Monday, January 10, 2022

Our Own Insignificance

What has been the experience of our species over the past two years?  Global pandemic!

Portugal earthquake 1755

The devastation caused many Portuguese to question their religious beliefs and the horrific event has shaped Lisbon's history ever since. ... As the tremors rocked the churches, the candles tumbled, igniting the decorations, and creating massive fires which ravaged Lisbon for five further days after the earthquake.

copied from an article:

In classical Western theism, God is said to be both good and all-powerful. So how do we square natural disasters – global pandemics, earthquakes, tsunamis, famines, bushfires, and so on – with a God who, because he is good, would not want natural disasters and, because he is all-powerful, could stop them if he wished?

This was a question asked after the devastating Lisbon earthquake by Voltaire (1694-1778), one of the great philosophers of the European Enlightenment. It led to one of his most famous works: Candide, or l‘Optimisme (1759).

On 1 November 1755, at 9.30am, Lisbon in Portugal was almost totally destroyed by an earthquake, followed by further tremors, fires, a tsunami, and civil unrest. It was All Saints Day and large numbers of people were killed as churches collapsed upon them. Statistics for natural disasters, then as now, are notoriously rubbery. But between 20,000 and 40,000 people died out of a population of some 200,000.

Then, as now, people wondered whether there was a divine plan to the devastation that shook their Christian beliefs and monuments.

1918 flu pandemic

Authors of books on 1918 warned everyone about future pandemics.

The 1918 pandemic transpired in three waves, from the spring of 1918 to the winter of 1919 — ultimately killing 50 million to 100 million people globally. The first wave in the spring of 1918 was relatively mild. A majority of 1918 flu deaths occurred in the fall of 1918 — the second, and worst, wave of the 1918 flu


As you read the above, it should be apparent through the application of logic and reason, as a species: we are not a "top predator".  The past two years demonstrate once again that a life form devoid of human consciousness, can be in control of populations of many varying species.  History does repeat itself.  Communities of social interaction, just as with the Salem witch trials, apply their own conclusions.  "Everything happens for a reason."  When logic and reason are not available, and the understanding of processes in the natural world governed by laws of physics and chemistry, the answer defaults to "God works in mysterious ways".

Beyond a reasonable doubt, the collective endeavour applied with a broad brush of Christians on a global scale, has had absolutely no results and affect on the species that encompass the microbial world.

It should become apparent that all life forms, have the expressed intent to continue, and avoid extinction.  As long as resources are available for life to exist, it will propagate and expand to fill and utilize life's abstinence.  Only when I life form reaches a threshold of limited resources, does the population begin to decrease.  In some cases populations decrease because another life form utilizes the current population as an opportunity for its own expansion.  As we have observed in the natural world, rabbit population expands.  When a threshold of expansion and density of population reaches a threshold, disease begins to take hold in the general population, and the numbers decrease.  This is just one example of the microbial world mindlessly, without consciousness, utilizing resources available for itself.  The cycles of rise and falls of populations of different lifeforms have always followed these general patterns.

Our species is simply another life form on this biosphere.  It is subject to all the laws of nature and physics, the rise and fall of populations, the extinction of lifeforms.  We find in the fossil record distant ancestors of our own species, long ago into extinction.

The consciousness of our species, has very perilous weakness, the internal desire of self, to be "the top predator", as bestowed upon the individual by a power greater than itself.  This very concept is at the foundation of the collapse of dynasties and empires.

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