The Ultimate Unification of Humanity

What is it about humanity that forces people to categorise one another? Despite living in the most culturally diverse era of human history, we still tend to cling to old beliefs, traditions and points of origin. There are still concepts like nationalism and patriotism, which I find hard to discern from each other when things get heated. But what would eradicate all petty human differences for good? Turns out, there’s a definite answer.

There are still cultures in existence which advocate against pluralism and cosmopolitan life. Yet, it was predicted by (just about) everyone that once the Cold War ended, there would be a new era of globalisation and of absolute ideological unity. This never happened. In fact, quite the opposite happened. While each respective ideological faction in the world has been progressively weakened and diluted since, say the Great War, which might be considered the epitome of nationalist conflict, these factions have perhaps grown even more threatening  and aggressive in order to implement their own way of life on a global scale. Furthermore, at least for the past 50 years, the world has had the security of choosing between ‘Communism and Capitalism’, which seemed a relatively simple, black and white choice. Now, world relations are too complex to imagine for the average human, and even powerful bodies like the UN struggle to keep up with the world’s affairs and the needs of these differing cultures, some of which view all other cultures as abhorrent and unworthy of existence.

I believe there is one solid solution which would surely unite all humans. This would act as a radical shift in humanity’s context, and people’s perception of humanity as a whole. Despite the extraordinary advancements in astronomy and our understanding of the vastness of the universe, humans have yet to accept their utter insignificance in the cosmos. Or rather, they fail to contextualise it, because we still feel quite alone and sovereign in our little branch of space. Regardless of how huge the universe is, we still have not encountered anything which might suggest that we are not the only contemporary living thing in this general area of the Milky Way galaxy. In a nutshell, we still think we’re the ‘center’ of the universe, even if we know it to be untrue.

What if we did encounter something? What if humans – all humans – simultaneously looked up and saw something utterly alien, something unimaginably different, and then looked back at the humans around them? Suddenly, after centuries of ideological war to eradicate the petty differences between us, the man on the other side of the world would seem closer, more familiar and more friendly than ever before. After years of hatred, and after having expended millions of lives in the name of uniting humanity under one banner, we would realise that we were in fact under one banner all along.

I believe that on the day we make contact with an intelligent, ‘intimidating’ alien race, racism, nationalism, and all other ideological hatreds between us humans will disappear from the earth, and be replaced with Humanism, the love of all humans and all things human. While this might not be fair to the aliens and would bring up further moral concerns about what rights we should grant that which is not human, it certainly would be better for us. Goodness knows we need a little more empathy between humans of ‘different’ backgrounds right now.

This was just a thought I had a few months ago. Share your own thoughts in the comments if you wish.

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4 Comments

Filed under Philosophy

4 responses to “The Ultimate Unification of Humanity

  1. Yes, we need to come together, but your proposal is ultimately a pessimistic one, because it is based on “separation”. By saying that we can only come together when we stand before aliens you are expressing the same nationalistic idea of the patriots: that we identify with ourselves primarily because there are foreigners surrounding us who are different.
    Perhaps the idea has to be thrown on its head and turned upside down. Instead of humbling ourselves in the Universe’s immensity, we have to see the possibilities for humanity as central figures in the Universe. As homo sapiens, i.e. as thinking creatures in a Universe which is mainly gases and empty space. We are special in the Universe, even if probably not unique. If we meet Aliens it should be to share our experience of the vast Universe with them. Nature created life-forms because it loves life,and the Universe needs conscious life-forms to Be. And perhaps we have a great teleological role in this Universe: perhaps we could even find a way to save it from the thermal-death that it is otherwise destined to suffer. But before we can do that we have to survive on the Earth, which we are destroying. That is what should bring Humanity together, our need for survival as a species in a world, our common home, that we need to protect.

    • Indeed it is. One could say I am a ‘nationalist’ for all humans. Perhaps if I had grown up in a different era, I might have a different opinion. After all, you would most likely agree that to be racist towards another human is no different from being ‘species-ist’ to an alien. But ultimately, I don’t think it matters. After all, it’s such an abstract concept that I have to make up terms that haven’t been conceived yet to describe my hypotheses! There’s no need to have an established opinion yet, and there’s no way of determining whether or not it would be morally correct to think of an alien as an equal, an enemy or something which is below humans. Thanks for the thoughts.

      • Yes, it’s early times. But a nationalism of Humanity could be the singular most tragic idea of all times. If we are to be contacted by Aliens they would undoubtedly be technologically superior to us, and an inter-species war could only ultimately terminate in our complete subjugation or, worse, annihilation… wouldn’t it?

      • They would not necessarily have to be superior, but if they were, I believe we would catch up very quickly. However, that is a whole different blog post. Anyway, if a hostile race attacked humanity, we wouldn’t have much choice. And if a technologically superior race contacted us, you can be damn sure the world’s nations would triple their military funding. We would be on par with them in a few decades, regardless. Anyway, I’m not saying we should blow up an alien ship as soon as we see it, but it’s a real possibility. Regardless of what the aliens’ stance is with war, humans would most likely be judgmental enough to assume the worst and suddenly see one another as brethren compared to the aliens. It’s not ideal and it’s not what is best necessarily, but I think it’s what would happen. That’s the message of my post.

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