Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Point of Being Human; Part Three


Fundamentalism, resource access and/or financial gain are unfortunately the primary reasons for wars.  At times, some wars are to thwart really nasty people or to stop genocide, but by and large our disparate beliefs, the quest to access a resource or the desire to control a people and therefore their resource, is the basis for legitimized killing and destruction on an unprecedented scale. Though exact figures are impossible to know, the average of the collective estimates puts all the military and civilians who have died since WWI at approximately 77 million people. My estimate is conservative and as a result, it is likely an underestimate of the true number of deaths as a direct result of war, or acts of war. That's equal to every man, woman and child in Canada being killed twice, plus a million more!

This topic is potentially touchy because of fundamentalist principles.  I have neither the interest nor the desire to debate the merits of one religious or political choice over another.  All I can say is this; totalitarianism in a viewpoint inevitably fails because either the people in it get fed up being told what to do or everyone else who does not share that belief gets fed up catering to the opinion of one outside individual or a select group thereof. Unfortunately, the road to either tyranny or freedom from it, is paved with the blood and bones of millions.  

Consider this: if I convinced tens of thousands of people to cut off their left ear because in my new doctrine it was offensive and therefore should be removed from the body, there would be some people who would think it's cool and believe along with me.  Other people, would simply like the one-ear aesthetic, while some would think we're a bunch of freaks, and some more people would be violently against whatever the heck my belief stands for.  That's the way of things.  That's how people are and how they seemingly always have been.  Few lead, some follow, some others are indifferent, and still others are firmly against.

There's no problem whatsoever with people having different views.  There's also no problem with people of differing convictions living in the same area.  Yet, when one's views become the basis for uprising and violence against others who believe differently, that's when I have a huge problem! Enter here, the concept of war.  Many teach children not to fight (well at least I do) and then we turn around and green light hundreds or thousands of men and women going to legally kill other people.  I don't get it.  Well...  I don't want to get it.

Philosophical notions should not supercede the instinct or the desire to preserve human life; any life!  We make such a big deal about our technological advancements and the things that we have done and yet we resort to this archaic way of dealing with serious world issues.  Are there any wars in the world that could have been negotiated away instead of decided by force?  Yes, I believe there are some, but certainly not all of them.  Sometimes, some injustices are too egregious and some ideologies are too extreme and threatening to democratic peoples to be tolerated.

As someone born free of oppression and tyranny, I cannot possibly know what it is to live otherwise.  Obviously the freedom to believe what I wish, dress to my own standards and have the privilege of sharing my written voice, colours how I interpret the world and how I deal with it also. Sadly, in so saying, there is someone out there somewhere who would be outraged at some of what I have said here.  In the minds of some people, I should not be doing this blog because I have a vulva and obviously no rational, intelligent, or original thought can possibly come from my mind as a result.

So, what's the bottom line?  Will we ever have that beauty pageant standard answer of "world peace?"  In true sadness, the honest answer is simply, "no."  I do not like the concept of war for many reasons, but I would not stand for someone else sincerely attempting to take away the freedoms that I was born into and have enjoyed my entire life.  There is only one choice; we politely interact with everyone we come into contact with, spend time with as many diverse people as we have access to and do everything in our power to be gracious to each other and respectful of all of the varied philosophies.  We MUST figure out how to do this.  If we do not, then the alternative is to live separately, and if peoples live apart for too long, they invariably become distrustful of one another.  Distrust, by the by, becomes a cold war; minus the "cold."