Saturday, October 14, 2017

Anti-Life Dominates


Science fiction speaks of anti-life.  A form of life whose very existence is the exact opposite of our own.  It seeks only to destroy our life.

In real life, Sigmund Freud spoke of a death-wish hidden in each of us.  A controversial idea.  Some resist the notion that it's actually possible for any living thing, even one as complex as homo sapiens to desire its own death.  We are capable of suicide, of course, though society has always condemned the suicide of the individual as being a despicably immoral act.

Collective suicide seems perfectly acceptable, though, as long as it is wrapped in delusion and denial.

Incredible, on the face of it.  The idea that a whole intelligent species would actually and systematically destroy itself without even meaning to.  Logically, our primal, over-riding instinct for self-preservation should prevent it.  See a snake, avoid stepping on it.  See a precipice ahead, change direction.

But what about threats we create ourselves, like pollution and climate change?  We see the storms, the droughts, the wildfires.  But, do we change direction by moving away from fossil fuels and towards clean forms of renewable energy?  No.  Instead, we elect a president who wants to accelerate fossil fuel production, pollution and environmental degradation.

We see one mass shooting after another, each worse than the last as the technology becomes deadlier.  But, do we change direction by implementing sensible gun control legislation, as other nations successfully have?  No.  Instead, we drone on about 2nd Amendment rights as the killing goes on and on.

How have we survived this long without better survival instincts?  Have the instincts we once had deserted us?  Are we unable to adapt quickly enough in a rapidly changing world?  Have our own inventions simply outpaced our instinct for survival?

Or, has our ability to delude ourselves developed beyond all else?

The age of cyber-reality has largely cut us off from actual reality.  Whatever we wish to believe becomes reality.  Unpleasant actual reality is as easily discarded.  Rumor becomes fact when consulting a posting on the Internet is easier and far more emotionally gratifying than consulting a science book or statistical reference.

The Internet becomes an addictive opiate in an age of cynicism in which all faith in established authority is discarded with child-like abandon.  Hate becomes easier than love, as always because it's easier to blame the outsider for all our problems, but more so now in a medium designed to facilitate hatred and insolence of faceless, distant voices.  So much easier to dehumanize those you don't have to face.

And, so much easier to discount overwhelming real-world evidence of danger by simply creating a false world of pseudo-evidence based on wild rumor and pseudo-scientific nonsense.  We've created and become dependent upon a false world which disconnects us from our own survival instinct.

Our desire for gratification has overpowered our instinct for survival.  Seemingly impossible, yet it seems to be happening.  An inevitable occurrence when a species evolves intellect and technology?

Hmmm... Maybe that explains why we've detected no radio signals from other stars. 

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