Where have we been?

Where are we going?

These questions really change depending on who I define “we” as. It could be the universe, or a specific group of people, like the TALONS class. For the sake of brevity and my sanity, I will set “we” to mean the human species for now. Aside from where we’ve literally been as a species (the Earth, Moon and nearby areas of outer space), we have been in a lot of good places and many bad ones. As a species, it seems like we often go through bad events to get to good events. For example, we had to go through a World War to get the funding and resources necessary to understand more about how atoms worked (this was, of course, to build the atomic bomb, but we learned lots of new information in the process). What does it say about our species that we prioritize scientific research most when it can help us build weapons?

When I consider where we are going, I found wonder about the differences between where we are going, and where we should be going. I was talking to Vanessa Felice yesterday about this, and I told her how I felt about humans in general.

“Sometimes, I really like people, and all the potential for goodness and growth they have. Look at all of the new technologies and discoveries we’ve made! We surely must be doing some good for this planet, and if not, we have the ability to do good eventually. But sometimes, I look at the human race and all I see is the war, destruction, and pollution we’ve caused. And then I just think, get rid of them all. Get rid of ALL the humans. Even me. This place doesn’t need this. Humans should just get out.”

So sometimes, where humanity is going and where humanity should be going is a bit of a conundrum to me. On one hand, I think the human species has a lot potential good that we strive for.¬†Humans are on the track to better technology, faster communication, and more exploration of places like the deep ocean and outer space. We’re also quite far down the path of Global Warming, en route to the extinction of several more plant and animal species, and seem to have no intention of stopping warfare for good. Is the human race worth keeping around, when you consider all the negative effects we’ve had on our planet and our own species?¬† Will we keep going in this direction? Should we?

I don’t know where humanity is going for sure, but as a member of the human race, I will be striving to reduce the negative effects our species brings, and bring into action the potential for good we have.