Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Humanity... And the A+ We Seek...

We are a force to be reckoned with. We scale mountains, traverse planets with robots, have whims of utopia and destruction. We cure diseases, switch body parts around, and create smaller life that can destroy ourselves with a sneeze. As a singular individual, we are nothing, though.

Sure, great men have come and gone, according to fellow humans, of course. But outside input? A sentient being with which we could ask for feedback? A gold star perhaps? Something in red pen we could take and say, "Okay, I'll improve on this."

Ergo once wrote in one of my comments a while back:

[...] the God-concept is merely the projection of the Ideal that is observed in the real world in us and things around us.

For example, because we die, we project our desire to continue existing onto a Being that exists and has existed forever.
All God-concepts are idealizations... It's Omniscience our lack of absolute knowledge, it's Omnipotence, our self-perception of weakness, it's moral perfection, our moral failings, etc.
This was in regards to an older post entitled Imagination Vs. Reality, and I have yet to find any reason to refute this statement. It makes perfect, logical sense.

We pray to this being, we build buildings, decorate our graveyards, praise and curse this being, sometimes all in the course of one day. We kill ourselves, lift ourselves up, make life-choices based upon what we believe--what we think--this being that we imagine would want from us.

And, unless we also imagine an afterlife, there really is no point to it all, is there? (I know, a bit morbid, but no less true... Plug in your new Top-of-the-Line Toaster Over, that always brings a smile to my face!) Here I am, in a job that at best could be classified as mediocre... and yesterday, Ergo, doing almost the same thing I am doing halfway around the world, had a closer encounter with terrorism than I have ever experienced, and I hope I never have to.

No one has stepped forward, that I have heard anyway, to claim "responsibility" for the bombings. But does anyone really have to? Is anyone out there saying this was a natural phenomenon? That it was Allah or God sending destruction on the people of India for their "sinful" ways, like a Katrina but with fire? No one has to claim it. We know who it was.

It was us. Mankind.

If we are a creation of a sentient being, I wouldn't be at all surprised if he had given up on us all by now.

But we also know, no supersentient being is needed for us to do this to each other. No all-mighty plan, no all-mighty creator, no all-mighty reason. Hell, there needn't even be a hell for us to do this.

All we need is us.

Katrina was claimed by some to be God's willful wrath on New Orleans for their decadence (never minding that the French Quarter, where most of said decadence occurs, got, like, an inch or three of water while the poorest districts had ten feet or more). The tsunami, again, claimed by some to be God's divine judgment on a poor, barely educated group of persons, just trying to make a living day-to-day and hoping for better things in the future. Granted, these two tragedies showed both the worst and best side of man. Our compassion, our pouring of money and blood to help those victims, of water and blankets and clothes. But then there was the other side. The damnation, the judgment, the cynics who, with their puffed out chests and head in the clouds, said it was of God.

When really, it was all Man.

I'm not saying man caused the tsunami. That was just a natural function of the rock we call Earth. The hurricane could be said to be an effect of man's actions, but again, hurricanes happen without our carbon pollution. But these things don't require a god, either.

All it would take is one e-mail sent to all mankind from this being. A letter, perhaps, or a miraculous headline magically appearing on all the newspapers in all the languages in all the world. Or perhaps it will take our annihilation of ourselves.

I was thinking about how we will look back on these times in our history. We will forgive ourselves our capabilities of such atrocities? We will look back in, say, the year 3030 and say, "Wow! What were they thinking?" as they stare from Jupiter's horizon onto the glowing dot known as Earth 1?

Will we even make it that far? We'll never know, of course. Until Walt Disney becomes unfrozen and can regale the future Man with tales of what silly rides we used to spend our free time riding, even the future Man will never know what we were like, much as we speculate about happenings merely fifty years ago, let alone a few thousand or a few million...

But perhaps, as we go around claiming moral superiority, killing in the name of a deity we think may or may not approve of what we're doing (and I don't care if you call it belief, faith, or love, it's a thought, an emotion, and not a fact, despite the euphoria you feel singing a silly song on a Sunday morning), how about just letting people simply live. For we all live for the same things, across all time and space and culture and language.

We want to live. We live for life, and for everything life is.

That's your A+. That's your reason, your meaning, whether you guise it up in royal robes, a boob-tube, a job, or a deity. Life is all you have. Life is all anyone has. Why is it so hard to respect that for others?


Ergo said...

The "tone" of this post is much different from the other one's I've read on your blog. And I like it... as much as I like so many of your posts here.

You said: For we all live for the same things, across all time and space and culture and language.
We want to live. We live for life, and for everything life is.

Jason, I wish that were true. But you very well know that some (many?) people want to DIE more than they want to live... because, according to their faith, there is a better life "ahead" for them to look forward to... one with 72 virgins, rivers of honey, naked angels blowing horns (or whatever else it is they blow).... you get the idea.

Kelly said...

I really like this post, too, and I agree with what Ergo said about the God concept being merely the projection of the Ideal that is observed in the real world in us and things around us. Did you ever notice that God is either blameless or totally responsible for things and there is no reason to it?

Oh, and we already scoff at the polytheistic believers who have come before us. We raid their mummies and coffins and poke fun at how they believed in an "afterlife." (But don't most people believe that now?) So I definately think there will be people on Jupiter...if we all don't die by a big meteorite hitting the earth.

Not that anyone REALLY cares. We all have ice cream and TV and puppies, so what does it matter?

Dar said...

No credit to Satan for mankind's evilness?

Jason Hughes said...

Well, Dar, if you're a fundie, you would say I am Satan with this tripe Im trotting out on a semi-daily basis... :D

As it is, I'll leave it to Darkmind and his evil robot schemes to fill those shoes...

Thanks, too, to Kelly and Ergo for their kind words... it was an honor to be nominated!

Darkmind said...
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