Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mythmakers - A Diversion into the Political

       In my first Mythmaker analysis, I discussed the Precepts related to the nature of god and the need for human beings to take responsibility for their own actions without relying on another entity to tell them what to do.  I had intended to treat the nature and role of religion next, but this incident at the RNC, about attendees throwing nuts at a black camerawoman and saying, "This is how we feed the animals" ( -- Huffington Post) has diverted me into a discussion of another principal of the Mythmaker philosophy which is implied in the Precepts, if not directly stated.
       That principal is, "All the intelligent lifeforms of Earth share the same DNA; therefore they are ALL THE SAME SPECIES."
       In this our own time, we pay scientific lip service to this fact, but as a species we don't recognize it emotionally.  We still reject our own kind when they look different from us.  It's strange, because we don't consider a Pekinese to be inferior to a grayhound (they are all dogs, genetically, and could interbreed), and yet we condemn ethnic varieties of human beings (who differ far less in appearance than breeds of dogs) merely on the basis of their skin color, hair texture, or eye shape.
       Precept No. 17 says: There are creatures on this planet [amended later to in the universe] who speak, form symbols, and share emotions; these may be called human.  So did those attendees believe that the camerawoman couldn't speak?  Or write, recognize a logo, or understand a metaphor (forming symbols)?  Did they believe she did not have the ability to feel another's pain?  Or perhaps that she had no ability to feel pain herself (like fish  supposedly can't do, something I've never believed, personally)?  Do they actually believe her body contains some kind of alien DNA that removes her from the roll of humanity?
       All the intelligent lifeforms of Earth can interbreed; therefore they are ALL THE SAME SPECIES and should be treated with equal respect.
       But we seem to be a long way from achieving that kind of respect.  Here's an example from my own experience.  I worked  in the library of a university in a provincial, fundamentalist/conservative region of the country.  I had an assistant who had worked there for years and is the best example I've ever met of the type who threw those nuts.  When she had a new granddaughter, the first thing she and her family taught the baby to say was "jungle bunny."  She told the story like it was the most hilarious thing in the world to see that baby point at a black person and say "jungle bunny."  My jaw dropped to the top of my shoes.  I couldn't believe it. 
       And this woman touted herself as being such a "good Christian."  I never trust anybody who goes around talking about what a "good Christian" somebody is.
       I continued to work at that university for five years -- I should have left after two.  I just didn't fit with the mindset of the community.
       The emotional acceptance of all intelligent Earthers as one species is something that only the slow movement of generational change can achieve.  Unfortunately, this attitude won't prevail until we have endured a Dark Age (see my page on "Future History").  The principal of the equality of all citizens of Earth will be written into the Earth Unification Charter, which will be ratified on 20 July 2690.  By that time, after nearly annihilating themselves, human beings have finally attained that emotional acceptance -- the ability to look automatically beneath the surface of others. 
       But even in those more progressed times, humans will still sometimes have trouble relating to their fellows who look different from themselves or perhaps have a different cultural background.  I made a note for one of my WIPs.  A Professor visiting from the planet Krisí’i’aid (a member of Prf. A'a'ma's Bird people) says this in the course of presenting a lecture: "As a species, you humans seem to be incapable of the forbearance necessary to tolerate diversity.  Each variety sees itself as the Chosen and seeks to oppress all other varieties.  You were able to achieve peace, unity, and security only by sacrificing diversity."  The Professor goes on to discuss the situation on Krisí’i’aid, where three different intelligent species who can't interbreed and who are culturally quite different exist in harmony.  Even there, however, it took several thousand years for them to develop the capacity to differ in a civil and non-aggressive way.
       So maybe there is hope for Earth yet -- it's just way far in the future.


  1. "The emotional acceptance of all intelligent Earthers as one species is something that only the slow movement of generational change can achieve."

    I hope it doesn't take us as long to achieve the above-referenced end as in your fictional universe. But I do despair of anything more timely--especially when hateful acts (such as the RNC/CNN incident) continue to make the news.

    1. Sometimes I feel I didn't make it long enough! That's something I always objected to in StarTrek - the Dark Age came in the middle of the 21st century (if I recall correctly), and by the time Capt. Kirk took his command around 2250, humankind had already reached the peaceable perfection of the Federation. That's just too fast to be believable! Technology may evolve that fast, but human behavior lags far behind!

  2. Funny. I am a Christian, but I hate admitting it, not because I doubt my faith but I can't stand that either, the touting of the good Christian. Which I'm not sure I'm nyway :) and I slam the door on the avengelic blabbers!

    1. I love that word "avengelic"! Yes, touting oneself as being a "good Christian" does suggest a bit of hubris, doesn't it? Or holier-than-thou smugness might be another way of putting it. Humility is a virtue out of fashion these days. Seriously, as a spiritual humanist I think Christianity contains many fine principles, but it's not the only ethical and spiritual life-view that has merit, and those Christian principles of loving your neighbor and turning the other cheek are much proclaimed but rarely lived up to.