Nuclear technology is not bad in itself. We have understood the sun and the stars, and in a way, have harnessed the same power to a lesser extent. We have controlled fission, and are yet to understand ways to control fusion for peaceful purposes. The insistence on using solar energy to fulfill the requirements for electricity is our next best option. However, with the existing political situation regarding North Korea and the US, it is once again time to remember the old foe of mankind, the ongoing self-made threat of human intelligence. What is it? Yes, it is the existence of the knowledge and the means to build nuclear weapons. The truly disconcerting fact is this: With so much power for annihilation, we have simultaneously existing, such poor leadership and judgment. There is the legitimate basis for worry. There is also the need for finding solutions.
What do thoughts of nuclear annihilation prove about mankind’s dominant thought?
It is extremely odd to think of such annihilation as mankind has power for now. For millenniums, since before the understanding of nuclear weapons first came to the world, such thoughts have existed. Exclusively, these thoughts have existed in literature like the book of Revelation. People have known the word, Armageddon since John wrote it in the recording of Revelation. It was unthinkable then, to ever conceive of mankind to have mastered the powers to fulfill such a vision of utter destruction. All the armies of history would seem outweighed in power by the nation holding nuclear weapons in its arsenal.
Yet, here we are today, in 2018 and many nations hold the power to fulfill those words. Which of these nations has the inherent worthiness to hold such power – USA, Russia, China, Israel, Iran1, India, North Korea, Germany, France, UK? On the basis of history, if one entirely removes the existence of God from the thinking – as many are now inclined to do – the USA emerges as the only country to have used nuclear weapons in a war. Yes, twice, the USA bombed Japan. The world changed after that, entering a new era in warfare. Wars, of course, have existed throughout human history.2
How exactly does the human thinking sink down to such extremes that only black or white remain as conclusions? Is it not a response to something? Finer, detailed, complex, and higher thinking is overtaken by extreme judgment. Moderation ceases to exist and is overwhelmed by the certainty of human pride. And maybe there is the conditioning that exists by the seemingly unassailable authority of religious texts. One can find the clues of such thinking sitting dormant in the minds of even powerful men. Was Harry Truman, for instance, influenced by such an upbringing? Many other men – Kim Jong Un or Donald Trump – could be understood by their upbringing?
We recognize the need for moderateness, we desire peace, we even understand the existence of catastrophe that emerges when humans give into extremist thinking. However, it is still not enough of a deterrent to identify these factors. We still hold on to the very ideas that make wars possible. Under the surface of the human mind and in societies, these forces are bubbling like magma under the surface of the earth, waiting to explode to the surface in a volcanic burst.
The psychology of war and how it is diffused through moderation
War is simply the catastrophic emergence of human frustration. It is the evidence of what happens when there is not the opportunity for meaningful engagement. Had there been the possibility of continued, peaceful settlement of differences as they emerged, war could have been avoided. This, we should continue to believe until the very end of all potential discussion. This is what moderation and moderateness lead us to believe.
Of course, we are today confronted by the existence of not only the weapons of mass destruction, e.g. nuclear weapons, but also those people who are willing to use them without qualms. Other means of mass destruction also exist by means of biological and chemical warfare. The question is: Why do these tools exist? Who enabled the people desiring such things to come to the position of having them produced on a large scale? These things did not happen overnight. They happened while everyone was busy living their own life, spending time with family, and hoping for a better future.
Going back to the example of Cain and Abel. When Abel was murdered by Cain, he tried to go about his life. He tried to deny when being questioned by God; the need arose because his conscience had ceased to speak condemningly to him. His heart was hardened by hate, and for seemingly not having suffered the consequences of his action. It did not continue indefinitely, as the scriptures tell us.3 The dishonesty and bias in human thinking are very well illustrated by the fact that people are willing to commit the acts of Cain and yet believe in their minds that they are approved like Abel. Such dishonesty and self-delusion are truly only possible for the endlessly busy mind of a rationalizing human being.
How does moderation come into the picture
Moderation comes into the picture when a human being is honest. He or she is willing to see the flaws in others, is even rightly angered by them, and yet does not consider oneself as the superior judge of others. This kind of self-elevation is not conducive to moderate thinking. On the contrary, it produces the kind of pride which blinds the thinking process. When extremism and hate overpower the thinking, it leads to the sort of irreversible damage which sets men on a path from which it is nearly impossible to turn back. The problem still remains, not in the details, but at a deeper fundamental level. Moderation has not succeeded in penetrating to the basic level of thought. One might have to say, it is extremely difficult and next to impossible.
The fundamental of human nature shows a clear distinction between good and bad. It is a difference that can be challenged but, it cannot be wiped out entirely. Nor should it be wiped out. From such a strong core of belief emerge the motivations of great actions. What we need to do is, understand the way we make the distinction between good and bad and how we reach conclusions leading to judgment. It is when there is judgment, then there is an extreme action.
From here we might surmise one thing: An uncertainty about the human power to judge correctly is at the core of moderation. This humble recognition will help to avoid reaching a point of no return. This is possible during this time when communication is still possible. The exchange of ideas – even extreme positions – needs to be allowed time. Even if through debate and discussion it is not possible to change from one a determined course, it might be possible to allow time to reflect.
A time for reflection is necessary for moderation
Changing the mind of another person by force, by persuasion, or by manipulation have never been entirely successful. The use of force is the least useful, and actually the most dangerous of these. It is a failure. Actually, the truly useful way to bring about change is to allow the other person or community take the time to reflect without disturbance. Only the cause to reflect needs to be provided if it does not arise from within the person or community itself. It requires one thing, and that is time.
There is sufficient cause for reflection for each person and community. There isn’t in existence anyone or anything that is flawless. The appearance of flawlessness is there only because it has been examined selectively, or it has not been introduced to external examination. The threat of war emerges when the pain of such examination is induced, but not enough time is allowed for ideas to disintegrate meaningfully to produce something useful afterward.
The dangerous situation today, due to the interest of biased individuals and those with selfish objectives is pushing the world toward WW3. It is no laughing matter, and not a matter of mere intellectualizing. If such a calamity is unleashed, it would be indiscriminate and unjust. People will not be humanly spared for a righteous standing or an unrighteous standing. Everyone will suffer. Any leftover belief in God will be abandoned, and human beings will rightly prove to be the most dangerous animal to have existed on this earth. Human beings are better than this and deserve to have the chance to prove otherwise. Even a few individuals willing to take a stand against nuclear annihilation and mass destruction is better than everyone deciding to give up hope. There are evidently those who stand on the side of life. Their voices make a difference. Those voices need time to reach all corners of the earth to arouse the desire for life within others desiring the same! With reflection this belief will moderate the urges for war.