Eff's Rambles (Archive)

9/23/2004

Irrational Fear and the Civilised

There are two old maxims that state that man fears the unknown and what he cannot understand. They seem to be often used as indictments of man for his supposedly destructive nature due to the irrationality and impatience of his mind.

I may be terribly misunderstanding this issue but I am continuing on regardless.

While mans nature may be destructive, I believe it is a fact which the unknown is not germane to by default. I believe the maxim that has an absence of understanding as the aforementioned kind of element instead is more fair.

Yes, I am being semantical, perhaps fallaciously. But my basis is in the impression I have gotten from the maxims in the context of judging man.

I see the unknown almost as if it were an entity. And I see understanding as a matter of circumstance, sometimes exigency.

I contend that man is therefor not uncivil if his nature is to destroy the unknown, but by his misunderstanding of the need to destroy in the context of his circumstance. I find it difficult to believe mans nature is to kill and murder things unknown to him with no basis in the reality, or perceived reality, of the situations around him.

The unknown is not always threatening by intent on its part, but because of mans ignorance of its intent and possibly of his understanding of the surrounding circumstances at the time, its destruction may be necessary. And fears are not always baseless. So circumstances can be just cause to destroy.

Destruction is bad when the reasons therefor have nothing to do with the preservation of a greater good. Or, if one is so accepting, in some circumstances when it is a so called selfish good. Man is uncivil because of unecessary destruction. Knowing when it is necessary is the major question.

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