I am coming to a conclusion about the state of humans on this planet. We are doomed to destroy ourselves unless we gain the ability to go beyond the mental health problems and extremist world views that are the cause of most conflict.
One of my favourites quotes comes from Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy: it is a sign on the desk of Salvor Hardin, “Violence is the last refuge of the incompent.” That is not to say that every use of violence is by incompetent people, but that frustration and lack of options often leads to violence. The sod who attacked and killed at Westminster this week suffered from mental health issues (detailed account here) and a misguided world view. Andrew Neil outlines the response of British people much better than I could here.
When it comes to Mental Health, we are getting smarter at diagnosing the myriad conditions that cause the human brain to become conflicted: stress, depression, split personality, paranoia, and psychosis; there is an endless list. An inability to process what is happening around us, or to us, can cause us to strike out at real or imagined enemies.
Our World View (or the more specific German word, Weltanschauung – the world view of an individual or group) causes us to accept or reject evidence in an age where information is bountiful and often fake. This crisis of truth is the death of rational thinking. Decisions are made according to a formula or the state of one’s ‘gut’ rather than what is kind, or what is best for all.
So, the enemy of our future is EXTREMISM. And our salvation shall come from UNDERSTANDING. We will not go beyond this crisis until a critical mass of humanity rejects alt-right, hard left, ideology-based thinking, intolerance, bigotry, and the hypocrisy of equating ‘all’ with ‘some’ individuals in any group that differs from what we believe to be normal. Let’s spend money to support those of us with mental health issues. Let’s focus on creating a world view that benefits all living things.
Understanding that a simple and creative life can be lived without damage to air, water, and other living things is the challenge we must face and overcome.