Beliefs and Proofs

I had the pleasure today of meeting a man with questions. I shall identify him as R.S. That he is a lawyer became evident following a brief conversation on my view (stated earlier) that Man was probably the only mammal dangerously unsuited to co-existence with its own species.

R.S. , being a reasonable man himself, gave the idea a few minutes to sink in then immediately wanted to know my sources for this claim. My answer was simple - it was my own belief - arrived at from a lifetime of painful observation of the way in which we all relate to each other. Though many of us have little or no involvement in killing, raping, robbing, torturing, or human trafficking - there are millions that have ,on a daily basis.

What R.S. was doing was right in one sense: as a lawyer he needs proof or substantiation of the claim or charge. In another sense he, along with a very large proportion of the human race, was wrong: Man seems to suffer a rare form of selective blindness in that it sees what is consistent with its own mindset. Man is good. Man is noble. Man is altruistic, etc. No doubt these things are true but are not behaviors most to be expected of our species: in physcho-speak, they are not species-specific behaviors.

Had I been just a little brighter I would have answered R.S. in the language of law i.e. Res ipsa loquitur - meaning 'the thing speaks for itself''. If the inhuman conduct of Man does not speak for itself, what ever will?

[AJR] March 13th 2012



‘Man is probably the only mammal dangerously unsuited to co-existence with its own species’.

[ AJR ]  March 8, 2012

Laying the Ground-rules

Any sincere discussion about the true nature of Man ought to begin by agreeing that motherhood and apple pie are good things and that Man has a capacity for altruism, divinity, and nobility. Having got that out of the way it may be possible to consider the full scope of Man's nature without the obligatory apologies, qualifications, and the cries of 'I once saw a man do something wonderful'. ED.

This Blog is linked to the A J Richter Civilization Collection. A collection that started in the hope that close- contact with the artefacts from so distant a place as antiquity, which in this case is just 10,000 years back, might somehow enhance our perception of the people of the time, how they thought, what they thought about,what they were frighted of and what were their aspirations? It could be fairly said that our well-muscled, hairy friends the Neanderthal or even the little guys - homo Sapiens archaic should get a part in this production: and the reason they haven't? Because we simply have no written record that would allow anything better than an educated guess at what was going on between the Brute Squad and their somewhat puny neighbors, the homosapiens.


The upshot of my position, (in what I have called The CRUX of MAN), is that Man as a species is ill-suited to co-existence with his own kind.   Aphorisms I admit, have seldom ever given much more than a succinct statement of the problem. Or worse, an answer no one understands. What is needed is evidence. Not supposition. Not some wild guess by an equally wild looking anthropologist, nor answers intelligently reasoned by eminent scholars for the purpose of furthering their favorite social theory. 


Side-note: one genius - guilty it seems to me of none of these things, is Professor Stephen Pinker in his book The Blank Slate. For anyone trying to get a real handle on how Homo sapiens-sapiens functions - this book covers the good, the bad, and the ugly, with a much more forgiving outlook toward Man than  I believe myself to be capable. I wonder what Pinker might say were he not muzzled by the  stifling effect of political correctness.


In the formation of the Civilization collection it was genuinely chilling to see that even in that sudden civilization of Sumaria - wars of dominance and deadly conflicts based on the possession (or dispossession) of resources were happening as far back as their records took them. Conflict, murder, killing, marauding, and conquests of entire counties was not a gradual process, It was not a apprenticeship in any form we would recognize. It does seem that even when we first emerged - we were born ready to rumble.  ED.


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