I always find it a bit curious when humanity thinks it is something more than it really is in the great expanse of the cosmos. From the moon, the Earth’s appearance does not change perceptibly from day to day; even if using a powerful telescope, it would be almost impossible to detect anything out of the mundane. Even from an orbiting spacecraft, only the lights of the night suggest something other than a completely lifeless orb. Yet life there is, and even something that passes for “civilization,” if some intelligent live form out there is foolish enough to investigate further.
According to Voltaire, there was an ancient civilization that explained everything anyone needs to know about our world, with some expanding on the concept by me: The Supreme Being created the human race so he wouldn’t be bored observing his celestial handiwork, allowing the humans to roam about the universe and just enjoy life. Unfortunately, humanity was greedy and lacked common sense. Knowing this, the Supreme Being’s mischievous, no-account brother decided to play a trick on the humans. The Supreme Being had given the humans ambrosia for sustenance, the refuse of which merely expectorated from the pores. But because it was tasteless, there was no pleasure in its consumption. The Supreme Being’s brother, however, offered the humans cake to eat instead, knowing of their insatiable appetite for the sweetness in life. Not surprisingly, the humans greedily consumed the cake offered them, abandoning all thought of the bland ambrosia.
There was an unfortunate side-effect of eating cake, of course; unlike the ambrosia, which was composed of only the substances that were of use to the bodily system, the cake was mostly composed of ingredients superfluous to the body’s requirement, and because of its quantity had to be expectorated in a most mortifying fashion. The Supreme Being’s brother merely laughed at the humans’ discomfiture; the Supreme Being himself, much beside himself at the foolishness of his creation, nevertheless took pity on them and pointed toward some nondescript blue dot in the distance, and bid them to there as a repository for their foul refuse. Since humans could not contain their taste for cake, they found it convenient to remain on this particular orb.
That is one explanation for why the Earth has become the privy of the universe, the repository for all of human kind’s waste, in mind and spirit as well as body. But there are other, less mirth-worthy reasons. I’m not talking about the current list of seven “deadly sins”; those are just the symptoms of human kind’s weaknesses. According to Proverbs 6:19, there are “six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”
Of course, it has been a long time since anyone feared eternal damnation or whatever as punishment for a life of violation of one or more of these dictums; certainly Islamic fanatics have no fear that their god will take a sour view of the shedding of innocent blood (but then again, that is a “Christian” dictum, as if “Christians” necessarily “hate” the things the Lord hates, if the price is right). Some people are of course “sorry” for their transgressions as life winds down, just in case there is “paradise” waiting for them. Some of us are not so sanguine about what they see about them; the human species acts mostly upon its own self-interest, practicing hypocrisy and deceit and leaving behind the waste product of death and destruction. That is the unfortunate side-effect of being “human.”