Buckminster Fuller, the 20th Century inventor of the geodesic dome, commonly said that humans’ biggest problem is their own ignorance. Christopher Hitchens, the brilliantly outspoken writer, science advocate, philosopher, and speaker further supported this in his many books and spoken presentations.
One wanted to show us how to house everyone inexpensively. One wanted to show us how to get out of the prison of our ignorance.
Two of the most brilliant people ever to have lived have now been displaced by a forest full of digitally-numbed people all trying to speak at the same time on the only medium that allows them to speak openly to one another at the same time: the Internet.
The result is the ultimate Tower of Babel. Or Babble. According to mythology, god created the Tower of Babel after the great flood. According to the dictionary, Babble means to: “talk rapidly and continuously in a foolish, excited, or incomprehensible way.”
And so where are we now after 100,000 – 250,000 years of humans struggling, on the earth?
Well, Hitchens’ points out that science and history, the study of the various verifiably known facts of our brief human existence on planet Earth, document that the world’s Jews, Christians, and Muslims all believe in different competitively combatting philosophical concepts they each call god.
These religious leaders grudgingly acknowledge that their ideas are based on the acts two thousand years ago of a handful of nomads who made their living primarily raising goats and camels in what we today call the Middle East.
Therefore, from these simple people evolved the Jewish idea of god, the Christian idea of god, and finally the Muslim idea of god. The relevance of these divergent ideas of a single god is fairly basic.
They are not founded on brain surgery, nuclear physics, chemistry, biology, geography, archeology, space studies, or any other tangible, humanly-devised knowledge that supports their still-prevalent ideas – but, rather, upon varying differing superstitions.
These nomads just thought them up as the reason for their own existence. It seemed to make sense to them that some invisible super giant-brained “something” or “someone” must exist who made everything, including them.
The Hubble telescope didn’t exist then that could see millions of light years into far reaches of the Universe and actually photograph what was really out there. No one yet had even ever flown to the Moon.
In the middle of a blazingly hot desert with goats and camels and dates and olives was born the simple ideas that eventually created the foundations of what eventually developed into philosophy, religion, and civilization as we know it.
Nonetheless, the consequence today is that we continue to believe in a concept of reality built on the content of the brains of simple men and women who willed us as their legacy ideas of our human origin based on nothing but uneducated imaginations.
We, in a form of kindness and our apparently innate sense of good will, today largely still cling to their ideas. We preach them, for a price, as gospel, as the undeniable truth of our existence.
We have used these ideas in the past to justify our creation of Slavery. We have use them to have created a laboring or worker class whom many maintain as the backbone of their own wealth.
We do this still contending that we believe in treating others as we would be treated. To top it off, we hope for and cling to the idea that when we die, after subjugating the poor to incredible trials, we will get to go to an idealized Heaven floating somewhere out there in the Universe.
Any of us who point out all these conflicting perspectives are commonly designated to be godless, heathen atheists damned to burn forever under the surface of the earth in another imagined place called Hell.
Both Fuller and Hitchens tried to tell us to look to the facts: to educate ourselves. And today during the pandemic the biggest selling objects on the earth are jigsaw puzzles and digital games.
I’m looking for the punch line that will let us all laugh at this assessment of the present state of affairs on our tiny planet. However, curling my lips up on each side for a grin causes my jaw muscles to cramp. But, I’ll keep looking.