As the families on each continent grow more knowledge, they improve their means of communication and travel. They discover that the world extends beyond their continent; they are no longer isolated from one another. Indeed, their growing capacity for travel and communication “shrinks” their world. H’s now confront other H’s who appear unfamiliar, speak a different tongue, and fail to obey the rules of their established cultures. What would you predict about the confrontation between the H’s of these different continents? Thus far, each family has confronted other creatures that they have dominated through superior power. It has been quite acceptable to consider all non-H’s objects, suitable to service their bidding – to provide food, labor, and amusement. To make a servant and/or kill any non-H has been the law of the land. It seems quite predictable that each family of H’s would first use their intelligence as they have in the past, to grow more physical power and so dominate the “other.” Each family directs its energy and intelligence to produce greater power, viz. weapons of mass destruction. Their efforts result in great success. Each family of H’s produces the destructive mega-power to decisively defeat whoever would challenge their authority.
Yet there is a problem, which Einstein foresaw. He recognized that our nature and nurture directed us to use our intelligence for destructive as well as constructive purposes to attain our needs and wants. Our mastery of science enables us to make such powerful weapons that we no longer preserve our lives at the expense of others but instead take our own lives along with the lives of others. Nature’s perspective, (physical) might makes right is no longer adequate; it is but partially true.
Do you understand his concern? As long as the H’s on our hypothetical planet continue to think as they have been accustomed, it is merely a matter of time before Armageddon, mass mutual destruction! Perhaps more crucial than the E=mc2 equation that led to the bomb, Einstein provided a solution to the danger he prophesied: We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive, one that will direct our intelligence to act with reason and wisdom more than instinct and habit. We need to update our operating system so that it can consistently direct our mega-powers to constructive outcomes. To what avail is Utopia if we self-destruct along the way?
As our recent science of travel and communication shrinks our world into an interrelated global economy, the “us” also grows bigger. “Me” is increasingly becoming a part of a larger “us.” As the group which is “us” grows larger in size, the number of “us’s” diminishes; the trend is towards a divided world where there is only one “us” and one or a few of “them,” with each one intent on domination and forcing the “other” to accept their political and/or religious assumptions. Given our history of destructive aggression and the explosive growth of our power to make a difference, it is clear we are headed for holocaust of unimaginable proportion … unless we provide new direction!
In our own not too distant past, every person was armed with two fists. Gradually we developed and distributed weapons until first a few of us had guns, then many had them, and in some areas, most. Nobel’s discovery of dynamite produced bombs (and the Nobel Peace Prize!), which have become quite commonplace. The suicide bomber is a current “innovation.” Now the number of groups possessing multiple weapons of mass destruction is increasing, as are the individuals who could trigger them with the push of a button or simple word. Given our present manner of thinking, in which of these situations would you and your loved ones be most secure? Do you believe, like the H’s on their seven separate continents, that increasing our physical power increases our security? I personally believe that while escalation of physical power may temporarily serve as a source of deterrence, it is not a long-term solution to preserving our well-being.