Against All Odds Rev. 01/01/08 EIA Dept. Of Peace. For Official Use.
It is the job of Bio-Ethicists to suggest practices that demonstrate greater respect and appreciation for the natural systems of life upon which we all depend.
The question of self and social responsibility and enforcement is at the basis of all ethical systems. Bio-ethicists explore threats and harms and are concerned with safety, preservation, conservation, and innovating solutions to problems resulting from inadequate gaps between needs and behaviors. Another prominent direction that drives the work of bio-ethicists is explaining how the needs of life can be identified and better balanced with constructive human thinking and behavioral patterns at individual and social scales. James Lovelock and Dr. Van Potter are examples of some founding Bio-ethicists as was Dr. Rachael Carson. What distingushed them is that they applied their specialties in life sciences to public affairs by examining important implications of lifestyles, laws or the lack thereof, and popular movements in industry that they viewed as affronting potential and destroying life.
Regressive, impulsive abnormal behaviors explain some crises, but ignorance and human error account for the majority of modern day problems. Knowledge and experiences that allow for wisdom to be shared can help resources be applied to solve problems and limit the distress. The use of teamwork for example has numerous benefits. Mainly because it allows for an interdisciplinary and multi-skilled pool of contributors to participate in processes that are naturally richer as a result of cooperation and shared resources.
Life is supported by intimately interactively linked systems (Lovelock, J. 1979) we perceive and understand in varying degrees. The integrity of the healthy functioning of these interdependent systems both micro and macro can be protected from predictable destruction through close observation and necessary defenses. Healthy growth or optimal/constructive development can be established by measurable criteria that help identify unproductive or conflict of interest destruction. Monitoring and the propagation of methods or lifestyles that encourage, support, and preserve symbiosis (WhiteFeather,W. 1993) are critical to survival and the quality of life.
The reliance on empirically derived data helps reduce errors and false assumptions. However, ignorance and the manipulative nature of people have historically shown that people that lack reasonable checks and balances can become victims of hysteric movements where instability violently expresses itself through fear and strife. Thus, lifestyles, tools, definitions, and criteria should be routinely evaluated and adjusted where possible to ensure healthy needs and potentials are not being corrupted or limited in preventable ways.
Given the common developmental phase of rebelliousness that many young people experience or acting out or negative compensation defense mechanisms in response to other personal struggles not to mention how ethics might be compromised due to peer pressure- the accessibility of drugs, weapons, and other common hazards driven by desires such as thrill seeking, or abnormal behaviors are important threats that continue to necessitate monitoring and controls. Many accidents on highways are traced to substance abuse, road rage, and common sleep disorders. Imagine if the engineer at a nuclear plant becomes suicidal or scitzophenic. It has become common to read about unstable individuals exploding in the workplace, sometimes with violent retalitory behaviors. In most cases, warning signs to mental illness are present, but most people are not trained to detect or knowledgable about how to respond. When prevention fails, communities mut rely on their own monitoring and response systems. This is especially true where government controls are inadequate or unavailable.
Global Security System
By having a stronger alert/ responsive Global Security System (GSS) like NATO, but broader in intelligence and preventative methodology established well in advance, greater standards may be developed upon which to fairly measure actionable threats, conditions, or behaviors. Such an alert/ response system is not just ad-hoc in response to emergencies in the way Nato is today. Ad Hoc methodology weakens responses in general due to the logistical coordination struggles. The strain due to the overemphasis of military interventions versus other types of interventions and diplomacy efforts, which should be exhuasted well in advance of military deployments are becoming easy to see. The evidence is not only in the communities where U.S troops are deployed, but in the communities they leave behind and the cost to our society for supporting long-term warfare.
The shear pressure from population growth alone requires a global security force should be well organized in the preventative stage in areas such as education, family planning, health services, and reasonable ecomonic viability for basic needs to be met even in the poorest of countries with sensitivity and respect for the diverse cultures of the world. Such security programs must also address the intervention phases of containment where violations of international significance are developing or identified. For example, instead of wasting valuable time on a cases by case basis where nuclear threats are identified or need to be investigated, a global response system helps to remove the added danger of tyranny or unfair treatment that a global police force led by a single nation can be anticipated to produce. However, the problem with a global force surrounds how the decisions will be made for when this force is called to action and how participation will be managed and how costs will be shared. This is one of the practical reasons we see a breakdown in the current NATO system and independent countries taking on more or less responsibility. Until these problems are addressed, practical parameters developed and useful methods selected, the crisis remains.
