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Are we humans failing to secure our survival?

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TUMBY BAY – Having reached an age well past the Biblical allotment of threescore years and 10, I’ve noticed in the scriptures there could be more – although it comes with a menace.

‘The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away’ – Psalm 90:10

Fortunate that I am before I fly away but, through my comfortable and privileged lens, I find it exceedingly difficult to rationalise the state in which the poor old Earth with its relatively young Humanity finds itself today.

The things that are wrong are too numerous to list here, but one thing is abundantly distinct: it is Humanity that has caused nearly all of them.

My urgent question is why. What is the end game? Are we really destined to destroy both ourselves and maybe the wonders of the planet on which we live? And, if so, what is the point of it all?

I fully realise that we and our planet occupy a very tiny – indeed an insignificant blip - in the life and destiny of the universe.

Sometime in that expanding vastness of the universe, the eventual demise of our planet (and whatever remains on it) is a dead set certainty.

One day our sun will shrivel and die and this will all be gone.

But between now and then, we are hell bent on accelerating the process and turning our beautiful blue planet into a dustbowl that resembles Mars.

Early this morning I took my dog for our usual walk along the beach. It had rained overnight and the air was fresh and clean.

Apart from the seabirds (too busy with getting breakfast to notice us) we were the only ones there.

The calming influence of the beauty and peace of the place, as it is every morning, was almost enough to overwhelm my senses.

I looked around and thought, this is all that humanity really needs and should aspire to.

And to extrapolate from the words of our admirable colleague, Fr Garret Roche: “To consider how we can all work together for the benefit of all humanity and all of nature.”

Yes just that, no matter our beliefs or religions or opinions.

Yet I know that in all places in the world, humans are conspiring to exploit, cheat, rob, kill and destroy each other, not only at a personal level but at a national and international level.

How is it that a species with such potential for good has turned in on itself in such a bitter and destructive manner?

Why has our so-called superior brain power been subverted in such a savage and pointless way?

The symptoms have always been apparent to us so there is no excuse for not recognising them.

If you are a Christian they began with Cain and Abel and if you are a denizen of the modern world you can blame capitalism or communism and a whole basket of other isms.

But they are just symptoms of a greater cause and that cause is the thing that is veiled and mysterious.

For Cain and Abel the cause was God’s favouritism but that fable is hardly rational. There is much more to it and that is the thing no one has yet identified.

Unlike religion, secularism doesn’t offer an ultimate reward for working together for the benefit of humanity and nature beyond self-satisfaction and an easy conscience.

But we shouldn’t just be motivated by potential rewards to be good humans because that kind of bribery turns the concept into hypocrisy.

The attraction of eternal life, reincarnation or even heavenly virgins as a reward are very dubious propositions, not least because of the eventual excruciating boredom they suggest.

Working together for the benefit of humanity and nature should not have to rely on something so transactional.

What we really have to do is work out why we are such a terrible and destructive species?


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Lindsay F Bond

Seers not all are, yet some few envision the 'inevitable'.


Prevention if possible, but who might have had a shot on a still young Bavarian Troper Adolf Hitler?

Report from one of his colleagues: "In one exchange that foretold what was to come, he ranted that, if he were in power..."


About "understanding Putin,” German biographer Boris Reitschuster told the BBC. “We would have another Putin and another Russia without his time in East Germany.”


As to "when Putin considered becoming a taxi driver" many now might say "if only!".

Stephen Charteris

Totally agree with you Philip. For an awfully nihilistic take on your last question look no further than Pan troglodytes. It is our default behaviour. It is in our nature, in our genes.

But here's the rub. We have known this for a long time. We have the cerebral cortex to nut these things out. However when push comes to shove the vast majority would rather put moi first and nous last. The default setting.

We see it on the nightly news with those who idolise Trump, Putin and "Bebe" and their ilk.

We see it with the oil barons who sacrifice the earth's environmental capital to turn a profit at the expense of life itself.

We see it with the treatment of refugees fleeing abject poverty and conflict in sub Saharan Africa and other conflict zones.

There will always be those who equate extreme wealth, power, inequity, environmental and human destruction with success.

Like you I take what solace there is from nature's bounty, marvel at latest instalment from the James Webb space telescope and the miracle we are even here at all.

Do one's little bit, each within his/her capacity and be thankful for the time we have been given.

Paul Oates

Like many others of our age Phil, we are finding it increasingly difficult to understand why we apparently don't now seem to fit in to the world we now find ourselves in. The answer is clear, we were brought up to live in a world that now has ceased to exist.

The practical answer is unfortunately very simple. We are transiting through a collapse of the civilisation we were educated to cope with and now find ourselves as virtually, living anachronisms, unable to be understood by younger people who now inhabit the present world that is crumbling around us.

Where are the road maps or perhaps some helpful hints? Sorry, not available unless you can find them on your 'smart' phone or the echo chambers of social media. You sure as heck won't find them at 'my gov' or the local government front counter interface.

The answer is so simple and yet we tend to reject it like poison. We are is the collapse of our civilisation.

'What will happen now,' you ask? Well, if there are still some that know something about human history, the best example is what happened after the collapse of the Roman Empire.

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