This essay gives an opinion as to whether or not the writer is proud or ashamed of the human race.
The Human Race – Outline
IIThe Good Things
IIIThe Bad Things
BNegative Human Characteristics
The Human Race
If I had to guide a visitor from the Planet Twylo around Earth, would I be proud or ashamed of the human race? This isn’t a trivial question; it goes directly to the heart of what it means to be a sentient human lifeform.
I jotted down the things that came to mind in a fairly short time, pro and con (the list is at the end of this essay).
Unfortunately, I would have to say that on balance, I am ashamed of the human race. Let’s explore both sides of the question. (This essay has no sources but is my opinion on these matters from the perspective of having lived on the planet and observed humanity’s interaction with itself and other lifeforms.)
IIThe Good Things
Under things to be proud of, I’ve listed art, music, education, science, medicine, technology, exploration and conservation. These break down into three groups: art, music and education would all be in what I’d consider the “artistic” category; science, medicine and technology are in the “scientific” category; and exploration and conservation find themselves in the “human spirit” category.
People might be different in all aspects. All the unique qualities that a person might acquire are usually different from others because they have grown in a different way, different environment, and with different individuals which might have influenced them to be what they are today. The article pointed out the stages a Monad would take to fully evolve to a different and better being. Monads, in ...
Art and music, and the education to appreciate them, are to me some of the finest qualities of humanity. Great art, great music, fine literature—all these can lift us out of ourselves, and make us aware of things beyond us. They put us in touch with our past and the geniuses that came before us; they point the way to the future. I think the arts are the highest achievements of humanity.
Also indicating what we can accomplish are science, medicine and technology. Developments in science and medicine have led to longer life spans, generally healthier people (in developed nations), and everything from more abundant food to cleaner water. Technology has led to significantly faster communications worldwide; in fact, it has impacted almost every area of our lives, from microwave ovens to microwave satellite transmissions.
These achievements are impressive, and humanity has come a very long way. Unfortunately, its ugly side far outweighs the good.
IIIThe Bad Things
Under things I’m ashamed of, I’ve listed war, greed, sexism, racism, homophobia, oppression, cruelty, genocide, religious fundamentalism, extinction of species, environmental destruction—and technology. Technology goes on both lists, in my opinion.
The bad things break down into three categories: war, negative human characteristics, and environmental damage. War stands alone. It is a unique and horrifying experience that ultimately serves no useful purpose and settles nothing. If it did, we wouldn’t still be waging war; we’d have long since fought the last one that settled everything.
The next six topics (greed through religious fundamentalism) I’ve called “negative human characteristics.” These are the traits that make us dangerous: our greed makes us callous; our racism, sexism and homophobia lead us to routinely denigrate, even attack, large numbers of others; our oppression, cruelty and genocide lead us to murder those who do not share our political ideologies; and our religious fundamentalism often leads us to do these hideous things in the name of “God.” Religious dogma is a particularly unattractive part of human culture, since some of the most heinous crimes ever committed were done by those who were fighting in the name of their religious beliefs. We are a violent and brutal species, the only one in the animal kingdom that kills its own kind for pleasure, or gain.
Throughout history, the concept of sexuality and what is deemed as normal within different societies has evolved constantly. Various social standards and expectations often play into how a culture will approach sexuality—what it entails, what its limits may be, or if it is even an appropriate topic of discussion (Davies, 1982, p. 1042). Evidently, no matter how liberal or relaxed a particular ...
The third point is our relationship to the environment. We are destroying entire species at a rate of about 70 per day, and don’t seem to understand what this is doing to the biosphere. We cut down rainforests—the lungs of the planet—and dismiss warnings from environmentalists whom we call “tree hugging jerks.” We have seriously damaged the atmosphere; increased the carbon dioxide level, and are changing the weather patterns of the entire planet. And still we make no effort to bring our unbridled lust for things under control. We are the most destructive organism on Earth, and it’s only a question of time before the planet will no longer be able to sustain us. It is another mark of our arrogance that we refuse to recognize this.
I find myself ashamed of the human race, for what we’ve done to ourselves, our planet and each other. No symphony, sculpture, or play; no great educational institution; no scientific breakthrough can make up for centuries of war, disease and poverty. How can we be proud of killing six million Jews in Germany in World War II? Or exterminating millions of Cambodians in the 1970’s? How can we ignore famine in Africa, forced relocation in Eastern Europe, and the ever increasing gap between rich and poor—a gap the rich have no intention of closing, and which leads to hardship and despair for many. The human race’s hands are red with blood, and its members are selfish and greedy. Nothing makes up for that.
Proud of the Human Race
Ashamed of the Human Race
Extinction of species