Friday, November 18, 2011

Who Are We?

As someone who has read a ton of post-apocalyptic novels, I often find myself evaluating the people I meet based on how I think they would behave if this whole civilization thing went into the crapper.

It's a depressing practice. The more I see of people, the less faith I have in them.

People are selfish, and that's understandable. All of us care about our self interest most of the time. It's the very rare human that is truly concerned with the well being of others on a consistent basis. But, what's truly disturbing is how few people temper their natural self interest with a set of serious morals or values. All of us may have impure inclinations, but we should also have a certain honor about how we live life.

But, the gap between what 'should be" and what "is" cannot be overstated. All the high minded ideals people claim to value are easily cast aside when those ideals affect their self interest. People only believe what they believe when it remains in to their benefit to believe it.

It's sad.

In fact, the only reason we're not a huge mass of raping, murdering, thieving bastards is because as society has grown we've established complicated controls to restrict our worst impulses. When those controls are weakened or destroyed, chaos reigns. In times of great stress, morals are abandoned and unhealthy compromises made. And what does that say about human beings?

I honestly don't know.



CNu said...

simple, these humans are little more than fancy killer-apes - everything else is merely conversation...,

Darth Whitey said...

Have you all read and/or seen "The Road"? It's the most realistic and brutal depiction of what the world would be like. Scary stuff. Pulitzer prize winning book (Cormack McCarthy)

annum natalem said...

I still hold out small bits of hope. There are places on this planet where the weather will kill you, and you MUST band together in order to survive. As long as human beings need each other at all, there will be society. And the weather's only getting rougher.

Big Man said...

Well CNulan I think that's a tad unfair to apes. Apes don't pretend to be high-minded or fair. They are very clear about how things are going to go and that's preferable to me.

Darth I've never read that book. I'll look for it in the future.

Fictional Eyes

I don't doubt that society will always exist. Or that people will band together. That is a given. But, what will society look like, and how will we band together.

spacemonkey said...

I second Darth's recommendation. It's scary and depressing, but a great book.

Darth Whitey said...

I'm afraid that I must insist that Big Man read "The Road". If you're going to read any book about a post-apocalyptic world, this is the one. Pulitzer prize winner...

One tidbit about the movie adaptation (which is amazing, btw) might actually be of interest to this blog actually. The discussion boards on IMDB for it occasionally have someone come after they've watched it and ask if something in it was racist. Not outrageous or anything, just an "interesting" casting choice.

Darth Whitey said...

And believe me, you'll need to talk to someone about it after you've read or seen it heh.

Raving Black Lunatic