Ongoing Destruction & Ultimate Threat to the Survival Of Life
Death and destructive tendencies may be explaned as natural defense mechanisms such as the instinct to survive, self-preservation, and can be argued as useful in the adaptation of self and society. However, if exaggerated in forms such as obsessive thinking or compulsive behaviors driven by paronia, death and destructive tendencies may exert themselves as tyrrany, fanaticism, inflexibility, and fixations which deplete resources rather than support the survival of life. Justifications offered to reinforce the selection of destructive behaviors are often found to be contradictory and distorted. In many instances the opposite results for what was intended to be achieved through the use of violence are observable.
Adolph Hitler is a prime example of someone who suffered a superiority complex which resulted in attempts of world dominance. Low self-worth can be projected outwardly and acted out as anti-social behavior that causes harm to others. In an perpetrators attempt to committ suicide or end their own suffering as they might describe it, and possible guilt feelings that could be expected to result from contemplating suicide, it is my theory that the mentally ill, on a sub-counscious level may act out so grossly as to attain their desired effect of death by causing someone else to kill them. Such an option might be attractive especially to those with religious convitions that suicide is a sin. In this line of thinking the person would resort to intense criminal acts in an effort to attain their goal. Add the symptom of paronia that could grow from the fear of getting caught after a crime and you have an even more dangerous situation.
In fairness it would be false to proclaim that someone sat down and said to keep peace we need a nuclear bomb, but as the defected scientists from Germany (primarily Einstien) gave the knowledge to the U.S. to beat Natzi Germany from further executing its plans to dominate the world, the imparted and proliferated knowledge gave rise to the modern arms race and to thousands (GreenPeace 1995) of genetic alterations and environmental disasters since that time. Natzi rhetoric alleged that in order to protect the racial purity of a so called Superior Race and to protect the hegemony of the alleged superior race that the absolute solution (Dr. Orian Anderson) was extermination. While most people can easily identify the illogical nature of the argument, some of the longest lasting aspects born from this extermination plan, namely the use of toxins, continues on today without much real resistance. During the Iowa debates (2008), poll research was shared by ABC correspondents that suggested as many as 30-50% of those polled expect a U.S. city to be bombed with nuclear warheads within the next 10 years. Hopefully that is just negative thinking, but practically speaking the U.S. did not win WWII. It is my position that in order to win that war, we must contain the toxic crisis to the fullest extent possible. Given how genetic manipulations have already been observed, until science advances to correct the sequencing in the code and until we develop materials capable of surviving long enough to house the worst toxic materials safely, that victory was falsely proclaimed as the war continues to be waged at the very core of our existence, attacking DNA itself.
In the future perhaps more people will look back on our contemporary times and discuss how absurd it was to pollute our air, land, food, and bodies and wastefully use so many natural non-renewable resources when more intelligent and more sustainable options were available. That is of course assuming we survive.
Is it posible to have a positive regard for other life if you donít possess it for you own? Does mental illness make it much more difficult if not impossible to care for others when a loss or absense of love or distorted senses of love for oneself are present? Studies of violent criminals show that a general lack of empathy enables extreem acts of violence without guilt and many criminals share common case histories of suffering physical and mental abuse in childhood. Thus, positive parenting skills are the central most important area to institute, reform, or reinforce in educational systems world-wide.
In terms of crime prevention, early detection and care are paramount. The cost savings that result will not only lessen monetary damages, but the quality of life will benefit society and the direction of rehabilitation will be more fruitful than currently failed systems which actually perpetuate crime through the use of punishment which have long been determined ineffective for effecting positive behavioral changes (Maag .)
Albert Einstein once commented that intelligence is found in diversity, yet many contemporary problems out of obvious conflicts around issues of intolerance, projected inequalities, and extreme or inflexible positions. Such problems expose the clear fact that a general lack of appreciation for diversity exists in many societies. Thus, encouraging cultural exchanges to help instill greater appreciation for diversity is essential to increasing human understanding and to make better use of emense human intelligence resources. Such exchanges are not based on the premise that any nation is superior to another, or that our values or religion must be adopted by those we invite into this cultural exchange. Successful the cultural exchange missions are about observation, discovery, tolerance, acceptance, being adaptable, learning to integrate oneself in different enviroments and to ultimately learn from the differences and respect people for who they are rather than some pre-concieved notion of who one person thinks another ougth to behave or believe.
