Human nature naturally determines humanity's positive advance or negative regression at the same time. This paradox is more apparent today than perhaps it ever was, because of the enormous gulf between man's sophisticated technological ability on one side, and the same species' capacity to be barbaric, destructive and absurdly medieval, on the other. And religion, whether it be practiced falsely or truthfully, has really nothing to do with it.
Today, for example, one would be far more inclined to respect the religious beliefs of a scientist, than those of a 'religious' fanatic. This simply because the awareness and appreciation of a scientist who goes so far in acquiring knowledge that he eventually, irrevocably, reaches the point of concluding that he knows relatively nothing, starkly contrasts in humility with the unawareness, the lack of appreciation, and the ignorance of the so called religious fanatic who pretends to know everything.
Naturally the point reached is where and when there is no other possible explanation within contemporary scientific reach to comprehend the fabulous, if not unfathomable, wonders of life and the universe.
Another paradox regards communication. In spite of modern means of instant, world wide electronic communication, one seems to glean more information about the daily activities of one's own children via Facebook, than by a more personal exchange of correspondence with them. There might also be a tendency for the young to confide more in so called 'friends', collected, (like the old cigarette cards, or the more modern, yet already dated, Pokémon cards) than in their own families. The 'friends', the ever increasing multitudes of individuals about whom one knows relatively nothing, or would never meet, represent the vital flow of virtual humanity that determines the extremely lucrative reason of being of 'social' sites such as Facebook.
Thus it appears that the days of the treasured, beautiful, personal, hand written letter are long gone by. Modern communication is such that one doesn't need to respect grammar, spelling or style. Today for our younger generations, time seems to have far more importance than poetry.
There is also the paradox of modern travel, where in Europe, compared to the limited means of transport during the Elizabethan era, for another example, one might reach the conclusion that there is generally less cultural exchange today, than there was in the 16th century. Again it must be a question of time, which also means money.
Today we live according to the establishment's imposed programs. It would seem that the establishment is presided by the three monkeys. Laicism is treated as a religion in itself. Homosexual marriages which will invariably lead to the adoption of children, are generally, officially and patronisingly accepted, and any mayor who by principle refuses to abide by the rule, will more or less be treated as a common criminal.
In Europe the blind acceptance of thousands, if not millions of migrants, is delicately handled with such sensitive diplomacy, that if one wishes to comment on the wisdom of such generosity, one must carefully choose one's words to avoid being repeatedly censored by certain media. To begin with, for example, the details of the shameful New Year's Eve episode in Cologne were reported by the same media in an irresponsible way that does no credit to journalism. It follows that we have no right to be surprised if in addition to the mass molesting of young European women, a part of the price for generous European hospitality will be the destruction of European churches, and even worse.
Another modern paradox regards certain eating habits. The relatively new sectarian vegan conviction. But if eggs, cheese, butter and all milk products are considered edible by certain would-be vegans, then wouldn't the defended principle be categorically breached?
Logically it could follow that such food sectarians eventually decide that all living organisms including vegetables, shouldn't be eaten either. 'Foods' would thus be artificial, and sold (expensively) in little jars in special bio-vegan, happy-health stores. They would be just as tastelessly coloured to accord with whatever homeopathetic vague souvenir of a vitamin they are supposed to represent, and huge fortunes would be made with ease by cynical, meat-eating opportunists.
(The far less convinced, including myself, would prefer an Angus sirloin, any time).
Whatever 2016 cooks up, it could well be a determining year in many tasteful or tasteless respects. Hopefully humanity might even take a positive step in the right direction.
Happy New Year to us all!
Text and images © Mirino. January, 2016