Death is built into life. Nature is telling us something and it is NOT that we humans are the center of the earth much less the cosmos. No one makes it out alive-Security on earth is an illusion and so is the myth of eternal security after this dangerous one-live now. Humans have evolved from the Earth's relative stability but this can change as many other extinct species point to. Even in this relative stability many humans have died due to natural disasters and if you escape that fate all humans must face the demise of the human body because we live on a planet that does not blink when we face the end. The Earth is beautiful AND dangerous. It makes it that much more beautiful with the realization of our finite fragile lives on this tiny planet that as Carl Sagan stated exists in the universe like a mote of dust in the morning sky.
Theists speak of a "privileged planet" and ignore the volatile planet that is designed with death. Of all species that have existed on Earth, 99.9 percent are now extinct. Many of them perished in five cataclysmic events. The Earth can go from a "privileged" planet to a dangerous planet in its history and in its future. Death is part of the "design". Humans have been around for just 200,000 years and should keep in mind its frailty on this rare and at times volatile earth.
"The greatest good is the knowledge of the union which the mind has with the whole of nature." - Spinoza
Humans are animals and their morality comes from their living brains not from dead dogma. Other animals care for their young, protect their group and help cooperate and connect with their community. Animal Morality is real. Other animals may lack written language but their actions of care and protection are as real as human morality. For those who want to separate humans from the animal kingdom you are like a leaf that did not know it was part of a tree.
"Empathy and solidarity have held human groups together for ages. Admittedly, these groups were small. In both animals and humans empathy is biased. It is always stronger for the in-group than the out-group, stronger for one's own family than for nonrelatives. These biases are not hard to explain in evolutionary terms and have also been found in animal studies. We still have the psychology of a primate that evolved in smaller groups, even though now we live among millions of strangers. In order to do so successfully we need to rely on a blend of old psychology that makes us empathize with others and an appeal to what is good for all of us. " Frans de Waal
"There is no fundamental difference between man and the higher mammals in their mental faculties ... The difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it is, certainly is one of degree and not of kind. The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man. We have seen that the senses and intuitions, the various emotions and faculties, such as love, memory, attention and curiosity, imitation, reason, etc., of which man boasts, may be found in an incipient, or even sometimes a well-developed condition, in the lower animals." Charles Darwin
"We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special."
"It surprises me how disinterested we are today about things like physics, space, the universe and philosophy of our existence, our purpose, our final destination. Its a crazy world out there. Be curious."
Romans 1:20 - For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
If God is to be understood through nature it is hard to see the Christian God as being conducive with that God construct. Charles Darwin used one family of parasitic wasps as evidence for natural selection, writing to a colleague: "I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars." Many species of wasps lay their eggs inside caterpillars. To make this possible, the wasps' have a secret weapon in the form of a dose of virus-like particles that are injected along with the eggs.
Not only do these disable the caterpillars' immune system to stop it attacking the eggs, they also cause paralysis and keep the host from pupating - turning the caterpillar into an eternally youthful larder and nursery for the wasp grubs. (Source The New Scientist) In the picture a parasitic wasp lays its eggs into a caterpillar, at the same time delivering a hybrid virus.
"That there is much suffering in the world no one disputes. Which is more likely, that pain and evil are the result of an all-powerful and good God, or the product of uncaring natural forces? The presence of much suffering agrees well with the view that all organic beings have been developed through variation and natural selection." Charles Darwin
"I do not understand where this "beauty" and "harmony" are supposed to be found. Throughout the animal kingdom, animals ruthlessly prey upon each other. Most of them are either cruelly killed by other animals or slowly die of hunger. For my part, I am unable to see any great beauty or harmony in the tapeworm. Let it not be said that this creature is sent as a punishment for our sins, for it is more prevalent among animals than among humans. I suppose the questioner is thinking of such things as the beauty of the starry heavens. But one should remember that stars every now and again explode and reduce everything in their neighborhood to a vague mist. Beauty, in any case, is subjective and exists only in the eye of the beholder. " Bertrand Russell
There was no pre-death biology. Death is built into the system of life in the Universe. The Biblical account claims there was a fall from immortal to mortal. Life is mortal. The reality of the human condition is right there to say for anyone who will take a stroll into your local hospital. These bodies were never immortal. They are part of the Universe which itself is dying on a much larger scale.
Ernest Becker, the Pulitzer Prize winning author, wrote, “In order to turn out a piece of work the author has to exaggerate the emphasis of it, to oppose it in a forcefully competitive way to other versions of the truth…the problem is to find the truth underneath the exaggeration.” When it comes to the variations of meaning within conflict and tragedy one is confronted with the limitations of covering such a broad subject when it is so complex in nature. The will to meaning within the human experience has had important consequences for the world. It is hard to exaggerate the influential aspects of the pursuit for purpose when the will to meaning in human experience has given so many the strength to deal with the blows of fate. But there is a dark side to the will to meaning and the denial of death.
The human ability to give meaning to colors, flags, stories, and symbols has often led to two or more movements to battle in a bloody conflict for hegemony. Becker wrote, “The last thing man can admit to himself is that his life-ways are arbitrary: this is one of the reasons that people often show derisive glee and scorn over the ‘strange’ customs of other lands—it is a defense against the awareness that his own way of life may be just as fundamentally contrived as any other. One culture is always a potential menace to another because it is a living example that life can go on heroically without a value framework totally alien to one’s own.” The transference of life and meaning to objects and symbols is a human trait that makes conflict more probable. It is no longer a piece of land, cloth, stone or building…but my very life and existence. Two heroic systems that are born from this escape from oblivion and this will to significance, cannot stand to co-exist with one another because their mere existence points to the fallacy of their absolute superiority. Thus genocide is even justified…kill the people to keep the ideology alive. Humans have often sacrificed real life for imaginary life.
I do not want to discredit humanity as a hopeless endeavor. A few years ago a friend and I went on a road trip. We came across a car that was stopped at the side of the road. I will never forget what I saw. I saw a woman sitting on the side of the road holding a dying deer. She gently stroked the creature’s head as it lay in her lap. My faith in humanity sparked again by its ability to give a damn. That woman made a horrible act of chance into a beautiful image of hope. Despite the indifference of the universe we humans still have the choice to care about the universe.
The universe is not built towards human happiness or fulfillment. Human happiness must be manufactured by human beings. The human ability to create through art, words, or other symbols is also the human ability to destroy. If a creature can create it can also destroy. The good and the bad of humanity is one. The complexity of it makes it less of dichotomy and more of a fusion. Nature is not cruel or beautiful rather it is both cruel and beautiful. The lion that takes the life of a baby gazelle does so under the beauty of the African landscape. A viciousness backed with the scenery of a lost paradise.
Policy makers who do not study humans on a micro level are “like a blind man in a dark basement searching for a black cat—that is not even there!” It is like an auto mechanic who only knows the outward workings of a car but has not grasp of the engine, the inward driving force. He can tell you how to drive it but not help you fix it. The study of human psyche and emotions should be a requirement to the world of policy makers if it hopes to really face the human challenges in the 21st century. When it comes to global politics human feelings and emotions can be as dominant and relevant as any empirical data that is produced. As Patricia Crone noted, “The very purpose of ideal types is to simplify a complex reality.”
"Our lives begin to end the day we are silent about things that matter" Dr. Martin Luther King
Author of Blog
Born in the United States of America. Spent my Childhood in Kenya, East Africa. Graduate of George Mason University in Global Affairs with a concentration in Africa and the Middle East. What I desire is not total agreement but thoughtful people. To share ideas and expand knowledge in the era of globalization.