We are obliged to preface the following, essay, with the declaration that it is written, exclusively, from a secular, empirical point of view. The statements concerning man’s, “purpose” and his “destiny,” refer specifically, and respectively, to the potential capabilities bestowed upon him, by evolution, and the nature and extent of his empirical employment of such singular abilities.
Inarguably, most notable, was nature’s generous bequest to mankind, of an advanced brain, affording to him extensive resources for survival, and the potential for social advancement. Supplementing and assisting such capabilities and potential for success, were his given, perceptive senses, opposable thumb and an upright posture. Man’s purpose and future destiny, as we refer to such concepts, relate, respectively, to the (mental and physical) potential capabilities, given to him by nature’s providence, and his ability to achieve success, by their future application.
Retrospective study of early homo sapiens, will readily evince, a long, steady, dedicated march, anthropologically and socially, in the direction of modernity, by virtue of the utilization of such unique, evolutionary endowments. It will reveal Early Man’s, slow, but steady, morphing, from a lonely, short- lived and greatly endangered new species, existentially and singlehandedly, obliged, to daily, search for food and water, adequate shelter, warmth, safety from wild beasts and marauders, and contend with the harsh natural elements, to the later, enhanced, societal living, where joint existence and enterprise replaced such solo challenges.
Societal living, began, reportedly, about seven thousand years ago, when man turned to agriculture, as a primary way to obtain food. Living together in society with other human beings, afforded relief from loneliness, the cooperative sharing of skills, joint enterprise and the increased security of a common defense. Inter-dependent, shared, communal life made necessary and practical, the creation of a common language, and the need for an agreed system of governance, and led to a common culture and social system, inclusive of indigenous folkways.
The future witnessed the development of self- governing, City States and still later, the consolidation of such City States, resulting in, consolidated, independent, Nations. Questions of philosophy of rule, political obligation, rights of the individual, relationship of ruler to legislation, the nature of political liberty and social justice needed definition. These States, coexisted, traded and communicated with each other, and at times, began to contend over trading rights, territories and religion. Meanwhile, a dedicated sense of personal “Nationality” developed, as an integral part of individual identity, and while, the existence of cultural and political solidarity, generally, is salutary, it carries the proviso that it does not fester, into a bias, or prejudice against other cultures or States.
It appears to us, that, it was, generally, at this, developmental stage of mankind’s march to modernity, that man’s anthropological character, visibly, seems to have taken an undesirable, “U turn.” While some conflicts and violence, did exist in the earlier stage of his development, man seemed now, to manifest, latent or innate tendencies, far from the ends for which he had been equipped by evolution, and antithetical to the ends intended, in his given, natural purpose and destiny.
To reluctantly summarize, mankind seemed, markedly, to effect a U- turn to the opposite direction. From his general desire for communality, living amongst other humans, generally, to an insular preference for his own familiar citizens, to the hostile exclusion of others. Factors, leading to such hostility, with other groups or Nations, included, competition, differences in belief (primarily, religion), territorial disputes and wrongful aggrandizement, desire for power or natural resources, historical and ethnic disputes, economic motivation, propaganda and populist myth, or any conceivable dispute du- jour. In too many cases, the ensuing consequences were wars, some of which led to permanent estrangement.
Conflict and warfare, seems to predominate in our histories, for a multitude of reasons, among which was the aspiration for territory or power. Religious differences may top the list as the most cogent, and enduring, motivation for conflict. Even more enduring than the thirty year’s war in Central Europe, between the Catholic and Protestant faiths, is the never-ending warfare between Sunni and Shia Muslims; the latter having its cause, stemming from a 7th Century, dispute, as to whether the Prophet Mohammed, should be succeeded by a blood relative (as in England) or by popular vote. As is the case with all conflict and war, including the two World War the eternal (if unreasonable) causes are, “we” and they.” It may not be possible, or useful, to recount the plethora of bloody wars, all of which in which in the causes, reside in the taught concept of “we” and “they” as shamelessly, the case in hostility based upon racial or other prejudice.
The salient and painful a question, is what caused the “U-Turn” in man’s character and persona, from a peaceful being, seeking survival, human company and mutual association, to the later (and contemporary) pathology of fear and loathing of the “other?” Why has societal communication atrophied to the the utter absence of civic amity, as between our fellow citizens, with differing political views? Why have the uninformed people of the world, predominated in their atavistic Nationalism?
Recent examples of such human pathology, are seen in the unfortunate global metastasis of the low educated, flat earth, populist, who have exacerbated the pathology of Nationalism, on a World basis, and caused a rejection of efforts expended toward uniting people of other Nations, thereby, preventing efforts toward peace and mutual cooperation. The latest victory, of the uncountable efforts, of the less educated and uninformed, flat earth denizens, were rewarded, recently, by the withdrawal of Great Britain from the European Union, thus, undercutting a joint, and historically salutary, effort to improve relations, economic and political, between European Countries.
We have no pretensions, whatsoever, to being anthropologists, sociologists nor psychiatrists, but will, nevertheless, bravely venture to state what we sincerely believe to be, the provenance of this human failing, provided, the reader, consider that, as titled, above, this is an original, unverified and academically, unstudied perception.
At the start of this mini-essay, we posited the proposition, that man’s future and destiny, [meaning, man’s naturally inherited capabilities, and his use of them] were generous gifts, to homo sapiens, from natural evolution. It is our necessary surmise, that nature is, and was, concerned, solely, with the existential subjects of survival and reproduction. In accordance with our speculative supposition, while natural evolution, is the driving force, behind growth, survival and reproduction, it is systemically and categorically unrelated to human psychology or, to man’s persona. Nature’s evolutionary gifts and destiny, as previously noted, concerned with species survival and reproduction were a complete success; man, the new, advanced species, survived, flourished, and presently exists, in great number.
Man, alone, must take the full blame for his selfish, insecure, inapathetic and immoral persona, and its shameless, historical manifestation of culpable behavior. What appears, to be needed for the securing of a better planetary inhabitant, is an evolution, now, of man’s facilities for morality and brotherhood.