Human nature versus nature
We have seen that the self-aggrandizing human species deny possessing any inner demons or vices. They behave as if they do not belong to nature anymore. They govern nature.
Nobel laureates like Joseph Stiglitz and philanthropist and commercial personalities like André Hoffmann or Bill Gates unstintedly help humans. Judged by human values, philanthropic actions are virtues directed almost entirely to humans. Paradoxically the same humans cause poverty. Most human virtues fit quite well if our theme were “human versus humans” but much less with “nature versus humans”. In order to promote better health of humans and reduce poverty, philanthropists require the production of more wealth by exploiting the poor Earth. In the end, its nature that suffers.
Many use the ecological and environmental protection platform, lavishing lip service to saving nature and get elected as political leaders. Once elected they forget that nature encompasses the entire pulsating ecological setting with living and non-living things, the Earth and the universe. They become masters of all that.
A word here about politics. Politics deals with two issues: first, produce riches, of course, from Earth resources; second, share these riches between humans. In practice, the rich, and many who want to become rich quickly, go into politics. They fleece nature as well as fellow humans. The increasing number of campaigns putting pressure on the powerful political and commercial masters to protect the environment and restore ecology have largely failed so far. The result is that BHG has become stronger and poor Earth sicker.
Inner angels and demons
Discerning writers like Yuval Noah Harari have painstakingly described how evolution has transformed human species to its present state. Steven Pinker has elaborated the civilizing and humanizing process of “inner angels” or virtues of human nature through philosophical, psychological, neurological, social, economic, intellectual and cultural viewpoints. He concludes that humankind has become less violent and selfish, interacting better, showing less hatred, sharing more, resulting in fewer poor fellow humans, and the like. But I believe that he has dealt rather meagrely with the “inner demons” of human nature. He does not properly explain how their demons have globally weakened, or if they have taken a more insidious form.
Can you name a single human activity that is not directed to humans themselves? As I could not, my mind flash-backed to my time in Trinity College Dublin. The image of Jonathan Swift’s statue appeared in my mind. His famous satirical book Gulliver’s Travels that he wrote three hundred years ago was a part of my course. I recall its fourth part: A Voyage to the Land of the Houyhnhnms. I reread it after sixty years and adored it. This is still the best description of human meanness. Mind you, Swift was known well on both sides of the Irish Sea and was the Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral that I visited recently.
During his fourth voyage, Gulliver is abandoned by his mutinous crew in a landing boat close to an island. There he comes upon a race of deformed savage creatures resembling human beings to which he felt a violent antipathy. Then he meets the Houyhnhnms, a race of talking horses. They are the rulers. The deformed human-like creatures are called Yahoos. Gulliver rejects his fellow humans as merely Yahoos endowed with some semblance of reason that they only use to exacerbate and add to the vices nature gave them. The horses, on the other hand, faithfully comply with the laws of nature; they are perpetually healthy, content and happy; they do not absolutely need to pray, meditate or do yoga.
After considerable hoo-hah the master horse shelters Gulliver in his abode because he finds him to be intelligent. Quickly Gulliver learns their language. He reports on Yahoos, “I confess I never saw any sensitive being so detestable on all accounts, and the more I came near them the more hateful they grew.” He himself is never sick during years of his stay on that island. He cannot understand why nature should teach us to conceal what nature has given. When he returns home to Ireland he is unable to reconcile himself to living among “Yahoos” and becomes a recluse, spending several hours a day speaking to the horses in his stables.
I always maintain that Swift’s interpretation of human behaviour is as valid now as it has been since history began.
I strongly advise the likely saviours of our sick Earth, such as Grete and the Earth-Doctors, to read this adventure of Gulliver. It might give them a new vision of their mission.
Earlier I mentioned my being “lockdowned” by COVID-19. This is a zoonosis that has passed from other animals to humans. Learned people inform us that it sprang from noxious human activities, such as replacing forests with agriculture, exploiting wildlife, or destroying habitat of animals by mining. What is there left that animals need to flourish? Save the “green” planet – from whom?
Pursuit of Humans
The BHG pursuit of satisfying their own needs, greed and pleasure has evolved to an unimaginable level of sophistication and magnitude. BHG eat when they are not hungry and drink without being thirsty. Even the poor seek cuisine of the entire world to gratify their tongues; a slum dweller aspires to rise to a palatial house.
BHG has not left any stone unturned to acquire all intellectual wealth. Sophisticated educational and research institutions have armed humans with powerful means for exploiting the Earth and beyond. They build superfluous showy palaces of worship offering spiritual crutches to all.
To gratify curiosity, or simply to pass time, humans travel to distant places using the fastest possible transport, mercilessly devastating the entire ecosystem.
Inner demons fortify
Who has been paying for all this? How can Steven Pinker rush to conclude that the inner demons of humans have mollified? That might be partially true among some humans but there is nothing to cure sick Earth. Everyone talks only about caring for and increasing the potential of people and their communities.
Have you ever thought that humans hate one another more than they do any other species of animals? Humans are subject to more diseases than all other animals. Their arrogance of their wealth and knowledge makes them most unteachable with respect to nature. As a species, humans are degenerate, brutal, liars and fakes. Humans pretend to be reasonable and be guided by nature but are unable to truly discern what they ought to do and what they should avoid. For some reason humans are equipped to increase their vices. They proficiently prove that white is black and black is white, and thus become rich. Yet they are unable to feed all fellow humans. The world is miserable.
It is impossible to restore biodiversity and save sick Earth and at the same time satisfy human greed. Every human action reinforces BHG. Clean energy production, doubling employment per dollar spent on combustible fuel, grand scale restoration of forest ecosystems, all such actions are designed to save humans and not sick Earth. When natural phenomena such as fires, hurricanes, typhoons and droughts occur, humans protect and save themselves; no one talks about saving the Earth nor its animals or the ecosystem.
Humankind, scared by Earth’s rising fever, fear the unknown damage that climate will cause to their greed. Will the commercial and finacial machine slowdown? Will the rich unable to exploit the poor as before? They fear the escalating heat waves, mega-droughts, being frozen to death, or being drowned by a tsunami.
Yet, with friends like humans, who needs enemies?