Friday, March 5, 2010


Human beings are in a perpetual state of war. Even if every person were able to get along, we would still be at war.

Perhaps it isn’t very “liberal” of me, but I perceive nature as the enemy. I don’t like trees. I think Arbor Day and Earth Day are the worst holidays ever (they don’t even have sales). I think camping is just white people pretending to “rough it” by wasting hundreds of dollars on equipment they use once or twice a year.

I also don’t find wildlife to be fascinating enough to risk being attacked. Isn’t that why I have Animal Planet? Quite frankly, I wouldn’t be upset if every living thing were in a zoo or on the menu (though I think the Earth would technically become unlivable if this were to literally happen).

In short, I think the human race is at war with nature. On the whole, we’ve subdued it, and in many respects enslaved it to do our bidding. The occasional earthquake, hurricane, tornado, hail storm, lightning bolt, or even killer whale attack are nature’s obligatory swipes in the ongoing battle, but for the most part we live in complete contempt of the most basic aspects of nature… or do we?

There are still basic natural limitations with which humanity must wrestle. Aging comes to mind; disease is another. In fact, the human body is itself a natural limitation. Then there’s the fact that we live on a doomed planet. Either you believe our own opulence will wipe us off the face of the earth, or some other calamity such as interstellar collision, volcanic eruption, or even the inevitable solar life cycle which will result in the Earth being engulfed by the sun billions of years from now. We are at war with time (but it sometimes seems to take a while to strike…).

Despite all these common enemies, we still manage to fight amongst ourselves. Even with the enemy beating at the gate, we engage ourselves in civil disputes over meaningless drivel. We economically exploit each other; we violently abuse each other; we spread lies about each other so it is easier to send our young ones off to fight each other in far-flung regions of the globe.

Why do we bicker over resources which are limited when we live in a vast universe appears devoid of living competition, yet full of the very chemicals over which we kill and maim? Moreover, we are not even using the resources we have to their highest potential. Harnessing the power of the sun, wind, ocean currents, and even nuclear fission can all be implemented, and yet we dally about while happily shelling out billions to finite energy sources. We might as well plan for the day we run out of oil, gas and coal, be that decades, centuries, or even millennia from now.

We’re at war with inevitability, and it’s not a question of which side you’re on. All of humanity is stuck fighting against nature, so allegiance is unquestionable. We must see ourselves as what we are, creatures of a day working towards the lifetime of our species. Our success – and failure – may come down to a decision of whether we choose to compete or cooperate. Are we better off wasting energy sabotaging our own side in our attempt to be team captain?

In war, the side divided against itself is always doomed to defeat.


  1. Why should anyone care to work for the survival of our species? There is no inherent meaning in survival. There is no inherent meaning in life at all. So why should we care one bit about survivability? You're just imposing a value on a valueless universe. It's really rather dogmatic of you. And don't even get me started on your new natural law -- that "In war, the side divided against itself is always doomed to defeat." It is surely meaningless too -- and yet it sounds exactly like something Jesus might have said.

    Of course, you might be right: It all comes down to competition -- you know, the stuff conservatives argue for. Cooperate? That's for the reeducation camps weaned on the infallible texts of Karl Marx.

  2. - No one has to care about it. If they want, they can worry about something else, like masturbatory salvation fantasies.

    - There is no inherent meaning in anything. If one chooses to off themself at 5 years old, I don't really care. Survival may be over-rated, but I'm content with my interpretation of perpetuation of the species as being a noble goal with which I can aggrandize the primal instinct to mate.

    - I am imposing value on a valueless world. I like my values, which is why I advocate them in this format. I seriously doubt I will change anyone's mind, but I enjoy writing to see my own words (even if I'm just borrowing them for the time being).

    - That isn't natural law. It's an observable fact which can be learned either through historical study or practice. From Sun Tzu to Reagan. Look at Republicans: Reagan united them under the banner of never criticizing a fellow Republican, always work as a unit. It's brilliantly effective... which indicates to me Reagan didn't come up with the idea himself, but was merely the public spokesman... which is why the Republicans were also wise in choosing an actor for the role.

    - Jesus said he came to bring a son against his father, a daughter against her mother, and that a house would fight amongst itself. Maybe this was his prophecy for the Dark Ages? Since this is what happened in Europe, as warring (not to mention the eradication of pagan philosophy and science) resulted in stagnation within Europe until the unification against the Muslims (who coincidentally also re-introduced them to the science of Aristotle).

    - Competition and cooperation can work together. Think of the United States: a state may differ and try new things, encouraging a form of competition. Competition need not be cutthroat and counter-productive. Competition will always persist in some form so long as we are heterogenous. Homogeny is not a successful strategy.


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