What is it to be human? We have faced this question again and again in human history and, incidentally, I believe each civilization in the past reached such a question. And right now, what is called the IV Industrial Revolution – or, more clearly, the current Technological Revolution, is accelerating, we are moving so fast, faster than many of us are actually aware of. Technology can do so much for us, this is undoubetly right, but we are facing unprecedented ethical dilemmas.
Think about the atomic bomb: was it really necessary? Were we even aware of the impact of such a technology? I am not sure. That has been surely a defining moment for humanity. It is true that some choices has already been made and we can’t do much, aside from dealing with consequences. It is also true, though, that we can – and should – learn from them.
Just because I can do something does not mean I will it into being. Just because I know how I can hurt another human being does not mean I must do it. It could even be argued that precisely because I know how to do it I will not do it.
Just because we could grow babies in machines that replicate uterus does not mean we should. Just because we could implant a microchip in our brain to allow us to use our electronic devices does not mean we have to do so.
Should we look into modifying our bodies to make them stronger or should we support our bodies in doing what they are supposed to do which is to allow us to experiment and live full within Nature’s framework? Just because we could grow meat on a petridish, does it mean we should? Just because we could, theoretically, block the sun rays, does this mean we should do it?
In every choice we make we face consequences. This is undoubtedly true; and those consequences have to be taken into consideration. Machines that replicate a mother’s womb could – potentially – save the lives of babies that are born too prematurely, for example. Yet, are we sure we understand everything that is happening in the womb? And are we sure that a machine could replicate ALL those delicate and beautiful exchanges between a mom and a baby?
We are facing ethical questions. These are choices. These are choices that define us, how we see ourselves, humanity.
Should we develop machines that replicate a mother’s womb or should we support mothers in their gestation? Should we build a society that is more inclusive, that looks after all its member or should we try, flatly, to make everyone the same thus judging lacking whoever doesn’t reach those imaginary standards? Should we go on consuming animal products while we go on with our very much sedentary lives or should we embrace a change of life style and diet? Should we go back to live in small communities or should we enable us to sublimate our need for vicinity with online communities? Should we embrace we are part of Nature and work on rewilding the planet or simply manicure Nature and look at it from a distance?
These are all choices that we must make.
We do this daily in our small actions: choosing to hug a friend or sending them a text; start a vegetable patch or get a manicured lawn; strive to understand each other, exercise kindness or judging and accusing each other; love Nature, understanding its – and our – cycles, trusting it as part of something far bigger than ourselves or going on exploiting resources in as many way as possible.
We know technology can do oh so so so much, but should we go for it? Is that how we consciously choose to be humans?
What we are facing now is not only the chance to define ourselves as singular entities. I think the choices we have in front of us are of a much broader compass: what is it to be humans? Is it to transcend limits? And if so, which limits and how? Is it to belong to the Earth? Is it to heal? But to heal what and how? You see, we are answering all these questions daily with our actions. And thoughts you know; but our deeds spring forth from our thoughts. So what do you think makes you human?
Arguably more than ever, it is necessary to pause and think. Really consider all the possible implications of several changes that are being pushed through in a general climate of confusion and fear. Come together, discuss how we wish to proceed, how we envisage our future on this planet.
Personally, I don’t like resets, nothing is ever actually a reset. Far too many things linger – and greed is one of them.
I like Awakenings, though.
“I was Awaken from a Dream.
And then I Saw that Dream was my Mind.
Reality is my Soul.”
And from this, from my Soul, my actions come forth.