In "The Waning of Humaneness", Konrad Lorenz looks at the human species now. He sees great dangers. Intraspecific competition - sections of a species competing within itself for dominance - always endangers its survival. Added to that, the human species has or believes it has, a unique capacity for controlling its own destiny through it's uniquely powerful brain. This, he claims, leads to special dangers wherever such control fails to stay within the constraints of the planet's overall evolution. He cites the development of nuclear weapons and their capacity to destroy the world; urbanization, with most people living in a constructed environment and losing their awareness of their dependence on the natural environment; bureaucratization, with its corollary of alienation and individual helplessneess as people are unable to influence the course of their lives; and materialism, the relentless and destructive urge to acquire meaningless symbols of status. What is at risk is "humaneness"; the obligation to themselves and the world that the human species is under because of its unique power to influence what happens. Lorenz contends that things have reached a dangerous pitch, and that the species is putting its own survival at greater and greater risk. But he is not without hope. Lorenz's receipt is education: "It's imperative that we bring children into close contact with the miracle of evolution" he said in an interview, "and by so doing underline man's consiousness of being responsible to a unit much greater and more valuable than himself, of which he is part".
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 1989. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0044404425