Karl Sagan, author and astrophysicist from Cornell, used to wonder if atomic weaponry would be the nemesis of most "advanced species".
A flight of fancy of sorts since whales and elephants are certainly advanced species but don't feel the need for technology (and should we patronize them for this since they aren't rapidly destroying the planet?). Is it possible that much of science and technology are actually synonyms of self destructive stupidity? A kind of short sighted greed, perhaps.
In any event, what has now TOTALLY blocked the evolution of the human species is pure evil. The Israeli lunatic right wing fringe of astronomically rich sociopaths is the absolute outer limit of evil. Similarly, so do all mentally ill religious fanatics poison the march of human civilization. And, probably most of all, the Earth's Paris Hilton's and astronomically rich parasites (and vampires -- remember, it's all really OUR wealth), necessitate convoluted social/financial structures and processes which are the "crown of thorns" or highway to hell (or your metaphor of choice) for Homo sapiens.
Maybe the wrong species got killed off during the demise of the Neanderthals.
Remember, "human" is a generic word that evolution has experimented with in actually a great many forms -- we're just the form that is still standing.
But what's the problem? Not a candy ass "religious" problem or a candy ass "political" problem but THE problem? Why is our species well on its way to going extinct? Indeed, why is it a near certainly that Home sapiens are going bye bye in the relatively near future (and taking countless "innocent by stander" species with us in the process)?
Well, the afore mentioned right wing billionaire religious nut cases would be a good place to begin, because probably no place else on the planet can you find such a marriage in hell between infinitely righteous religious sociopaths and astronomically rich elites.
However, alas, they are just a sample of evil, since evil is as omnipresent as our breath.
But what IS evil? Well, we don't have to get particularly metaphysical about this. Evil is a function of human society. It has to do with the interactions of quantities of us (or probably any advanced life form).
So there's a decidedly "quantitative" variable here. As our numbers increase, so does the complexity of our social infrastructure. And that seems to be the rub, since invisibly and insidiously the "social game rules" are conditioned into our vulnerable, biological brains.
And just here is the door to hell. This dimension can be called "consensus reality" and it's an admixture of language (always language!), the past, memory (not always our friend), and the miscellaneous conditionings of our time, place, and families (often profoundly dysfunctional).
More openly, here are the programmed religions, laws, constitutions, and "theories" we so love to worship.
In short, here is the stopping point of our species. Not atomic weapons, but the accumulated programming of years of social/psychological conditioning.
The "operational definition" of all of the above is THOUGHT, because consensus realty IS thought; hence the thing the human race does best is think itself to death.
On a positive note, words like liberation, transcendence, and Enlightenment are "mystical" (the shoe fits) alternatives to this "swallowed whole" existence. The intelligence limitations of our species are still sublimely unknown, but whatever pragmatic value consensus reality may offer, our lives don't even BEGIN until we get straight that this fire storm of conditioning that has become the "mind set" of the entire human race (indeed, the very "God” of the human race), is fundamentally, radically, and biologically arbitrary and random.
In the context of this piece, what this means that the SOCIAL GAME RULES that perpetuate the "Have's", that justify their astronomical wealth and power, and that (worst of all!) give an obscene "righteousness" to deranged right wing lunatics who so love to commit genocide for the glory of God, aren't worth the toilet paper they are printed on.
And exactly here is where our species is probably doomed since many are called but few are chosen when it comes to being true to your birthright self and finding a reality/creativity/intelligence center that trivializes millennia of evil-perpetuating conditioning. Remember phrases like, "Might makes right", "Manifest Destiny", "survival of the fittest" (translation, survival of the wealthiest), and the loathsomely hypocritical "Divine Right".
Of course these sayings (and even laws) are merely the tip of the iceberg. The dungeon is elsewhere. It is deep within the infrastructure of the collective human mind. Do we know that it is infinitely unjust that the elites spend more money on their wardrobes than most of us spend on our families in an entire lifetime? Do we know it is evil when religious fanatics try to steal an entire country and turn the lives of the people who have been living there for centuries into a WW2 concentration camp?
One response to these questions could be that we're not sure if these things are evil, but almost certainly the world DOES know these things are filthy, evil, and infinitely unjust.
However, you can know things on the "surface" of your mind that you play games with in the depths of your mind. The tragedy is that the world basically turns the other way from these evils and injustices because in the depths of our conditioning we are historically programmed to accept them. Hence, it is the deep, collective mind set that permits and justifies evil. We know better, but our "unconscious" (to use that word) "accepts" evil because we have been programmed to adapt to it for millennia.
The literally unimaginable suffering that NECESSARILY goes with the existence of Greek God like elites would make Jesus weep, but we accept The Haves (the evil) – indeed, most of us probably envy them. This is the paradox of evil. If we didn’t “accept” evil, it couldn’t exist! But since literally billions of us DO accept evil that makes us an evil species.
This is not intellectualizing or empty theory. If the HUMAN RACE said no to “The Beast”, to the “Have’s”, to genocidal religious fanatics, to the Rockefeller’s, to the Rothschild’s, to the Bush’s, to murder in the name of God subhuman filth, to Saudi Princes, etc., etc., we could destroy them in a week. And I mean “non theoretically” destroy them in a week. Remove them from the planet as in cease to exist -- now you see them, now you don’t! There are times in life you must be limitlessly aggressive. We can either watch The Beast destroy Mother Nature and our children’s future, or WE can destroy the beast. Remember, we know exactly who they are and we know exactly where they are. So what in the name of truth, beauty, and goodness are we waiting for? Certainly not for the paper bullets of religion and politics. ULTIMATE hardball is the name of this game.
Hence, looked at one way, there is great hope. Looked at another way, it is hopeless.
It all comes down to how EACH OF US deals with a lifetime of conditioning. Liberation is transcending the box. The world IS the box.
So consensus reality (the home of evil) can be left. This is called being true to ourselves, or perhaps even Enlightenment.
However, as a species, the probability that we will leave the box in sufficient percentages to "eliminate" evil is probably very, very small.
Fortunately, even though our paralyzed and conditioned species continues to equate life with a moronically defective consensus mind set, each of us is still able to stretch our intelligence/spiritual eagle wings and leave this evil box forever.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: we're the dogs -- never the tails.