Humanism, Inhumanism and changing my mind about Annihilation.


So, as I said a few days ago, for the first time I was feeling quite nihilistic, which was a first for me. I am very grateful for the relief of not feeling that level of philosophical despondency – a bit like sinking in quicksand. For awhile, I couldn’t see the humanitree for the inhumanitrees. The inhumanity of the world was becoming overwhelming (an indulgence, considering what others are going through now).

Personally, something which I found very pleasing (as I understand, many people did) is that all of these Arab revolutions and uprisings have seemed to be based on humanity. People putting aside their differences, uniting as humans and demanding their dignity & rights. Something more beautiful than I could ever have imagined (although the horror of seeing such violence and inhumanity inflicted on peaceful, righteous protesters is something I will never forget and the joy of seeing the revolution finally unfold was a bittersweet one).

I’ve considered myself a humanist (if I HAVE to have a label) and on a personal level, I initially found that these humanistic, unifying uprisings in the face of corruption, unfairness & oppression a perfect example of why I find humanism so compelling – the idea that all we need in our reason and our humanity & mutual respect in society to be able to live ethically & fairly. I’ve always been saddened to see divisions in society which divide us when we are all, at the end of the day, supposedly equal human beings. To see the unity between the Copts & Muslims was beautiful, everybody can agree. My biggest hope for Egypt (& everywhere else) is that the revolution that was fought for on the streets is continued in our minds. Our biggest hope for real change that makes a real difference is if we respect the differences between ourselves and stop seeing people as part of some strata of society and see each others in the spirit of sister and brotherhood, as individual human beings.

We have to start treating each other as equals and acknowledge and challenge the prejudices that we all have within us. The way we look at people poorer and wealthier, the problem with the way that the underpriveleged and poor in Egypt have been treated, the inequalities between the sexes, homophobia, religious animosity and discrimination of those who may not have a religion or be atheist, even the way we treat animals – all things that have upset me and things we need to confront collectively. It’s not only the regime that needs to change, but we as a society, each and every one of us. We have had enough dehumanisation of people and inhumanism with the corrupt Mubarak regime. Don’t we all owe it to ourselves to change everything for the better, starting with ourselves? We have to ask ourselves – what kind of a world do we want to live in? Perhaps, with this new Arab Renaissance, we can reclaim the humanity, compassion and hospitality that has been denied to us for so long.

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