SP Kachru

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Imperfect Mankind

by S.P. Kachru  

Ever since human beings started thinking about their identities and values, they have been aiming for an ideal – the perfect human being, whom all other human beings should strive to imitate. There is only one concrete result of this deliberation upon which everyone in the human race will agree, however-namely that mankind as it lives and behaves on this planet today, has not yet become perfect. No wonder that while nature does attain perfection but we people never do.

There is a perfect ant, a perfect bee etc. etc. but mankind is perpetually unfinished. Imaginatively, when mankind’s spirit awoke to life, a concept was born that became known as ethics. Ethics can serve as a signpost on the way to becoming perfect.

Imperfect or as some may want to address unfinished man requires ethics because the consciousness of self prompts people to think of themselves first and only then – if at all – to think of others. Despite Ethics, crimes like wars, murder, mayhem and better not to mention lesser rated ones like dishonesty, continue to exist and grow, unabated. The only thing that has continuously changed and will continue to change is the way in which morals are interpreted, justified and implemented. Unfinished mankind, however, has remained and will continue to remain as far away from what people actually should be or could become.

Modernity has provided a garb that men now have a shower and a shave before going to attack another fellow human being. The ethics of those who are on their way to becoming perfect human beings seem thus to be imperfect, a fact that will clearly prevent these ethics from becoming fully effective.

One of the main shortcoming probably is that , ethics are, as a rule, preached to others, hoping that they will take them to heart thus underlining that we have two sets of morality, one which we preach and the other which we practice but seldom preach. Every human being, however, has his or her own unique experience to guide their ethical practices. There may not be any society where morals are not contravened daily. We are, thus, forced to admit that crime is unavoidable hence routine. Consequently, there is no point in referring to the unavoidable imperfection of human nature as a disease too since if it were so, we all would have contracted this disease as imperfection reigns everywhere. In short, the perfect human being will never exist.

Source: Milchar

  

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