A HUMANIST LOOKS AT HUMAN EXISTENCE AND MAN’S FUTURE

My approach is scientific. By this I mean whatever I say is based upon empirical evidence. Naturally, whatever I say is only of a semi-colon type, changeable or improvable at any time.

In my opinion, human beings according to Charles Darwin are an evolute of biological evolution and not created by God on some transcendental deity. Evolution of man is a far later event in the history of the universe.

Universe has naturally evolved from some sort of natural existence and not from nothing. Existence cannot emerge from nothing. Certain things can evolve only from some pre-existence. Therefore, initial existence of something in some way is undeniable.

That beginningless existence must be some sort of an energy and not an unchanging existence. Motion cannot emerge from any non-moving, or stationary existence.

That initial energy must be consisting of energy particles aimlessly moving this way or that. These energy-particles did not possess any life, or aim or any definite direction. What all we can say about that beginningless energy is that it was flowing from past to future.

Those energy-particles were related mutually either like enemies, e.g., like fire and water, or friends like water/manure and plant or they were not related in any way with each other. But surely, those energy particles had each one a peculiar nature of itself.

In this huge turmoil, more and more harmonious energy-particles came together and became more and more strong.

At rare places some new existences emerged, as like water is born when two molecules of hydrogen and one molecule of oxygen come together. Similarly, intoxicating drinks can be created from initially non-intoxicating things like grapes or jaggery.

After an infinitely long long time came into existence numerous stars, milky-ways and galaxies. From our milky way there emerged after a long  time the Sun. As has been said, nothing is steady in the universe.

Everything is revolving or rotating all the time. In this process entities either go away from other entities or they go near others. In the process of revolving, from our Sun, there emerged Pluto, Herschell, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, Earth, Moon and Mercury.

On our earth came up numerous objects like stones, water, air, trees, small living creatures and then evolved man, rather human beings. Initial living beings had only one sense-organ, then there emerged beings with two, four and at length human beings with five sense organs.

It will be clear now that life has emerged from the non-living objects, and continues to live upon the non – living objects like air, water, heat, earth iron, salts, sugars, food – grains powdered and baked or fried etc., supplemented by various vegetables and fruits.

The carnivorous animals kill their prey, make it unconscious and then eat it piece by piece. Thus life and consciousness are based upon or emerged from the non-living or the unconscious. The two cannot be totally separated. Some more explanation will follow a little later.

Yet living beings do have some special features as distinct from the non-living ones, as noted below.

  • Every living being is born and it grows, deteriorates (as per the limits of its class) and finally dies.
  • Every living being inhales oxygen and exhales carbon dioxide.
  • Every living being takes food and after digestion throws out the waste.
  •  Mostly, during its life span, a living being gives birth to small living beings of its own species. In this process of birth cycle, male and female beings co-operate. Life continues in a natural way.

Here we must keep in mind an important fact that body and consciousness are not away from each other and that their characteristics are not diametrically opposite of each other. No; this is not the case.

The case rather is that we find mind only where there is a living body. We cannot totally separate mind from body. Of course, then there arises the problem as to how can a dead body be distinguished from a living body?

The traditional explanation that a living being dies when its soul goes out of its body, is unconvincing since in traditional circles themselves the soul is described as unborn, immortal, conscious and unmoving.

An unmoving soul cannot enter a body or go out of it. Such explanations are self-contradictory. Descriptions of soul also differ from religion to religion and sect to sect. The empirically real explanation is the following one.

I will keep in front  a human being for explaining the difference between a living body and a dead body.

Every human body is like a functioning machine some parts of which are vitally important and some others are rather unimportant such as like legs, arms, ears or eyes. Brain, heart, lungs, kidneys are the important parts.

A person dies if any of the vitally important part stops functioning while if an unimportant part stops functioning the person may become lame, deaf or blind but will continue to live.

Thus a living body is one where all of its vital parts are functioning and dead body is one whose vital part(s) stopped functioning. One more important finding has been that the more complicated the brain the more intelligent the person is.

Man is the most intelligent being in the known universe although not all the persons are equally intelligent; there are degrees of it. Man also has instincts, interests and even acquired interests, various types of need and imagination. They all play their role in human life and its development.

A few months after the birth, a normal human child begins to crawl, then stand, walk, run and even jump. His biological needs of food, water, clothing, rest and security are fulfilled at home by the family. After some years the child starts going out, in the vicinity and play with other children.