As many as one third of the population in the United states suffered some form of mental illness at some point in their lives that resulted from a combination of biological, psychological and sociological factors (Terrell,A. 2000). Biochemical and genetic damages caused by terratogens, harmful substances that cross the placenta barrier such as drugs, alcohol, pollution, and radiation can cause developmental defects that can cause mental and physical disabilities. The Brain, central nervous system and other areas of the body can be damaged by drug use, or nutritional imbalances that adversely impacts cognitive function or development. There are clear correlations of genetic malformation and developmental defects in offspring exposed to terratogens that cause mental, physical, perceptual and behavioral disabilities (Rice, Philip 2001 p.64) Thus, fragmentation is a process associated directly with disease (Dr. Nicols ). Fragmentation and toxicity are central priorities if preserving and protecting life is a goal. Even stressful experiential life events like trauma may cause illnesses if not adequately managed or treated. With a conservative estimate of a two-thirds majority acting with positive intentions on this planet, the extent of suffering and devastation resulting from human behavior depends on the ability to share and apply wisdom and tools that aid life. Clearly, we need better ways of coping with and addressing the needs of the estimated remaining one-third- crisis-stricken (sick and/or criminal) populations. It should be pointed out that many physical illnesses are accompanied or trigger anxiety related symptoms. By advocating and working for the sick, we are improving the quality of life as a whole. This is apparent when the outrageous loses that result from the largely predictable abnormal behaviors of crisis-stricken populations are reviewed.
Where neurotics are present, cooperation, teamwork, and compromise with the greater good in mind can be particularly challenging. There are instances when people that lack empathy or have a narrow inflexible scope can be helped. However, some may suffer from conditions that make processing stimuli or learning greatly impaired or even impossible (agnosia). Others may lack will (abulia) or interest or have other barriers to learning or more immediate unmet psychological or biological needs which greatly limits the extent and or quality of their participation.
The task of managing or helping people with distorted and unhealthy goals, unhealthy methods or habits, and a lack of positive support and experiences is tremendous. Many of the social aid programs in place lack adequate and sufficient staff and resources to assess or address the special needs of mentally challenged people. Much of the funding and program objectives and goals of existing social aid programs are unrealistic to many people seeking aid. In some cases, administrators have no choice, but to either selectively apply the services to candidates more likely to succeed, (leaving the rest without many options other than self-help) or enroll anyone and jeopardize continued funding if the success rate is adversely impacted.
Trends in Mental Health, Social Services and Corrections over the last two generations in the U.S. have shown a wholesale failure to address the fact that it is unfair and impractical to hold disabled or differently-abled people to the same standards as everyone else. It is also impractical to think that employers are going to be apt to hire ex-offenders or disabled people over someone without a conviction or disability in most cases. There is a growing number of the population needing reasonable accommodations to keep people productive in industry. Expanding the Prison industrial complex, one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. since the late 90ís is not the solution. Many existing corrections facilities need to be run more effectivelty as is evidenced by the high recidivism rate. Many other countries have much lower rates people returning to prison, perhaps we can learn from studying them. *See 2004 Hoover Report for more info.
Measurable progress is reflected in the reversal of negative trends such as active participation in the responsible resistance of causing or contributing to detrimental harm or contributions that aid aid healthy development. Tools of change include; positive role modeling, mentorships, education, the integration of cutting edge practices for the maintenance of mental and physical fitness and through the power of belief associated with efficient personal and social standards. Peace is not a commitment to some intangible ideal state. Peace is a discipline one practices to improve the quality and conditions of life for oneself or others. Mental and physical health are essential foundations if you want to survive and thrive. When nutrition, self-esteem, and empathy are well established, the ability to recognize interdependent relationships is enhanced and the foundations of healthy development laid. Exercising, coping with stress in healthy ways, eating and sleeping well, maintaining a healthy caring social support network, and practicing sustainable behaviors are essential to well being.
The conflicts surrounding the control of natural resources and the growth of largely preventable diseases such as cancer, environmentally related diseases, and emotional related conditions are all signs of a world in distress.
In 1950, the global population was approximately 2.5 billion. Today the number is closer to 6 billion. When this data is contrasted with history, it becomes clear that the population growth over the last century has been explosive. The availability of sufficient food, water, and energy to sustain growing demands are critical concerns. Efficiency issues involving food production, distribution of resources and related lifestyle disparities of affluent classes versus the impoverished are also important concerns. For example, it is commonly known that despite the availability of fertile lands, advances in transportation systems and an abundance of wealth in the world, today nearly a billion people are already starving, suffering malnutrition (U.N. FAO, 1996) not to mention how infant mortality and the majority of illness caused by poor nutrition and sexually transmitted diseases are largely preventable with simple and inexpensive interventions.
A U.S. Census Bureau report dated March 18th, 1999 titled World Population Profile:1998 Highlights projects that by 2050 the global population is estimated to be near 9.3 billion. However, according to the various projections by other sources, it could be as high as 14 billion short of major loses of life due to diseases, wars, natural disasters, or dramatic changes in birth control availability. The bottom line is we have little choice but to try to figure out how to cooperate, share, exercise intelligence in family planning, and preserve and nurture more supportive conditions.
