It is good to be human

A strange thing to say on a metal blog, very Biblical in its “…go forth, replenish and multiply, and establish thy dominion over all the fish of the water and the fowl of the air and everything that creepeth over the earth…” stance, but I’ve never held much sympathy for the existential nihilistic point of view. It’s become a fashion among people happily ensconced in their miserable middle class lives to advocate antinatalism and to wish the annihilation of the human species for all the harm it causes the earth and its other animal inhabitants. The harm done is indisputable, but the comic irony in that formulation is that only we humans are in a position to quantify that harm done. To everything else that breathes around us, shit simply happens. Their descendants don’t go on holding grudges and planning bloody coups against us, they don’t incur any collective, cross-generational scarring (though I read somewhere that crows have photographic memories and can come peck at you as late as twenty years after you may have caused them or theirs injury). Unless they happen to go extinct, in which case some human scribe laments their passing.

I believe Kurt Vonnegut said, in either Cat’s Cradle or Breakfast of Champions, and I paraphrase him, that the world as it is, is the only way it could possibly exist; the street urchin begging at the traffic light, genocide, a beautiful piece of music, and random acts of cruelty or munificence, are all co-dependent parts of the larger equation. While this may seem a fatalistic perspective to adopt on life, it is in fact a recognition of the fact that everything we see around us, good and bad, is equally necessary to our innate condition. We have a tendency to relate only positive connotations to the word “human”, but the word, and its subject, when viewed from the bird’s eye, are inherently unfeeling to moral grandstanding.

It is good to be human despite the frequent fuckups it entails. I wouldn’t want to be anything else. I won’t conceal the pathological urge to witness a super-cosmic act of destruction, an instant-acting Extinction Level Event up close, but I’m not praying all night to the seven heavens to make it happen. Neither am I averse to visiting unabridged incidents of bloodshed on stupid people; the way to solve most of the world’s problems is not by stopping all human reproduction, but by preventing stupid people from reproducing, either by sterilization or extermination if need be. Yet another reason to actively campaign for the right to die; if you think your life is so innately worthless as to not warrant existence, live up to your word and kill yourself. Stop trying to “improve” the world by going vegan and riding bicycles and getting your tubes tied; cast your mind however many-billions of years into the future as a giant sun is about to eat up a toasted Earth, realize the futility of it all, and kill yourself.

A human life affords a breadth of experience and introspection that is inaccessible to anything else on the planet; it is a reasonably well-endowed, all-round spectrum of knowledge that makes that life precious to itself over its duration. Until we are supplanted by a more intelligent species, this is how it is. It makes sense to derive your sense of self-worth from an appreciation of this fundamental truth, not by choosing a cause, be it wildlife conservation or Black Lives Matter. The first belongs to the natural order of things and gives you the requisite humility in light of your special position and your duty as a human being in that order; the second comes from inadequate or ill-affected personal-psychological development, where one goes out to fill the hole in their lives with a borrowed identity. The person subscribing to the first line of thought always calls himself an individual above all else, the second prefers to hide under labels and then gloats as he dissembles.

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One Response to It is good to be human

  1. Mike says:

    “everything we see around us, good and bad, is equally necessary to our innate condition”

    Can you elaborate on that? I think that’s an absurd thing to believe in. Sure, everyone goes through his share of hardships, but If I live under a government that implements economic policies that create street urchins begging at street lights, should I just say to myself that this is the way things are and that the existence of beggars is somehow necessary to my innate condition? It seems to me that once we go on that path, it becomes easy to philosophize our way out of challenges in material reality.

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