After spending some time intently focused on nuclear weapons, my ground breaking research has made an amazing discovery.
Nuclear weapons are depressing!
Seriously though, is this really true? Is it nuclear weapons that are depressing, or something else?
Nukes Are Wonderful!
As example, imagine that a giant asteroid was headed for Earth and we succeeded in diverting it with nuclear weapons launched in to space. In such a case, nuclear weapons wouldn’t be depressing, they’d be a very much appreciated civilization saving tool, right?
As example, imagine that a fleet of alien spaceships were about to invade and eat us and we turned them back with nuclear weapons. In such a case, nuclear weapons wouldn’t be depressing, they’d be our savior!
So, it seems nuclear weapons are not automatically depressing in and of themselves. I suppose they may conceivably have some constructive use in some situation. They are after all just mechanical objects with no evil intent.
We Have Met The Enemy And He Is…. Uh oh!
It seems that what’s depressing is not so much nuclear weapons, but their creators. You know, the human condition.
What kind of creature creates a huge gun, sticks that gun in it’s own mouth, and then becomes bored with the gun and largely forgets about it? Only the human creature can accomplish such a remarkable feat of self defeating absurdity.
I read recently that over 99% of all species ever to live on Earth have gone extinct. When any species fails to successfully adapt to it’s environment Mother Nature says, “Ok, time’s up, you’re outta here.”
What must Mother Nature be thinking about us these days? Is our time about up? Are we soon to be outta here?
From the perspective of the evolutionary bottom line, is our ability to develop more and more knowledge at an ever faster pace an asset, or ultimately a fatal liability?
From the perspective of a humanist and activist, it’s hard not to be depressed by the possibility that we may fail to control nuclear weapons before they destroy us. It seems almost essential to the activist experience that we feel at least some of this pain.
From a broader more philosophical perspective, should I be depressed that everything that has a beginning also has an end, and that there’s really no chance that human beings will escape this formula? Wouldn’t it be rational to make peace with that which can not be changed?
Finding The Right Balance
Perhaps sustaining nuclear weapons activism in one’s life requires a careful blend of both humanist attachment and philosophical detachment.
If we are to be activists we have to have some level of attachment to the notion that the human species should continue to survive.
And if we are to be activists we may also need to preserve a degree of philosophical detachment, so that we don’t become emotionally exhausted and depressed, and then give up to escape that pain.
As is so often true in life, it’s probably not attachment or detachment that is the issue, but rather the balance between the two.