Advances in technology over the last century, the decisions and detrimental human behaviors displayed and the rise in environmentally related illnesses has presented some significant and unique challenges.
*See More significant challenges of 19th & 20th century Exhibit B.
Some significant challenges of the Industrial & Technological Ages.
I. Environmental Sustainability
A. Habitats- Preservation & conservation
1. Land-use/ agriculture- impact of choices in lifestyle. I.e. diet
i. oxygen quality, pollution and global warming
2. Water- Oceans, Rivers & Streams
a. Contamination & decontamination limitations i.e. ability and inability to identify
B. Bacteria & Mutations-
C. Natural threats i.e. meteors and sun burning out, disasters i.e. storms, earthquakesÖ
1. Human growth and wildlife scarcity
a. Species balances, diversity, imbalances and extinction.
II. Human Behavior & Social Relationships
A. Adaptation- conditioning & limits of knowledge in interpretations. Selective attention/memory. Skill & senses deficits/bias. Roles of responsible and equitable communication, ethics- standards, laws and discipline, educational needs. Relative truth versus certainty.
a. *Values: What is success? Implementing nonviolence peace programs as an optimum opportunity to identify, reduce and prevent suffering, corruption and devastation.
b. Evolution of hierarchy, desire, control, pleasure principle, reversing excessive fear of nature, superiority myth, positive and negative stress. Exploitation through unhealthy associations, traditions and habits. Instituting conversion to healthier systems.
i. Reinforced violence i.e. terror -war, poverty, starvation, oppression and the implementation of nonviolence conflict resolution.
ii. Congruence with biological and environmental harmony and responsive government and economic checks and balances to limit distress, corruption, and or threats against safety.
1. Inventions Pros Cons
a. nuclear fission, nuclear energy and bombs
b. toxic materials (variety of definitions/regulation)
i. man-made hazardous chemicals i.e. pesticides, herbicides. Unhealthy choices that reinforce or create excessive man-made toxic waste.
ii. genetic manipulations, replication and modifications
iii. computer systems and nuclear threat
2. Harmonizing systems of support for meeting basic physical, mental health and emotional needs.
a. Cancer and other physical and mental illnesses.
b. Treating and preventing insanity, distorted thinking, malformed self concepts due to biology and social experiences, toxic exposures, developmental limitations i.e. terratogenes, injury, trauma-abuse or immaturity. Treating and preventing self esteem problems, unhealthy compensation and problematic defensive mechanisms.
Healthy Social Development
The extent people experience stress versus peace is impacted by lifestyles which in turn impacts the quality of life. Violence and and post-traumatic-stress syndrome have been linked making it fairly easy to generalize that violent lifestyles degrade the quality of life. Whereas calmness, meditation, a positive attitude and physical fitness has been linked to strengthening immune systems and increasing healing potentials. If pleasure or the need to reduce tension is as strong a motivator as they are reported, then healthy adaptation is likely, unless it has been impeded or corrupted. If pleasure and the reduction of tension is correlated and convincingly portrayed to the public to support ethics congruent with positive behavior, that is behavior without harmful effects, more of those behaviors will be demonstrated and modeled. That is the case because from what Frued taught us about human behavior, pleasure is a major source of motivation on both conscious or pre-conscious levels.
Realizing Maximum Potential
While wisdom is attained in conscious states through trail and error or through observing the trails and errors of others, some intelligence is inherent or genetically passed. People form the discriminations of what they chose to practice and it becomes a problem when behavior goes against the code of life. Rest assured, even if we donít fully understand the role the elements play, together they constitute a whole greater than their parts.
The notion that everyone brings a special contribution to the collective effort allows for us to harness some of our greatest resources, the capacity to care and the ability act out our roles. The first step in being a leader is being a follower. The movement for a better world begins with committed parents, teachers, and communities mobilized behind a common cause. Let the cause be revised to include Life, Liberty and Harmony and our constitution will have a renewed value worthy of loyalty beyong borders.
On one hand this is a journey about remembering to care for ourselves collectively and on the other, it is about discovering nature and nurturing ourselves. Allow yourself to grieve the losses mentioned in this text, be angry, but do not lash out. Instead, turn the anger into inspiration and motivation and eventually you will accept the situation. Then make plans on how you can address what is within your power to deal with and make commitments you can live with. That is how alienation can be defeated. Upon that victory the acceptance of the demand for empowerment will be given an opportunity to overcome apathy and dispair will be arrested by the justice bound to result.