quote I think is apt. It comes from the more recent Transformers: Rise of the Fallen. When Optimus Prime is questioned whether their presence does more harm or good, and whether they would leave peacefully if that decision was made, his response is, "Yes, if that is your decision. But first, what happens if we leave, and you're wrong." I'll leave us all to ponder that question. Those of us that feel mankind can learn to be fair and good, and utopia is achievable, pray every day, in their own way, to be proven right. The rest of us, that feel mankind will never overcome the violence that we were born of, well, we pray every day that we might be proven wrong.

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