I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We’ve created life in our own image.
– Stephen Hawking
This quote popped up in my quotes of the day widget of my iGoogle page. For some reason, it made me think much more than the usual quotes do.
Is human nature inherently destructive? We only have to look at history to see the destruction that we, as humans, have done. I’m not talking about global warming. There is too much debate as to whether or not that is a real phenomenon.
I am talking about Hiroshima, Nagasaki, land and water knowingly destroyed by chemicals. Wars are destructive. Industry is sometimes destructive. These are both man-made.
The Holocaust was destructive. 9/11 and all the other terrorist attacks around the world were destructive. Genocide is destructive. Hatred is destructive.
I don’t believe humans are inherently destructive. There are humans that hate and in their hate do destructive things. There are humans that crave power more than anything and in that craving are destructive.
But what about the humans that love? What about the compassionate humans?
Are Doctors Without Borders destructive? Are Peace Corp volunteers destructive? What about those that serve meals to the needy? Visit the sick and elderly? Open their hearts and homes to foster children?
Stephen Hawking is brilliant. But on this one, I think he is wrong.
Most people tend to just listen to the bad, not the good. Journalists concentrate on the bad news. If you compare the amount of stories about good things to the amount of stories about bad things reported to the public, the percentage of good to bad would be very small.
Reporting on love for others is not as sensational as reporting on hatred for others. Hatred drives up ratings and readership. The horrors that humans are capable of makes people pay attention.
Sir Stephen is a genius, but I think he’s wrong in this case. What we need is a computer virus that spreads love. Love will always triumph over hate.