My Darkest Moments
As a philosopher, I am primarily interested in the furtherance and application of knowledge by Humanity for Humanity. I might digress by admitting the high probability of other intelligent life forms who should, when we become aware of them, be put under the general umbrella of what I call Human. But enough of that digression, for this article addresses those things most troublesome to a philosopher bent on the advancement of the Human Race. I could end this article now by simply mentioning two traits that define our agonizing struggle, abysmal ignorance and compulsion for power over other people, and you could fill in the blanks. Of course, if I did that you would have all the fun and I wouldn’t! Worse, I wouldn’t know if you made remarkable observations that I have not the experience or imagination to identify.
Thus, if you can bear with me while I dump my bucket, perhaps one or more of you can add to my thoughts or in some manner correct them. I like to think of the "Human Condition" as a very difficult maze that we may one day solve, and if you have read my book, Destiny, you know all about the Human Condition and my proposed "solutions." If not, do it, or perhaps reread it if you suffer from evaporative knowledge syndrome.
So why the article now if I already put all the essentials in my book? The most simple answer I can give is that my temporariness is depressing in the face of current local and world events that speak to the endless repetition of what we have done throughout history … war, etc. The ongoing game of dominance over other people. Too few examples of harnessing our best technology and our educational institutions to grow the Human Race, and I don’t mean in population. On one occasion I quoted Albert Einstein re his definition of insanity: "Endlessly repeating the same things while hoping for a better result." That thought best sums up my angst, for I am forced to conclude that throughout history our ignorance and power lust behaviors meet his definition of insanity. In short, all but a few humans throughout history have been insane in their behaviors and expectations.
How can one respect our institutions of government, businesses and churches, and sometimes educational institutions, when they operate in dominant and self-serving modes? The sad answer is that no intelligent person can respect those behaviors, for respect is earned admiration, and those behaviors are not admirable. One also cannot respect the idealist creators of ideologies except in a most abstract way, for their wishes and ideas have been routinely stolen and used as banners to proclaim some form of individual and institutional righteousness. One can only join "the game" and do the best one can to be dominant. Or so it seems.
Apart from notable exceptions in humanitarian and creative people in history, we are reduced to perpetuation of insanity. Within that world of insanity one becomes comparatively sane by learning to "work the system" to one’s own advantage, at the obvious expense of others. Hence, those who succeed best do not respect the institutions or their defined, higher level purposes, they simply use the rule set currently in vogue to amass wealth and power, and modify it periodically to better their odds of success. Those who depart from the rule set are sometimes identified and called criminals. Many are not identified as such, i.e., the child molester priests who have likely operated for millennia without fear of retribution.
The only ray of hope that continues is that of technological advances that today threaten our individual intelligence differences, such that amassing of power may become obsolete. Or it may not. All depends on broad application of genetic engineering to upgrade the entire Human Race, from ignorant insanity to holistic growth into the future. Can the insane cure themselves even when given the opportunity to do so? In my darkest moments, I think not.
I will paint one possibly positive scenario that is fraught with problems. If it becomes possible for genetic researchers to introduce a series of biologically active drugs in the air in various geographies and later across the world, that genetically alter all men in the production of spermatozoa, such that brain development is vastly enhanced in fathering subsequent children, then and only then will we succeed. No present-day institution, or more accurately, the people in charge, would ever willingly permit the loss of their power and societal advantage. They are too self-centered. The only way to overcome the problem is to sidestep it, and to accept the likelihood of and responsibility for unintended consequences, i.e., mistakes.
Is that "playing God?" No more so than what our little institutional demi-gods throughout history have done to us reliably and repeatedly. Why allow them to accuse anyone else of "playing God," when it is they who are and have always been the guilty. Yes, I can sidestep my darkest moments with the above scenario, albeit with more than a little fear, for civilization as we have known it, isn’t. Our "leaders" will not use genetic engineering advances to our benefit across all peoples. It is up to the best minds to work outside the institutional limitations and controls, and have the guts to change Humanity.
Hey, that sounds like the perfect ranting of a "mad scientist," now doesn’t it? I ask you to think about the origin of the term "mad scientist" and see if it is simply another control mechanism used to provoke fear in the common people, when in fact it is fear in the "leaders" within the institutions. They will do anything, and I do mean anything, to retain their power. So, forget about the entire idea of the "mad scientist," for it is just another smokescreen. You had best put your faith in our future in the hands of the "renegade" scientists, not our institutional "leaders" or the creeds they profess to follow. Is it not time for Human intellectual and physical slavery, not to mention stupid wars, to end?