What I Really Think About Human Beings as a Species: 1
It is no secret that my views on human beings as a species have been pretty negative for a long time. I have also made it clear, on at least one previous occasion, that my views are not the result of disappointment and therefore are not typically misanthropic. I tend to see things as they are, rather than as they are supposed or expected to be. As regular readers also know, more than a few of my previous posts have been about the apparent inconsistencies in widely held views about the human mind and observed human behaviors. In a few of those posts, I have explicitly suggested that most human beings are largely driven by the desire to cheat, screw over, damage, hurt and kill others- even if does not confer any measurable advantage to them. While I have my own theories on what drives this almost uniquely human urge, the current post will talk about another aspect of this phenomena- its ubiquity. I will also talk a bit about why this urge will almost inevitably result in human extinction.
Let us start with a recent news-piece about how officials in the Pyrenees are considering how to curb the sexual appetite of Pyros the bear to give his rivals a chance to mate. This news-piece also reminded me of another similar one from a few months ago- Danish zoo that killed Marius the giraffe puts down four lions. While reading both of them makes you wonder about the world view and belief systems of the “officials” in question, almost nobody seems to be asking the most important question- How is interference in the lives of wild animals based on questionable beliefs rational? As you will soon see, the generalized form of this question is intimately connected to what I am going to talk about in the rest of this post.
But before we go any further, let us first be clear about my views on the treatment of animals. While I am against cruelty towards animals, I am not against eating meat or killing animals that are (directly or indirectly) dangerous to human beings. Though I am against the horrible conditions prevalent in the factory farming of animals- especially in north america, I am not against the concept of raising and killing animals for food, as long as it is done in a way that causes minimal pain and suffering to the animals in question. Nor am I against the hunting animals, as long as it is for obtaining food or protecting oneself.
And this brings me to another facet of the problematic relationship between humans and other animals. Large-scale trophy hunting of animals, especially large mammals, was once a very popular pursuit. It reached its peak in the 1840-1914 time period and was responsible for the near extinction of many large mammalian species. Curiously, neither food nor security was the main reason behind such large-scale trophy hunting. So what was it about? Some might say that hunting large animals is about displaying masculine prowess. While that was partially true in the era before long-ranged rifled guns became commonplace, it is really hard to argue that the ability to safely kill an animal from 200 meters with an accurate rifle is somehow linked to masculine prowess. The same questions could also be asked about commercial whaling or clubbing seals by the tens of thousands for fur. So what was all this large-scale animal killing really about? Could it be the act of killing others for no rational reason is more pleasurable than is commonly understood?
Let us now turn our attention to pets. Why do humans have pets? Why do people constantly try to anthropomorphize their pets? Now some of you might say that most humans do infact care about other animals, especially those species that are kept as pets. But is that really true? If that were true why do humans kill so many of the pet animals who cannot find a human owner? Is mass killing of animal pets that cannot find human owners really about their welfare, or is it about something else? And why do humans spend that much time, money and effort to castrate pets, feed them, anthropomorphize them and then try to make them live like humans than the animals they are? On a related note, why were circus acts with animals once so popular? What is the entertainment value of watching lions, tiger and elephants jump through hoops or sit on tables? Why do people go to see animal trick shows at places like Sea World? What about zoos? What pleasure do humans derive from creating subservient animals and then observing their subservience?
Moving on to how human beings behave towards each other.. Why was overt slavery so common in previous eras, even if the slave-owners could not make a worthwhile financial profit from the labors of their slaves? Why go through the trouble of obtaining and abusing people as slaves when the same amount of work could be willingly and enthusiastically done by economically marginalized members of your own group. Why use slaves when there was no shortage of poor and desperate people? Why did rich people of previous eras prefer to have slaves over poorly paid employees? What was the real distinction between slaves and poor people? Does this have anything to do with how humans interact with animals? Could it be that human enjoy having , using, abusing others as slaves rather than taking the most rational way out and hiring people to do a given job?
Then there is the question of money, or more specifically why some people accumulate money beyond any practical ability to spend ever spend it. In a previous series of posts, I had put forth the idea that a few people accumulate money to impoverish everyone else than make their own lives better. Do you really think billionaires want to uplift social morality, educational standards or support LIEbertarian policies because they want to help their “fellow” human beings? Maybe making lost of money is not about showing others that you are better than them. Maybe it is really about willful destruction of the lives of people they do not even know in person. Or consider all institutional and corporate hierarchies. What if they are really about abusing and screwing other others rather than anything related to the supposed function of those institutions? What if bureaucracy is not really about making institutions work, but creating the groundwork for finding creative ways to fuck over other people- especially those you don’t even know. And why are priests of all religions more concerned with disrupting the sexual lives of others than their so-called “god” or public welfare?
The way women see, interact with and behave towards men is another example of this pattern. Why are so many fat white suburban women concerned about prostitution? Why do they want men to jump through all sorts of hoops for a slim chance of having sex with mediocre women? Why are they so concerned about misogyny? Why do ugly middle-aged hags want to be told that they are beautiful? Why complain about guys who treat them well? Why are most divorces initiated by middle-aged women past their physical prime? Why look down on male sexual desire while building your lifestyle on it? I could go on and on, but my point is that the attitude of women towards men is substantially more adversarial than can be explained via anything that even remotely resembles simple competition. It is a much better fit for something that I like to call- maliciousness for its own sake.
Many readers might have, by now, recognized a common thread running through all the above-mentioned examples of human behavior. They all clearly a demonstrate a deep-seated and widespread human tendency to be deceitful, cruel, abusive and murderous for reasons that have almost nothing to with material or monetary gain. It is as if most human beings are actively driven a unscratchable itch to hurt, abuse, enslave and kill others even if they stand to gain very little from it. Human beings as a species will spend their own time, effort and resources to hurt other living creatures just for the joy of doing so.
But why is any of this important? Haven’t human beings being like this for thousands of years? Well.. the simple answer is technology. Previously this particular human tendency was completely contained by technological limitations. People with pre-industrial and early-industrial age technology simply could not do much damage beyond their immediate vicinity. Even large-scale wars, genocides and conquests were moderated by the hard technological limitations. But that is no longer so.. and the (recognized or unrecognized) ability to fuck up the world of humans is real. I also believe that such an event is far more likely to occur as a series of unintentional coincidences, and reactions to them, than anything that is deliberately engineered. This behavioral tendency is also going to be the reason why humans (in their current form) will never become a space-faring species. Travelling between stars, you see, requires energy sources and technologies that would would let a single person kill every other human on the planet. You can be very sure that the development of such technology will result in the extinction of human beings before it is used to make a single starship.
What do you think? Comments?