Saturday, April 21, 2007

Are We Programmed to Self Destruct?

Most of us watched in horror today at the video of a twelve year old by slicing the throat of a man he was told (and no doubt believed) was an American. That the man was actually Pakistani is of little or no importance.

The photo on the right is of the boy, moments before he committed the beheading.

We are shocked by the pure evil. How could anyone manipulate a boy of twelve to commit such a heinous act? How can anyone develop that much hatred?

We aren't talking about a lone psychopath. This isn't a repeat of Virginia Tech. This isn't just one child, mistreated, bullied or unbalanced who snapped. This is an organization of hundreds, thousands, perhaps even tens of thousands who feel no remorse for the acts they commit. Metaphorically speaking, this is a holy war, spawned by the devil, to create a veritable hell on earth.

Over and over and over again in New York, London, Madrid, Bagdad, Sudan, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Afghanistan and in your home town, the target isn't military. It's not soldiers. The target is women and children. It isn't just genocide, it's humanicide.

As we debate Iraq we want to pretend it's simply a battle of ideas on how to extract ourselves from Iraq. We cannot and will not face the truth. It doesn't matter if you side with Harry Reid and John Murtha or with Joe Lieberman and John McCain. It doesn't matter. Iraq is just one small island of fear in an entire ocean of terror.

Why must the lighter skinned Janjaweed kill all the dark skinned Africans? Why must they rape and mutilate all the women? Why must some children be tortured? Why must other children be forced to do the torturing?

Can this violence spread? Will it happen here?

Of course we say no, but......

Why must I read vile attacks in blog responses on conservative and liberal blogs alike? Why must we react to those with whom we disagree by threatening murder, torture, rape and mutilation? In theory we only broker ideas. In theory. Why are we threatened? Is Al Sharpton really the devil? Ann Coulter?

The threats you can read every day against liberals and conservatives alike seem to mirror the events in the worst terrorist videos or the most horrific of Abu Ghraib photographs.

When will it happen that one or more of these threats become reality? When will we read the person "X'" was tortured, raped and murdered? And how long will it take for some blogger or reader to say that "X" got what he or she deserved?

The story in Genesis about the Tower of Babel tells us that God cursed man with many different languages to prevent him from reaching Heaven.

Is this rush to violence another curse from God?
Or, in modern, secular terms, are we all hard wired to kill? Are we infected with a computer-like virus to murder and rape those different from us? Even if the differences are only political or philosophical or religious?

Are we programed, as a species, to self destruct?

I don't know. I do know that someone programmed a twelve year old to behead a man.


Beach Bum said...

I would like to think that we are not glorified carbon-based animalistic computers programmed for survival at the expense of other groups but at times I just don't know. The best I can come up with to keep some hope alive about our better nature is that we have only been civilized for a very short time compared to our time living as animals never thinking beyond the small group we were born into. In short its a battle between Homo Sapien the animal looking just to eat and mate and Humanity the sentient being looking to understand the nature of the universe and his part in it. Humanity has progressed to create works of art and literature, master many aspects of science, explore this world and begin the exploration of others in the solar system, and begin the task of trying to live under the rule of laws instead of the whims of some despot. So it may be a race to complete our conversion to rational civilized beings instead of the animals we have been since we first set foot on the Earth. Its just that our animal nature and our technological toys might do us in before we finish.

the WIZARD, fkap said...

beach bum Thanks for stopping by. Your comments are excellent and I agree completely.

But what is happening today is very frightening. Perhaps it has always been so....

the Wizard