With them he develops friendship and some time even enmity. After some more years, in present day societies the child starts going to school, where along -with gaining knowledge, he also learns to obey the teacher, play with others, and remain disciplined.

Depending upon the child's aptitude and his family's affordability, the child goes to higher and higher institutions of education.

At the adolescent age, persons naturally develop an attraction towards the opposite sex. Every person's world widens. Travel widens it further. These days books, news-papers, magazines, telephone and television widen as well as enrich the human vision. A lot many comforts are adding to human comforts.

In the 21st century A.D. the world has become a global village. But some new developments are now harming the very existence of man.

Charles Darwin has scientifically and convincingly proved that man has evolved from nature around some ten million years ago.

Certain natural circumstances were favorable for the emergence of man: huge and thick forests, torrential rainfall, seas, oceans and tanks, glaciers and wide fields of snow in the polar regions, generally low temperature, unlimited and ample food supply from nature including animals of prey and fish, and many such natural conditions helped natural evolution of man.

Obviously, man will continue to exist if those conditions continue to exist. But we find trends harmful to human existence developing all around us unfortunately, caused by human folly and short-sightedness.

Human population is increasing at a terrific rate. Jungles are vanishing because of housing, roads, fuel, factories, schools, colleges and universities, offices, playgrounds, agriculture, hospitals, furniture, luxuries and pilgrimages. River-beds are narrowing, water tanks are getting smaller and polar snow is melting at an alarming rate.

Because of increase of heat in our atmosphere, the Ozone layer, a sort of filtering ring guarding us from the harmful rays of the Sun is getting pierced thus causing new and harmful rays of the Sun, thus causing new and harmful diseases in the world.

Along with the increase of heat, pollution of various sorts is infecting us: There is water pollution because of factory wastes let into rivers. Then, there is the immersing idols of deities along with the worshipping material.

Soil pollution caused by harmful (but giving quick returns) artificial manure, air pollution by animal (including human beings) inhaling of oxygen and exhaling of carbon in the atmosphere, fire-works on festivals; factories and vehicles emitting carbon-dioxide into the air, sound pollution of the air has also increased on a large-scale; dirt heaps and rotting dead animals emit foul air.

In spite of all this comprehensive scale of pollution, people seem to be hardly aware of it. That is unfortunate. People should also understand the simple fact that although the human population is growing at an explosive rate,the land to feed these explosive million stomachs will never increase. In this regard, we should also note the fact that due to researches in medical sciences, human longevity has increased a huge lot.

Sensible people should now adopt reasonable measures to minimize the population, and the pollution.

If the above mentioned trends of human folly are brought under reasonable control, man can expect to live quite happily for a very long time until our Sun stops functioning.

Unfortunately for man he has himself created some more dangerous factors harming human existence as such. They are the following ones.

During most of man’s existence, he has lived in an isolated way, each tribe developing its own language and culture. It is only lately that due to numerous technological developments men are coming near to each other.

The enlarged form of tribe is nation. Nations have merged into civilizations each one proud of its own cultural superiority. In the world, we find seven such civilizations each one proud of its own superior culture. They are: Anglo – American, Latin American, Negro, Russian, Hebrew, Arabian and Mongolian.

They are all zealously guarding their cultural identity and also trying to expand. Obviously skirmishes continue to occur at the regional boundaries between every two civilizations.

Unfortunately, for humanity, many of these civilizations possess nuclear weapons thousands of times more powerful than the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. If unfortunately nuclear war breaks out, it will annihilate not only the warring parties but the whole life: human, animal, insects, birds and even botanical.

To avoid such a total calamity, pride in one's own cultural superiority must be given up root and branch. Every one of us must think, speak and act only as a human being. The nuclear weapons existing anywhere should be defused.

We must live as citizens of world; population and pollution should also be brought under control. Our very outlook should change from "we alone" to "we also and you also" to the still more sensible outlook of "we will be happy through making you happy". It may look rather an impossible task, but there is no other easier way out. Let one generation begin to think and live in a sensible way to further these ways of living.

Man is generally defined as a rational animal. So far, human rationality has been suppressed by this creed or that. It is time that the human rationality as a whole, should wake up and permanently to enthrone itself in human life. Hence on, let us forget our communally individual golden past, and live in such reasonable ways as to build a golden future for the humanity as a whole.

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