Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Having been off the grid so to speak for a week or so, now that I am back, I wondered what may have happened during my absence that may even be worth commenting on. .............................
...........................Well, not much it seems. The planet still spins with erratic consistency as it always has. And contrary to the notion that we do not get along, humans continue to mesh together as well as could be expected. So I guess I did not miss much.
Sure, there are still many places where we insist on ruining each other's day. But that has been part and parcel of our collective experience from the first moment one cave clan encountered another cave clan. Nothing new there. Barring any world wide event or series of events, I don't see much changing in the near future. We will continue to stumble our way towards the next millennium, each day increasing the odds that some future day will be our last day. It would seem logical given the historical rise and fall of the critters that preceded us. So far, every top of the food chain prehistoric creature has worn out its welcome. It would be terribly presumptuous of us to think we could beat this historical reality.
And with my second cup of coffee this AM, a leap of logic or maybe I just tripped over a tangent, but the notion of Sentience found its way to the top of the shit pile in my mind.
I thought about sentience for several minutes before I asked Wiki their opinion. That many more intelligent minds than mine have been able to qualify, quantify, and then supply a definition much more substantial and intricate than my own feeble thoughts on the definition of sentience was I expected. I have had many years to get used to my second banana brain.
I was not surprised though that the concept of sentience is another of those ego building notions thought up to justify our position as the species most likely to succeed. Another rationale or excuse for the things we do to the other living things not blessed with opposable thumbs and the ability to understand the subtle nuances of "The Wives of Orange County". Another excuse to assuage any guilt for the exploitation of the planet we exist on. That somehow since we can reason, we have the right to do what we want to those we deem less than sentient. It is no wonder then that depending on how much our heart bleeds, our definition of it changes. Sort of like our views on religion, politics, and any other human action that means someone wins by making someone else lose.
Before this post becomes a condemnation of what we are, what we have done, and what we will or might do in the future, I would say that I actually think we are not a terrible species. About average I would say. Which delegates us as just another group of animals trying to get by the best that they can.
Certainly we exploit the resources around us. Certainly we destroy or damage the eco-existence of other living things in our quest to survive. That is the natural way of things. Most every living thing does that. But to our credit, within our collective conscience, more of us have begun to understand that our longer term survival depends more on stewardship of the planet, than the mindless exploitation that has worked so far. Instinct is slowly being supplanted by Reason.
My only question is - Is this realization too little, too late?
Keep it 'tween the ditches..................................