Will There Be A Future?

by Richard Kovac

Philosophica1ly, I guess there is no reason to predict that there will be a future simply because there always has been a future succeeding to each past - at least in so far as we know. Empirical evidence ultimately rests on an a priori axiom of continuity.

But such metaphysical considerations do not concern me here. I wonder if there will be a future for human beings, and a continuation of human history. Will we at some point in our frenzied pursuit of empire, simp1y blow the planet and the species - ours and all of them - to smithereens, leaving a radioactive desert wasteland?

The "Christian" West has been rapacious - but has for part of its credo the "Blessed are the meek" and "Blessed are the peacemakers" of the Beatitudes. This first indicates how far at variance with its expressed beliefs a given cu1ture can be. What kind of evolution would be necessary to produce meek nonviolent human beings?

Lanza del Vasto, a modern apostle of nonviolence who, although Catholic, studied with Gandhi, said, "The future must be a future of nonviolence or there will be no future." That is where it is at. The fact is we already possess weapons that are destructive enough to destroy everything, and never in the history of mankind has a weapon been invented that has not eventually been used.

That makes our chances of survival nil.

But again Jesus said, "The meek will inherit the earth." How can we evolve into meekness?

Studies have shown that many of those in the prison population show a "violence gene" to an extent not shown in the rest of people. Can we, by genetic engineering, eliminate this violence gene? And what about this: "Man is something to be surpassed. What have you done to surpass him." (Nietzsche) My intent is to stand Nietzsche on his head, however, by suggesting a nonviolent superman.

The concept of genetic engineering towards a gentler humanity is not precipitate, but re-education is needed in any case, since I acknowledge that it is not biology alone which is at fault or defective. The family is also a breeding ground for violence, and a p1ace where nonviolence must be taught - which many have failed to do, including even myself, leading to truncated marriages and single parent children. The overhaul must be thorough, reaching into every phase of our lives. The survival of humanity and the planet are at stake.

Even the Vatican, which once boasted in the Renaissance of its unjust conquest of Bologna, has seen the need for peace in documents like "Pacem in Terris", and the statement of Montini (Paul VI): "If you want to be brothers, let the weapons fall from your hands." Be at peace!

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