While being shown around, Uyanwah asked Hawking which human shortcoming he would most like to change, and which trait he’d enhance.
Hawking chose aggression and warned that a nuclear war could end civilization and possibly the human race. We need to replace aggression with empathy, which “brings us together in a peaceful loving state,” he said.
I want to admit up front that I am not much of a fan of Steven Hawking. Maybe it is his avowed atheism or maybe it is because most of what he says is really without any provable foundation, it seems it is all pretty much speculation. But I will admit that the guy has overcome some extreme obstacles in his life and I greatly admire him for that.
When I read that he thinks our human aggression is the deadliest of human traits I had to yell “Right On”. We are a testosterone driven society, well actually world. There is way too much chest thumping and too little empathy about us. That is one of the reasons I wouldn’t mind if women took over all the leadership positions in the world! There are too many people who celebrate a person who got such a rush in killing hundreds of people from afar that he signed up again and again so he could continue to do just that. We should be celebrating the peacemakers not the warriors and certainly not the most extreme “rush” seeking warriors.
I simply can’t understand why empathy is such a hard sell to many in today’s world. It is such a fundamental part of me I just can’t see how anyone can lack empathy for their fellow human beings? I would love to have a choice of candidates who I can vote in national elections but since the GOP is just so filled with those who seem to be either indifferent or ambivalent to empathy that brand is often not available to me. Without empathy what are we but a bunch of narcissists out totally for ourselves.
Thanks Stephen for bring up this topic. Maybe as a result a few others will finally understand that empathy is important…