Violence is the choice of the incompetent. We were not
born with fangs and claws like animals which need to resort to violence even
for their food. We are endowed with a higher-level consciousness, a mind that
that can think rationally and find practical and amicable solutions to
problems. We are not meant to be violent by our very physical structure and
nature. Yet many of us choose to remain at the level of animals by resorting to
Human evolution seems to have been one-sided; the
brain evolved while the heart remained the ape’s. Our intellectual faculties
went on acquiring more and more finesse enabling us to probe the microcosmic
world of subatomic particles and the mystifying infinity of the cosmos. We have
created technology that can put the old gods to shame. We will achieve a lot
more in the days ahead. Our brains will ensure that.
But what about our hearts? We are still primitive
enough to hunt down other people just because they worship other gods, have
different cultures, or are darker-skinned than us. A casual look at the 20th
century alone will reveal indubitably the monstrosity of our hearts.
The eradication of the non-Serbs by the Bosnian Serbs,
the Ottoman slaughter of the Armenians, the Nazi Holocaust, Pol Pot’s genocide
in Cambodia, Saddam Hussein’s destruction of the Kurds, the Rwandan Hutus’
extermination of the Tutsi minority… Well, there are more. Every continent on
the earth had it. Violence. Worse than animals. The victims were from a large
spectrum of race and religion – Asian, African, Caucasian, Christian, Jewish,
Buddhists, Muslims… Add to all those the two world wars.
Would any of those animals whom we call brutes indulge
in such massive acts of violence?
We are worse than animals. Our hearts did not evolve
at all. They still remain primitive and savage. If the animals could think half
as much as we can, they would hang their heads in shame looking at our deeds.
The last chapter (Afterword) of Harari’s bestselling
book, Sapiens, is titled ‘The Animal that Became a God’. 70,000 years
ago our earliest ancestors appeared on this planet as remarkably insignificant
animals. 70,000 years is a brief period in the life of a planet that has been
here for around 4,000,000,000 years. But in that brief period, that
insignificant little descendant of the ape transformed itself into “the master
of the entire planet and the terror of the ecosystem,” in the words of Harari.
The author goes on to say that “Today it stands on the verge of becoming a god…
(with) the divine abilities of creation and destruction”.
More destruction than creation, in fact. That is the
contribution of the species that prides itself on its intelligence, ideology, spirituality,
mysticism, and what not. Harari calls us “irresponsible gods who don’t know
what they want”. Not knowing what we want, we went around wreaking violence on
almost everything and everybody. We massacred and plundered. We raped both our
women and our planet. We sent rockets and satellites penetrating the virginity
of the outer space too. We did things that no other animal on the planet would
When will this violence stop?
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