Human Nature and Human Destiny


Human Wrongs Watch 

By John Scales Avery*

15 February 2018 — When he was between the ages of 11 and 16, Paul Gauguin attended a Catholic boarding school in France. At the school, the Bishop of Orléalns himself taught the class in liturgy. The bishop had devised a catechism in which three main questions were asked: “Where does humanity come from? Where is it going? How do we proceed?”

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It is possible that these questions influenced Gauguin when, many years later, he began an enormous painting whose title asked very similar questions.

By this time Gauguin had become an influential post-impressionist artist, the leader of the symbolist movement.

Gauguin was admired by a small circle of artists but, like his close friend Vincent van Gogh, he was unrecognized by the larger public until after his death.

In 1891, when he began the the huge painting, Gauguin was living on the island of Tahiti, where he had gone in search of a society free from European prejudices.

Dogged by failing health and financial worries, he planned to commit suicide after finishing what he regarded as his best painting. He did, indeed, attempt suicide by taking an overdose of arsenic, but the attempt failed, and he lived until 1903.

Gauguin’s famous painting can symbolize the questions that humans throughout the ages have asked. Is there a purpose to life? What is our place in nature? Is the earth the center of the universe? What will happen in the future? Are humans special, or are the similar to other animals? Is human nature good or evil? Why do we sometimes act with loving care, and at other times commit genocides? Can war be eliminated? Both science and religion have proposed answers to these central questions.

Most thoughtful observers today believe that human civilization is entering a period of crisis. As all indices move exponentially upward, including population, industrial production, scientific development and the power of technology over nature, the problem of achieving a stable and peaceful world remains serious, challenging and unsolved.

Can humanity and the biosphere survive the todays explosive growth of population and industry? Can we escape the twin threats of catastrophic climate change and thermonuclear war? Can we avoid a large-scale famine caused by population growth, climate change and the end of the fossil fuel era? Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?

Regardless of whether the earth has a special importance when viewed on the scale of our fathomless universe, it is certainly important to us, and to the plants and animals with which we share the gift of life.

None of us would wish to see a fatally damaged earth or a dystopian future. We give loving care to our children, but it makes no sense to do so if we neglect to do all that is within our power to give them a future in which they and their descendants can survive.

None of us asked to be born into an age of crisis, but history has given an enormous responsibility to our generation. In addition to the ordinary work that we do in order to put bread on the table and pay the rent, each of us has another job: We must work with dedication to save the future.

I have written a book exploring these questions. It is available for free downloading and circulation on the following link: http://www.fredsakademiet.dk/library/where.pdf boarding school in France. At the school, the Bishop Dupanloup of Orlìan.

PLEASE READ: 

http://www.fredsakademiet.dk/library/where.pdf

and

http://eacpe.org/about-john-scales-avery/

——–

More John Scales Avery’s articles in Human Wrongs Watch:

Review of John Scales Avery’s Book ‘Nuclear Weapons: an Absolute Evil’

We Need Their Voices, and Yours!

We Need Their Voices Today! Chapter 21: Helen Keller

We Need Their Voices Today! Chapter 20: George Orwell

We Need Their Voices Today! Chapter 19: Bertha von Suttner

We Need Their Voices Today! Chapter 18: Edna St. Vincent Millay

We Need Their Voices Today! Chapter 17: Albert Einstein 

We Need Their Voices Today! Chapter 16: Wilfred Owen

We Need Their Voices Today! Chapter 15: Martin Luther King Jr

We Need Their Voices Today! Chapter 14: Mahatma Gandhi

We Need Their Voices Today! Chapter 13: Count Leo Tolstoy

We Need Their Voices Today! Chapter 12: Henry David Thoreau

We Need Their Voices Today! Chapter 11: John Stuart Mill

We Need Their Voices Today! Chapter 10: Robert Owen

We Need Their Voices Today! Chapter 9: Percy Bysshe Shelley

We Need Their Voices Today! Chapter 8: Thomas Robert Malthus

We Need Their Voices Today! Chapter (7) The Marquis de Condorcet

We Need Their Voices Today! Chapter (5) William Godwin

We Need Their Voices Today! Chapter (4) Mary Wollstonecraft

We Need Their Voices Today! Chapter (3) Thomas Jefferson

We Need Their Voices Today! Chapter (2) Thomas Paine

We Need Their Voices Today! Chapter (1) Saint Francis of Assisi

We Need Their Voices Today! Compassion and Greed: Two Sides of Human Nature

Interview with John Scales Avery, One of the Greatest Living Intellectuals on Earth

Trump and the Deep State

Individual  Responsibility

We Must Not Demonize and Threaten Russia

Tribalism, Nationalism and Fascism

Europe Must Not Be a Vassal to Trump’s USA

Trump Threatens the World with Climate Disaster

Gorbachev Appeals for Sanity, Dialogue

What U.S. Progressives Should Do on November 8

Science and Society

Fossil Fuels: At What Price?

Human Nature: An Evolutionary Paradox

Mainstream Media Are Betraying Humanity

US Elections Cry Out for Reform!

NATO Threatens Europe With Annihilation

USA: Another Stolen Election?

The Danger of Fascism in the United States

Creating the Future

OPEC Oil and Climate Change

A Scientist Presses for Action on Many Fronts: A Review of The Need for a New Economic System by John Scales Avery

John Scales Avery – Collected Essays

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Culture, Education and Human Solidarity

The United States Drifts Towards Political Irresponsibilty

Paris: We Need System Change!

Paris and the Long-Term Future

We Must Stop the Madness of Brinkmanship

Paris, India, and Coal

Paris: A Sense of Proportions Is Urgently Needed

Debt Slavery

Book Review: Aurelio Peccei and Daisako Ikeda, “Before It Is Too Late”

The Need for a New Economic System – PART IX: a New Society, a New Social Contract, a New Way Life

The Need for a New Economic System – PART VIII: The Cooperative Movement

The Need for a New Economic System – PART VII: The Global Food Crisis

The Need for a New Economic System – PART VI: Adverse Effects of Globalization

The Need for a New Economic System – PART V: The Threats and Costs of War

The Need for a New Economic System – PART IV: Neocolonialism and Resource Wars

The Need for a New Economic System – Part III: Climate Change and the Urgent Need for Renewable Energy

The Need for a New Economic System – PART II: Entropy and Economics

The Need for a New Economic System – PART I : Limits to Growth

Israel, Iran and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

Debt Slavery

Will the Real Issues Be Discussed in 2016?

Militarism’s Hostages

New Hope for Avoiding Catastrophic Climate Change

Exponential Growth

Albert Einstein, Scientist and Pacifist

“The Path to Zero: Dialogues on Nuclear Dangers”, by Richard Falk and David Krieger

Millay’s “Epitaph for the Race of Man” 

The Future of International Law (Part I)

The Future of International Law (Part II)

The Future of International Law (Part III)

Europe Must Not Be Forced Into a Nuclear War with Russia

Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Europe – The Dangers Are Very Great Today

Why Is the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons So Urgent?

Why Is the Military-Industrial Complex Sometimes Called “The Devil’s Dynamo”?

Of Reciprocity and Karma

Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand Is at Our Throats

Perpetual War

Kill or Be Killed… Or Both!

Does It Make Sense to Saw Off the Branch on Which You Are Sitting?

Blood for Oil – The Close Relationship Between Petroleum and War

2018 Human Wrongs Watch 

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