The question that was posed is: are we better off as civilized people? The way we know civilization today?
I sincerely doubt that holistically speaking we are, but we think we are. We think that taking over the natural habitat on which we depend and replacing it with engineered solutions will make us better off. We think that anyone who thinks otherwise should get out of the way and we think that we reserve and deserve the right to force them do so, should they not do it at their own will. We think nothing of the human beings who have a different survival mechanism and life values, especially the ones who have succeeded into the XXI century. We think that those who are in the way of this senseless exploitation of nature should be killed and their villages run over by bulldozers. We think nothing of the people who lose their relatives in what we call "collateral damage" of our senseless pursuit of some financially profitable objective. We think nothing of the loneliness of a man who has probably witnessed the slaughter of his loved ones, or perhaps, one day, returning from a hunting or fishing trip, arrived at his village only to find them all dead or simply, silently, gone without a trace. We don't even think if he is a man or a woman, like Juana Maria, The Lost Woman of San Nicolas Island, who has seen her children die because of an extra tree or an extra otter pelt. We think we are better off practicing all these atrocities in the name of progress, in the name of some God, in the name of civilization. In the name of anything except compassion for a human being who is alone, anxious, fearful for his life, attempting, in his loneliness, to fathom the devastation that is going on around him, with no possibility of even starting to understand it because all this devastation is so completely alien to his beliefs, to his cultural values, to his ancestral background, to his spiritual reference points. We, the civilized, think we are better off if he just dies and gets out of the way. At that point we can study his body, make clay models of it, build a small hut like the ones he lives in, put all this in a museum, and charge people to see the display. This is civilized thinking. And it is very sad!
By the way, has "hope" vanished from this man's mind? One wonders what life is without "hope". 'nando