Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Are Human Beings Stupid? II

The mockery of, and disgust toward, mankind is so tempting that it can become a chiche'  The pride of the humanist, culminating in the rosy optimism of the 19th century, now seems like childish nonsense.  It seems to be the case, especially for those of us prone to cynicism, that we must force ourselves to see what is noble and praiseworthy in man.  Remember the beauty of our art-the achievements in music, literature, and the visual arts, and the developments in science and technology are staggering.  Considering our short-sightedness and the way emotions/instincts/drives can cloud our reasoning, we have done fairly well for our species.  Progress through cooperation and determination to be civilized often falls short of a utopia; however, it is the remarkable evidence of what sets us at the top of nature's order. 

Perhaps we do expect too much of humanity; finite creatures bound by subjectivity still screw with progress. The answer to whether human beings are stupid ultimately lies somewhere int a vast lush land between the "yes" and the "no."  The favored response to our bent toward folly; therefore, is to advance with humility-and a healthy ability to laugh at ourselves.

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