Thinking as the weapon of survival
Man is a ‘thinking animal’ and hence the world today is what man thought what it should be, a few centuries ago. It is due to these faculties of reasoning in man that mankind has been able to assume control of affairs in this planet and regulate it the way it wishes. But having accepted that, the question then is, is the world today the ideal place the human civilization would have wished it to be?
There is enormous physical development, unimaginable prosperity, technology beyond belief in this world. Yet simultaneously there is mayhem, devastation, abject poverty and sheer helplessness in this same world. It is a bipolar world of ecstasy and agony. But then should things be so if it is human thinking that brings this about? Should part of humanity gloat with unbridled consumerism while the rest should languish for want of basics? Is it because some have been thinking well while the others have not been able to think just as well?
Scientific investigators, often in the teeth of ignorance, suspicion, prejudice and even persecution, have, by their laboured thoughts during the past three centuries, immeasurably increased our knowledge of the resources and powers that rule this planet. Moreover this knowledge has been ingeniously and empirically applied in the service of mankind to an extent where we have now taken the benefits of science for granted.
The irony however is that we have not witnessed progress in the same scale as in science, when it comes to a host of other social and economic issues that the world is besotted with. Poverty, internal strife, and catastrophes have been rampant and what is strange is that these have never been successfully addressed with the same logic of reasoning and tenacity.
The important thing to remember of science is that scientists, over the years have been unflinchingly probing into the ultimate truth in their chosen sphere. There is no room for conjecture in science and even a hypothesis will have a limited life. That is to say that there has been clear and purposeful thinking in science and therein lay its secret of rapid success. That then explains why science has progressed while other issues stagnated.
Clear and analytical thinking therefore is the need of the hour if we are to comprehend the nature of a problem, national or global, with the view of overcoming it. What then prevents these decision makers from viewing these issues from a clear and non tendentious perspective? The answer to that will probably explain the difference between the scientists and a politician. It is simply that those leaders who can not solve their own problems are the ones who are incapable of thinking clearly because they allow prejudices, interests, pathos, and ethos to bear and cloud their thinking. That is to say that they bringforth the ‘animal’ part of this ‘thinking animal’ into focus.
Just observe these countries that are mired in some problem or the other; they are led by leaders who are selfish, myopic, whimsical and petty in their thinking. They just can not see beyond the confine of their self, family and friends. That then is the difference between some countries reaching their development goals whereas the others not.
What then of the ‘international problems’ that persist with no end in sight, such as global warming, arms proliferation and cross boarder terrorism? Aren’t those clear thinking leaders of advanced countries capable of solving those for the good of mankind? The irony is that even these ‘global leaders’ do not stretch the limits of their clear and analytical thinking beyond the borders of their nations. When it comes to thinking on international issues they too are prejudiced, suspicious and tie themselves down with their own vested interests. They think nationally and act globally whereas the right thing should have been to think globally and act nationally.
What is even worse is that these ‘international leaders’ are so obsessed in preserving the current world status quo, that they, with the enormous power of propaganda, aid and trade at their command, would not hesitate even to twist the arms of less powerful nations to prevent them from thinking clearly and acting accordingly.
The recent terrorist problem in Sri Lanka is a cogent example in sight. They would rather have you in their fold than to let you prosper and become independent.
Therefore, for all that talk about ‘human civilization’, it is the law of the jungle that still reigns in the human world.
The difference is that because the humans out-think the others they have created a concrete jungle for themselves where the weapon of survival is ‘thinking’. Those who think well and clear would survive and prosper while those who can not, will perish and decay.