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The Nature of Human Actions: Aggression or Self-defense

Barbara's picture

"City is part of the ecology. People build cities just like any other animals build their habitats." During class last Tuesday, Sarah's comment on city left me a deep impression. City is the most complex form of human habitat, yet the fact that this complicated structure is a habitat, which people build to shelter themselves, makes me think about the vulnerability of mankind. Hurricane Sandy came in time for this meditation of mine. Through media, I could see how nervous people were when faced with the unparallel natural force. Yes we were prepared, but no one was absolutely out of fear. This is real humanity. We are not the ruler of the planet. Intelligence is not yet enough for us to combat unforeseen destiny designated by _______ . I leave this blank. Human force is so dominant in changing the "chemistry" of the planet in recent years, as Thomas Berry pointed out. We are probably contributing to our own destiny. On the other hand, the planet itself keeps challenging us now and then. Whether human civilization is developed to become aggression or self-defense to the natural forces really puzzles me. Or there may not be a clear border at all. Last night our customs group sticked together in darkness. The hearsay that Erdman was on fire (<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Baldwin, actually) made us panic. At that point, I realized the need of reliance on each other individuals have. I could barely imagine me alone in such a dark windy cold night, uninformed and actionless. The fire and smoke were just too clear even in the fog and rain for us to ignore. We are creatures both powerful and vulnerable, aren't we?



wanhong's picture


As you said, "city IS the most complex form of human habitat". In fact, I think the existence of city could prove how vulnerable human beings are--We must build something to keep the dangers away from us, and when it is damaged, we are frightened deep inside our heart. City is like a powerful mask that somehow covers the weakness of human, don't you think so?

Barbara's picture

Exactly. Yet it is

Exactly. Yet it is paradoxical to think about it - we are powerful enough to shade our weakness...Just got this from my biology reading (Principle of Biology, Nature Education, online) and I think the relevant scientific description might be of your interest. "Although life is vulnerable to environmental perturbations, it is also tenacious. As Earth has changed through time, life has adapted to fill every available environment. It is important to note that evolution is not progressive. It does not have a goal, with simple organisms inevitably evolving into complex organisms. Evolution is essentially a process that tailors organisms to the places in which they live." This provokes me to think about if we could/should intendedly rule the direction of our development (i.e. evolution).