Should we really be all that impressed with who we are as a species? I’m not even joking! If there is anything that is painstakingly clear it is that humans have a nature not all that different from animals. For instance, think about how territorial we are as a species. As much of a fan that I am of moral progress we cannot deny our inherent distrust for others, as well as our hatred of change. This is not to deny that we have a unique capacity to recognize the consequences of our actions, but we also possess an interesting naivety and tendency toward what has now developed into centuries of irrational behavior.
Christianity labels this as the sinful or fallen nature of human beings. However, this just doesn’t really fit the bill. Especially when we realize that the mythical Yahweh was a prime instigator of national dominance in the form of violent takeover of surrounding nations. I bring out these examples because unfortunately this inherent distrust that we have for others has often aided our own survival in spite of the wars and violence that it has also produced. It is a kill or be killed attitude that is not all that different from the thirst for dominance that lions and tigers and bears have, oh my!
Please note that I am not advocating murder and violence to continue as a the silent virtue that it seems to have been to spread our species all over the world and to advance in every conceivable way possible. Since we now have this capacity to understand how irrational these behaviors are in and of themselves, perhaps it is the time in our evolution to see humanity as the one tribe that we are, or rather can be?
It used to be that the population would grow and naturally groups of people would splinter off and charge forward into a different territory. The result of these differing territories and isolation from other people groups made coming back together an impossibility due to language, religious, and/or irreconcilable cultural differences that were not understood as universally normative.
There are two things that are bringing humans back together into one tribe, and there are two things that will continue to drive a wedge between us all. The use of technology and the free trade that results from it is bringing humanity back together and it is encouraging us toward adopting universal standards of ethics toward one another. Secondly, the use of the reason and science that has developed this technology is increasingly tearing down the barriers of ignorance that we have about our universe as well as ourselves. These things are consistently working toward bringing humanity to a unified understanding of the world.
The two things that will continually drive a wedge between humans of every ethnicity and culture is religion and politics. Religion no matter how we package it is inherently divisive. Sure, religions may have a unified understanding when they stand alone, but as long as humanity remains shrouded in faith rather than reason the relational barriers will remain airtight. Dogmatic creeds and confessions create an unbending mindset against reason and working together. In all actuality it is a voluntary suspension of reason.
Politics are driven by a thirst for power and who should be in charge. As long as hunger for control of a certain territory is the main focus of every nation we can bet our bottom dollar that these ambitions will continue to divide humanity as well as fuel more wars. Fundamentalist Christians go absolutely berserk about the idea of a one world government! Why is this? It wouldn’t have anything to do with dogma would it? Yes, as long as Christians remain convinced that the rise of the Anti-Christ is around the corner to establish a one world government of false peace, it is only going to impede progress and piss a lot of people off in the process.
Religion and politics breed a fear of change and produce alleged solutions that are all too short reaching. Isn’t it time that we put our thinking caps on and let the world focus on changing the present, rather than fearing the hell and brimstone that we invented in the past?