[ 2 min read ]
Only we beat ourselves up for doing what we as species are capable of, and tell ourselves fairy tales about our superiority and our moral duty. Only we feel disappointed with us as species. Only we have hard time accepting our “flaws”.
Meteorites, volcanos, climate changes (like ice age for example) or other forces not only pose threat to the current condition of our planet, to the status quo, they actually rendered some species extinct, did irreparable damage to the earth or other parts of the universe, not just once but multiple times, changing the trajectory of the evolution of species on “our” planet or the planet itself (if there was a predefined trajectory).
So do meteorites and volcanos also have hard time accepting their flaws? Did dinosaurs have hard time accepting their flaws? Did they beat themselves up for the fact that they spread terror and that their behavior could render some species extinct?
There was no moral duty to begin with. Just as there was no ‘happiness’, ‘family’ (as we know it today), success (as we know it today), ‘decency’ (as we know it today).
We invented the concept of a moral compass in order to protect ourselves (our species) from our species. Because the accidental advancements that happened to us (the development of our brains), rendered relying merely on instincts obsolete. We reached the point in our evolution when we in our societies can no longer rely solely on our instincts (more importantly we convinced ourselves that we shouldn’t, that there is a “better way”). We could and we did tens of thousands of years ago.
And with time we forgot that morality (differentiation of intentions, decisions and actions between those that are distinguished as proper and those that are improper) entirely is our invention, just as are the systems and frameworks that were put into place in order to ensure it.
We even invented beliefs (that we called religions) which clear purpose was (and is) to ensure a certain (proper) behavior (it’s one of their functions). It created the conviction that not only do we as species underlie some generally accepted system (a framework rich with penalties for unwanted behavior), but also are accountable to some, always very mysterious, higher power (the more mysterious the better, the more it eludes us the better), rendering the commands of morality even more effective, and thus the protection of our species from our species even more reliable.
I don’t advocate chaos and going back to using merely our instincts. It wouldn’t work in today’s world either (for us).
I advocate opening our eyes to the fact that we’re the only species that has hard time accepting who they are (all our "flaws" which we didn’t invent), because we keep telling ourselves little nice stories about us as species (create in our heads narratives about our supremacy and mission).
Or … what if we’re not the only ones to do it?