Humanity: Just a product of civilization?
Tracing back the history of humans existence, we go back to the stone age- back to million years ago where survival was the only motive of life and as Darwin stated 'survival of the fittest'. Human behavior was quite different from today but also somewhat the same- if you look close enough. For survival, early man would kill another man, dominate, steal from others. Marking territories and bordering, the implicit rule of ‘not entering the territory of another’. If we look closely at all this, we still have the same kind of behavior but we show it in a civilized way.
If we look at the present, we have laws and orders to keep us from killing each other, or stealing from others,s and many more behaviors. If humanity was embedded in us, we wouldn’t need rules and laws. But they are here to control our innate behavior. As Sigmund Freud, father of psychoanalysis postulated that aggression is innate, it was always there. A system was made to tame humans- democracy, dictatorship, monarchy- all these forms of government were made by ‘humans’. If we look at it closely, it’s a form of dominance, even in a democracy- a leader is dominant. The leader is trying to control others or influence them, there is power in that leadership. On top of all, there is the United Nations, a body that controls all the other nations. Countries trying to the member of the UN Security Council to exert power over others. All these were ideas of humans and all of them corroborate closely to early human behavior. Early human behavior closely relates to that of animals because we have evolved from them so we still share some genes with them. As a matter of fact, we share 98% of our DNA material with that of Chimps. Let's, for example, look at cats, they have their territory and there's always an alpha male who is the strongest and fights other males for the chance of reproduction with a female cat and he wins a majority of the time. Why? Because he is the strongest- 'survival of the fittest'. He will get more and more chances to reproduce therefore leaving his genes further. For animals strength matters in just one domain- physical strength, but for humans, it's multiple like high position, mental strength, and much more.
If we talk about 'morality' where did it come from? Humans created the word itself so the 'moral code of conduct' is human-made. it's not natural. Like Nietzsche, a philosopher believed that morality is like a barrier to humans' true nature. The concept of right/wrong is itself created by humans, it could have been created to favor a particular class or group of people. Everything that we know of is a product of humans so nothing is natural except the need for food, water, and sex, everything else is just a creation.
If we look at the wider picture, the nations are fighting with each other over territory, both of them claiming that it belongs to them and then going into a war to win that piece of land. We have soldiers 24*7 at the borders so that the other nation people do not trespass our territory as we claim it to be an illegal activity. We need to get a passport, then a visa to move around the nations, some nations do not permit us to enter their land. Can’t we compare it to the old times of territory marking?
Most of us would have experienced ‘losing control’ during the aggression. It is widespread, and in that state, we do things we thought we were not capable of. Then a dilemma arises- are we really innately evil? A part of us is always dark and latent- probably in our unconscious and surfaces rarely which is probably why we aren’t aware of it. Likes Carl Jung, a Neo-Freudian said that we have shadow (evilness) in us and that we are a combination of two extremes- goodness and evilness and we strive for the individual (good and evil together, a balance) not dividual (good and evil separably). Jung initially worked with Sigmund Freud who believed that humans are innately evil. We are always taught that we are good but the latent evil part of us is never talked about. We get to know about its existence when it’s no more hidden and then we don’t know what’s next. We should rather be taught about reality no matter how dark it is. We should learn to control that evilness we have in us so that the evilness doesn’t control us. Control is something that makes our species different from others. Maybe we always had it or we acquired it, either way, we have it now. With that control, we need to find the perfect balance of both the parts in us and embrace both of them. Like there is no light without darkness and no darkness without light. The moon shines at night because it needs darkness to shine. They co-exist and because of one’s existence, the other one exists.
It’s funny we say that we have evolved, but if we look closely we are the same. Civilization is a new way of living like the old times.