Enlightenment’s Wake By Brian Simpson

     I did get the memo, stating that our side of politics sees the Enlightenment as overall good, and that the rise of science, rationality and cold hard technology, constitute real human advancement. But, could the situation be more complex, comprising shades of grey, but maybe not fifty such shades? Could the matter be like modern medicine, which as benefits, but also costs?

      Some thinkers think that the Enlightenment is not all that it is cracked up to be:

“If The Enlightenment™ had a theme, it was the perfection of humanity. People found less inspiration in being part of something larger than themselves, and looked more for satisfaction in their own thoughts, desires, fears, and self-expression. The focus on “man as the measure of all things” eclipsed a concern for reality and its dimensions. Since that time, we have fallen inward. In rejecting the outer world, we also rejected the inner world, since the two are intimately connected. We focused on the genius of our creations, not the depth and profundity of our experience, and became enamored with the idea of human systems to replace nature. This changed society from a system of hierarchy and unity, sharing a purpose and continuity of origin, to a container for human beings in which they could express themselves. This emphasized using life itself as a means to the end of individual power, instead of valuing life as an experience in itself, and with that, joy began to die. It took centuries for that to fully manifest, but we are still in denial of what we did. We changed the world from an inner quest paired to an essence of reality which revealed our unity with the world, and made it into a material proposition, where our outer desires for importance, power, and recognition became the goal of our manipulation of matter around us.”

     It is only a hop, step and a jump to the brave new world that Chinese scientists are already ringing in, of allegedly producing the first genetically modified humans, no doubt as a test run to see if some sort of “Captain America,” or rather “Captain China,” super-soldier can be produced in time for world War III, or if we are really lucky, World Wars IV and V. And, if Al Einstein was right about world War IV being fought with sticks and stones, then what will World War V be fought with? More sticks and ore stones, or do we ratchet down to fists and teeth? Who knows what genetic disaster could come from humans, a primate species, playing gods? The long-anticipated zombie apocalypse?

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