Sunday Morning Sermon - Sep 1 2013
Mark Twain's major theme in the novel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, is man's inhumanity to man. Huck Finn states, "Human beings can be awfully cruel to one another".
This theme is no surprise to us all. We have, throughout history, read about the many events of such cruelty inflicted by man upon his own species.
The question that we now ask is whether we have learned any valuable lessons from this history?
When WWII ended we heard the voices say, "never again", yet we've seen so many new wars that have been fought, lost and won, since then. Millions have suffered or died in vain.
What motivates man to kill his own?
Yes, we know that animals and other creatures do kill each other. But they do it only as a form of instinct to survive. Never on a planned and hidden agenda to oppress or abuse. In the case of man its different.
What do human beings kill for? Usually its territory, power, religion, culture, ethnicity or basically, the inability to accept and tolerate one another.
Where did racism stem from? Racism is usually defined as views, practices and actions reflecting the belief that humanity is divided into distinct biological groups called races and that members of a certain race share certain attributes which make that group as a whole less desirable, more desirable, inferior, or superior..
Historical economic or social disparity is alleged to be a form of discrimination caused by past racism and historical reasons, affecting the present generation through deficits in the formal education and kinds of preparation in previous generation, and through primarily unconscious racist attitudes and actions on members of the general population.
A hypothesis embraced by classical economists is that competition in a capitalist economy decreases the impact of discrimination. The thinking behind the hypothesis is that discrimination imposes a cost on the employer, and thus a profit-driven employer will avoid racist hiring policies.
Although a capitalist economy would avoid discrimination in order to avoid extra cost, this can be avoided in other ways. A capitalist company, for example, may use racist hiring policies as it deviates towards the “cultural norm”. For example, in a predominantly white society, hiring a person of color into a position of management may then cause disputes, and damage communications between other employers. Thus, the company would be economically put in a deficit because of the discrimination of other companies, as they invoke discrimination and isolate that company. Although this may be a radical, over exaggerated point of view, it portrays how pervasive racism is and how a company may sometimes deviate towards racist hiring policies in order to not be isolated, thus preventing the company from going into an economic deficit.
Settler colonialism has always been one of the main contributors of segregation of human beings into groups and levels of social hierarchy, which then develops into a form of racism and divisiveness. The South African model is the best example of this.
Today, we see so many fires burning across many nations where people are involved in fighting their own people espousing their own causes and justifications. Interventions by more powerful first world nations have rarely brought forth a permanent solution to this madness. In fact such interventions have actually fueled the fire even further drawing more blood across wider landscapes.
Are we humans doomed to destruct ourselves in this manner, sooner than later?
Only time will tell.