24 June, 2017

Will Man’s “Superiority” Be This Ultimate Undoing? 

By Lasantha Pethiyagoda

Lasantha Pethiyagoda

Lasantha Pethiyagoda

A long time ago, our ancestors were insignificant animals that roamed the Earth alongside other animals. Prehistoric humans were unimportant, but today in contrast, we think we control this planet.

In everything we do, we act with a sense of superiority to other animals, although our “Human-ness” is questionable in terms of superiority. Furthermore, we fail individually in our survival skills if we only had nature at our disposal, in contrast to a wild animal which will generally succeed.

Humans have succeeded only when acting collectively towards outcomes determined by themselves, rather than dictated by natural needs. In contrast, social animals succeed collectively only in their rigidly predetermined roles, and lack the capacity to chart optional paths, although ingenuity in achieving naturally determined outcomes do exist.

In stark contrast, modern humans can collectively achieve marvelous results with the ability to cooperate flexibly through sophisticated communication networks. For this, unlike for animals, humans do not need any intimate knowledge of all their cooperating partners. Humans therefore easily control much of the world.

Through this capacity to communicate, we are able to manufacture technology, go to war and create industries based on needs that are planted in the human mind through mass communication. Thus, humans manage to cultivate powerful fictions that are based on the imagination.

We develop morals, principles and belief systems based on the delicate manipulation of our thinking minds and biological dictates. So, millions of humans across vast tracts of land start adhering to what they believe to be correct, true or beneficial.

It naturally follows, that as long as everybody believes in the same set of ideas, everybody obeys and follows the same rules, the same norms, the same values that define the set of beliefs.

As mentioned earlier, humans communicate not just to describe their perceived realities such as anger, hunger, love or frustration but to entice others to cooperate in an ideal or norm that has been created specifically for control.

Religious beliefs are one of the most obvious outcomes of this creation of an ideal and the conditioning of the mind in its pursuit. Lesser beliefs can include a dream home, a certain qualification or achievement etc that promises benefits. Whereas in the material world we often realise the benefits, the afterlife is a completely different notion altogether, where realization can never be proven or demonstrated.

Man, who has successfully created imaginative realities like religion using the cooperative flexibility of the human species, then moves to other areas of control.

Together, human communities have relished the usurping of weaker communities and using the resources ‘owned’ by them. However, they do not engage in this endeavor in a “fair” manner (as defined by the creators of “rights”) and thus, laws and legal systems are introduced, presumably to ‘protect” the vulnerable. Thereafter, these exploited communities use the system of ‘law’ to agitate for their ‘rights’ which are arbitrated by yet other mechanisms created.

Man, in his grandiose assumption of superiority, goes on to create fictional entities such as borders, demarcations, nations and states, divided along some set of difference created in the fictional imaginations previously alluded to. These entities are purely extensions of imaginative creativity that seeks to differentiate, divide and keep the believers in a constant state of competition, adversity or fear. Thus, politics is born.

The creation of money or instruments of negotiation further adds to the fallibility of man in his capacity to collectively cooperate in any set of imaginative fictions. From rare metals that shine when burnished, to pieces of paper with imprints and colours, the major players who were nurtured under the above two sets of players (lawyers and politicians) now define themselves as bankers and economists and further add to the creative imagination that uses man’s collective flexibility to successfully exploit their beliefs.

Religionists, having set the stage for lawyers and politicians, and then bankers and economists, help to further distance humans from mere objective realities such as what we see, feel, use and engage with, to abstract perceived realities like monetary derivatives, shares and debentures which have no inherent benefit or value except those artificially superimposed on man.

These fictional realities gradually erode man’s affinity with objective realities and make them ever more dependent on the movements of these fictitious entities for their perceived benefits. So, instead of growing potatoes or raising chickens, man willingly watches the share market performance to derive benefits.

The purveyors of these fictitious concepts and entities now rule the world. They have debased the very humans on whom they depend, to the level of a nonentity or serial number, whereas animals that still roam the wilds are not under such illusions which degrade them. They adhere to their objective realities like hunger, love and anger among the trees, rivers and mountains and are not enraptured by fictions like gods, money markets, prices, laws, states and wills.

Humans have progressively destroyed themselves and their environment in the firm belief of their superiority to others in the animal world. So, there is perpetual war, inequitable distribution of resources, mass extinction of species that threaten to topple the ecological balance, starvation, depravation, and the very real issue of redundancy of humanity itself in a virtual cyber world.

There are teeming millions upon millions of humans who suffer horribly, day in and day out, generation after generation, while an ever smaller group becomes bigger and more ruthless control freaks with more and more power of control, willingly submitted to them by the collectively cooperating flexible believers. There is then the real danger of mass extinction of humans, perpetrated by this small group in order to acquire yet more control.

