A Reckless, Adolescent, Destructive Race

Q-Confronts-Picard A reckless, adolescent, destructive raceI have read of science fiction being described as an inoculation against the shock of the future. There is something in the American television series Star Trek: The Next Generation which resonates with a teaching of the New Message from God.

In the first episode of the series, “Encounter at Farpoint,” the officers of the starship Enterprise are confronted by a much more powerful being known as Q. The officers are transported to a courtroom of mid-21st-century Earth, considered to be a time of Earth’s barbaric past. Q, playing the judge, says to Captain Picard, “You will now answer to the charge of being a grievously savage race!”

A reckless, adolescent, destructive race

It is as if the New Message from God has a three-count indictment against humanity. This indictment is given in many places and in many ways, but a succinct version is given in the revelation “God’s Ancient Covenant with Humanity.”

“This is part of growing up—ceasing to be a reckless race, an adolescent race, a destructive race. You would end war when you realized that you have to preserve the world and protect yourself against intervention from the Greater Community. It would change entirely your understanding of your situation and what would motivate you to do what is really correct and productive.”

I consider this teaching to use the words “reckless,” “adolescent” and “destructive” in their common, everyday contexts. I consider the word “adolescent” to mean “considering one’s self as impervious to the consequences of one’s choices.” Or “desiring both freedom of action, and protection from the results of those actions.” Or “believing one’s experience encompasses the whole of life.” Perhaps it could be more succinctly said as “Adolescents think they are bulletproof, they think they know everything, and they want it all now.”

I take a certain comfort in the use of the word “adolescent” in the indictment, as there is a implication that humanity is developing and maturing. But will we mature fast enough? Or will the word “Stupid” be our epitaph? I recall this quote from Robert Heinlein in the science fiction classic “Time Enough for Love”

Stupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education, or by legislation. Stupidity is not a sin, the victim can’t help being stupid. But stupidity is the only universal capital crime: the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity.

You will now answer to the charge of being a reckless, adolescent, destructive race! How do you plead?

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