Somehow, We’ve Survived

For a couple thousand years, people have been trying to prove that God exists.

None of those proofs are much good. They can only convince people who already want to believe in their conclusion.

But maybe the best proof of God’s existence is hiding in plain sight: We’re still here. The human race hasn’t destroyed itself yet.

I say that not in sarcasm, but in a genuine sense of optimism and hope.

We tend to think that the lunatic beliefs of our own era are uniquely bad, but they’re not. People have always been crazy. The only changes are how they’re crazy, how crazy they are, and how much damage they do before their insanity burns itself out.

Until the 1970s or so, you could get fired for showing disrespect to the American flag or for being gay. Now, you can get fired for showing respect to the American flag or disapproving of gays. Until 10 years ago, nobody outside of a mental institution believed that a man could become a woman just by putting on a dress and calling himself “Loretta.” Now, it’s a sacred dogma that’s dangerous to question. In another 50 years, all those beliefs will probably reverse themselves again.

Back in 1903, Yale University sociologist William Graham Sumner observed that:

“The motives from which [people] act have nothing at all to do with the consequences of their actions. Where will you find in history a case of a great purpose adopted by a great society, carried through to the intended result, and then followed by the expected consequences in the way of social advantage? You can find no such thing.”

Humanity keeps blundering from one nutty obsession to the next, and yet we’re still here.

Thank God. I think.

About N.S. Palmer

N.S. Palmer is an American mathematician.
This entry was posted in Life, Political Science, Psychology, Society and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Somehow, We’ve Survived

  1. J P says:

    Some excellent points.

    Another one people don’t think enough about is water. How is it possible for a system to exist that perpetually recyles what may mostly be the same water from air to land to Sea and so on, through the entirety of history.

    Liked by 1 person

    • N.S. Palmer says:

      There was a Star Trek: Next Generation episode titled “Clues” in which seemingly trivial oddities led to a surprising conclusion. Sometimes, I wonder if our universe is like that. I mentioned the water example in Why Sane People Believe Crazy Things:

      “Most people of the Ancient Near East believed that the pre-existing world was made of water, which is interesting because — even though they didn’t know it — life on earth began in the oceans.”

      Liked by 1 person

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