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Latest comments

  • 3
    6

    Apart from testifying to his ability to cut and paste from Google, what is the point of this long article?

  • 8
    0

    “”will-mans-superiority-be-this-ultimate-undoing””
    (only 15% of soldiers would kill once given the order)
    YEA AND NO. ⊛|⊛
    ACCIDENT ⊛
    UNINTENTIONAL
    IDEOLOGICAL MISHAP ⨸

    Big Shout, Small Shout. who is right.
    only left is wrong.
    30 years sliding slow…〄

  • 1
    4

    You have read ‘Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari’
    A good read it is. Btw, did you do his online course on the subject ?

  • 0
    0

    When rich and powerful people try to enhance their wealth by pressurizing disadvantage group it becomes a vicious cycle where rich becomes richer and poor becomes more and more helpless. Genuine concern towards people who need help is the most important. When we share our knowledge, experience and capability to make this environment a good place the power of that is increased exponentially in compared to the same with one person.

  • 1
    3

    Lasantha Pethiyagoda

    RE:Will Man’s “Superiority” Be This Ultimate Undoing?

    Will Man’s “Superiority” Be This Ultimate Undoing, apply to President Gon Gamarala?

    • 0
      1

      Mate, watch out ,my3’s son has octopusssy hands!

  • 1
    1

    Man can rise above angels but can also slip down to the ranks of the Devil.Unlike other living beings man has a choice and the path he chooses to trod is his own making.Yes man is a superior being by holding the power to discern a power given to him by one true God but if man abuses it he is then “digging his own grave”.God doesnt benefit the least if man obeys or disobeys God, unlike if we work hard for a leader of a country the leader benefits but this doesnt apply to God.
    Man has to work dilligently to claim his superiority by imbibing moral values,etc and if he fails to do that he will slip down to the lowest of low and finally bring down his own destruction.Its a simple equation and the choice is ours

  • 0
    0

    It’s no doubt that evolution has taken man to the highest position among animals, so his endeavor to harness nature to his own benefit can’t be contained.

    But the negative factor is that man isn’t united; he’s divided in natural and unnatural cleavages like complexion, physical size naturally and language and religion mainly to mention as unnatural divisions.

    These differences have set man on a race, race for power and superiority notwithstanding the destructive impact upon the very nature they’re sitting on.

    So now man must be ready sacrifice differences and unite to make a collective effort to harness nature minimizing destruction to mother nature.

    Unless the doomsday won’t be far away.

  • 0
    1

    Try to brainStorm the issue, finally you end up with the word “Human Greed” as the conclusion.

    Actually, if you get deep into the bottom you understand, greed never gives what you really want. That is either the wealth or the happiness. If you go the other way, you won’t believe the results.

  • 2
    0

    Dear Mr. Lasantha Pethiyagoda,
    I agree with you all the way that man’s superiority is cruel not only to mankind but also to all other living beings in the world. If not for the modern comforts man invented to make himself comfortable and the world a smaller place, this planet will not be warming up so fast.
    Superiority makes man blind making him forget ancient love and relationships our ancestors showed and cared for each other. Yes you still see this kind of loving and caring life in the wild, but not among the superior humans who cheat one another to amass wealth as much as possible. We named the showing of concern to others as “humanity”, but the same humanity is now fast vanishing from our generation.
    All the above happenings are what we see and what we know. But if you pay more attention you can realize that we still do not understand a lot of natural occurrence that is in progress.
    For instance, we need to understand all what we reap in a short time definitely will not stay with us. The more we enjoy this wealth, the more we and our generation are made to repent together with a load of punishment for our stealth attached to our future sorrow. Are we prepared to accept this truth, our superiority is destroying us with a lot of suffering attached.
    Every turn we take we see mistakes, imagination, and fear making us more and more protective and inhuman. We have forgotten to work in the direction of truth and love. We have forgotten what others say or do is a projection of their reality. This feeling of superiority of man destroys man faster than those beings in the wild.

  • 0
    3

    There is nothing wrong with creating imaginative realities. There is also nothing equally wrong with passionately follow and promoting such ideas. If any of such is not healthy to environment it will die off naturally. However, the process is wasteful and destructive at times.

  • 0
    4

    Lasantha,

    Read Stephan Hawthorns’s remarks

    sciencealert.com/stephen-hawking-says-most-of-our-history-is-the-history-of-stupidity

    • 0
      2

      Indeed. In fact people who came up with new ideas were initially laughed at. If we were to think like encouraged in this article we would be still running steam engines. We would still be having a rising population competing with each other with brutality for less.
      Today because of our “superiority” we enjoy growth, peace and moreover are capable of resolving our problems with smart solutions. We have rejected religious extremism and ideological extremism. That said there are still a few pockets of populations who are suffering with these inferior beliefs and dying in thousands. It is their ultimate contribution to the natural selection.

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