Alan's Blog

 

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Only Human?

Some time ago, I watched a TV programme on the Discovery Channel that reinforced what one of our friends was telling us about the failure of mankind. The programme was entitled Future Weapons 2. I was interested to see it from the technical point of view, but I found it seriously disturbing - which is why I’m writing this.

What was so disturbing about this programme wasn’t the weapons per sé - although they were bad enough - but the attitude of the presenter (and some of those being interviewed) who glamorised the whole issue of what after all is the business of KILLING PEOPLE!

One (female) design specialist, working on surface to surface missiles for Lockheed Martin, said her work was exciting! I wonder how exciting she’d find it if she (or her son) was on the receiving end of one of her missiles!

The presenter was a former US Navy SEAL who said he’d served with them for 10 years. Grace took one look at him and said she certainly wouldn’t trust him! Undoubtedly he was a prime candidate for being one of those sad (mentally disturbed) people who actually enjoy a fight. And there are plenty of those around. Otherwise, why would people deliberately put themselves at risk by taking part in so called sports such as boxing and other contact sports (or being a football hooligan)?

I remember turning on the TV, a couple of decades ago (in the UK), and scanning the channels on my satellite receiver, to suddenly find myself watching one man smash another man’s face into the floor of a boxing ring - repeatedly! At first, I just froze in horror. It wasn’t fun to watch and I very quickly turned to another channel - but it left an indelible image on my mind. I read, a few days afterwards that I’d seen a (then) new sport called fighting! The only rules in fighting are: No eye gouging, no biting and no blows to the groin. Quite a lot of men have been killed in this activity that has been banned in several countries.

But the question remains: WHY? Why do people take part in this activity? Why do other people want to watch this barbarity as a means of entertainment? Do people actually enjoy watching other people being seriously hurt (frequent occurrence) or killed? It seems that we haven’t made any progress in civilisation since the days of the Roman gladiatorial contests of 2000 years ago. If the Romans in their Colosseum were still feeding Christians to the lions and gladiators were still fighting to the death, there would still be people willing to take part (excluding those being fed to the lions!) - and even more people wanting to watch them DIE!

In modern day Spain we still see bull fighting, where thousands of spectators turn out hoping to see the matador gored by the bulls horns - and seem to relish the poor bull being agonisingly tortured before meeting his end. These have the same mentality of people who would be sitting in the Roman Colosseum all those years ago - or in the arena watching the fighting in these times.

It is a sad reflection to think that people haven’t changed at all since time began - we’ve just become more effective at killing and maiming each other.

Our friend also said: the first tenant of any religion is - THOU SHALL NOT KILL. How strange it is then, that so many conflicts have been, and are being, fought in the name of religion or for ostensibly religious reasons or causes.

Unfortunately, the war-mongering leaders who run this planet are tarred with the same brush as the aforementioned US Navy SEAL - except that they just shout their orders from the safety of the sidelines rather than fire (and stop) the bullets themselves. In order to get the support they need from the people, they talk about the enemy being evil whereas they, of course, have God on their side. They brainwash the people - especially the young boys (who actually do fire and stop the bullets) to join the military forces in the belief that they are serving their country and their God. What is really needed is that all those boys who are willing to be shot at, refuse to join the military in the first place (even if conscripted) - and refuse flatly (as many did during the Vietnam conflict) to pick up arms at all. If that happened, there would be no military forces anywhere, and no more war - therefore, no more weapons. The war mongering leaders can’t fight a war without the young men and women who fire (and stop) the bullets. If no one fires, there will be no more war - and no more of the death and destruction that mankind has wrought on himself since time began. Of course, I realise that evil leaders (Hitler, for example) need to be got rid of - but there are ways of doing this without sacrificing the lives of millions of people in doing so.

Sadly, we’ve now got to the point where people are actually boasting about how effectively they can destroy the lives of other people. Of course, much of this is disguised in the language of tech-speak using words such as target, incident, enemy, hit, taken-out, opposition, and other such words that protect us from the images that can be conjured up by words such as kill, death, destruction, murder, maim, mutilate, carnage, dead, bodies. After all, we’re only human - aren’t we?