Well, I never thought I'd ever speak in front of a camera.
Speaking is very familiar to me, I give a lot of seminars and lectures, but speaking like this in front of a camera is something completely new.
And that's why, in order to come along, I brought a text to be read.
I wrote this text in 2017, for a particular occasion, and then I tried to summarise in just one or two pages what I think we should reflect on as humanity.
So I will read this text first.
Of course there was no corona crisis then, but perhaps we feel in the words that something like this is on its way.
The dignity of the human being.
Anyone who tries to oversee the situation in the world - although the data to arrive at such an overlook is absolutely inadequate - will in any case get the impression that something serious is going on with humanity.
There is a lot of talk about climate change and the environment.
But the changes taking place in mankind remain largely undiscussed.
Once the thinking human being recognized a 'prima philosophia'. A first philosophy.
This meant that there was a rock-solid faith in the human ability to establish truth - not in all things and facts, admittedly, but as a principle disposition.
In fact, the theory of evolution also took this as its starting point, which is apparent from the name for man: homo sapiens, the knowing (or even wise) human being.
A phase above that is the homo sapiens sapiens, that is the human being knowing of knowing: the self-aware human being.
It is the expectation that the development does not stop there.
One would like to consider a further refinement of the Homo sapiens sapiens.
Technology wants to take over the process and produce a new human, the human inseminated with artificial intelligence.
This is a goal we find in the movement of singularity and transhumanism.
But one could, of course, imagine that even biologically and as far as soul and spirit are concerned, the human being of today is not a fully completed being and that a further development, a further refinement of the human faculties should be possible, not a human being who has been "improved" by technology, (and then improved between quotation marks).
I do not mean such a human being, but one who really developed according to soul and spirit, life, the physical body, so a human being beyond the Homo Sapiens Sapiens.
Now it is precisely that which seems to contradict the present development.
No refinement is entering, but a true relapse seems to threaten us.
It seems that the human race is degenerating and becoming decadent.
Maybe not everyone sees it that way.
Maybe people think the state we're in is fine.
But there are also many voices that speak anxious words.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, the prima philosophia has been eradicated.
Modern philosophy says: In fact, the truth does not exist, it is a force that can at most be seen as something that can be somewhat approached by science and communication, but to really look through the truth is impossible.
Evidence based is science, and its truth is valid until it is falsified - i.e. until the falseness can be proven.
For the rest, the more people that acknowledge something, the greater the chance that it is true. That applies to truth.
On the other hand, there are those groups of power who do not strive for the further development of man, but who somehow try to control man (kind).
What do I really want to say?
The philosophy that assumed that 'truth' lies within the reach of human thought, has been negated by modern philosophy.
The modern view on the human being and his ability to know sees 'truth' as a phenomenon, which is determined by many factors, so that it does not allow itself to be grasped, certainly not by a human thinker in solitude.
In groups, truth can to some extent be approached on the basis of consensus, but the human being as such in his chair, in solitude, can never do so.
Truths are approachable, elusive, transient ideas, co-determined by the paradigm of time.
What used to be a philosophical observation, of which man of course does not need to be aware in everyday life, becomes more and more something that is 'made true'.
From this point of view we see arise the opinion that everything can be made.
I don't think I'm revealing a conspiracy theory with this.
I consider the facts.
Whereas at first people had the view that truth does not exist, this view is now being 'made true' all over the world.
But you can't make true anything without a development towards real wisdom.
No science, philosophy, psychology or religion can help here.
And here comes the question, is man only a knowing being?
Of course he is not.
When we compare ourselves as a being with the other realms in nature, it immediately becomes clear that we have a special place in nature.
The plant doesn't think of good and evil, she surrenders herself to the circumstances and does what she carries within her.
The animal is guided by desires and can behave through lust in a certain way that we as humans would call 'evil'.
But with the animal we wouldn't say it that way.
If an animal devours another animal with lust out of instinct, we would not say that the animal is evil, because it is simply in the nature of the animal's soul.
But the human being has a possibility to have knowledge of good and evil.
And that might be the highest cognitive ability that man has now.
Man has a conscience, we do not find that anywhere in nature, only in human beings.
And it belongs to the conscience that we have the possibility to look at ourselves, to judge ourselves in that sense.
That of course is not so easy, it is much easier to judge good and evil in other people than in ourselves, but we can do it and we do it constantly.
Conscience actually speaks a clear language throughout life.
Of course we can't listen to it, that is always possible, but speaking it does. And that makes the human a very special being in nature.
And we have seen in the course of time that science, the knowledge of nature, goes further and further, but science does not find this capacity of conscience in man, that remains a mystery.
One can scientifically examine the functions of all organs in man, one cannot find the conscience.
And I want to emphasize in this first episode that we as human beings are all aware of our conscience and that we should not lose this because of an excess of data and facts.
These bring our thinking and also our feelings in certain directions and it can easily happen that this silent but clear voice of conscience is no longer heard.
And then we come to our present time, in which we as humanity are in crisis.
For me this crisis is not a health crisis, that may be the cause, but for me this crisis has eventually become a crisis of conscience.
Health is the highest good, or so it seems.
But I would so like us as humans to think about who we really are.
We are not just healthy functioning bodies.
We are beings who have a conscience, we know how to distinguish between good and evil and that is our dignity.
We have a dignity as human beings.
And we find that dignity in every human being.
No matter where we were born, what we look like, whether we have studied yes or no, whether we are virologists, or epidemiologists, or general practitioners, or child caretakers, or whatever, we are human beings.
And we humans need to think about dignity.
If this had happened in this health crisis, things would have been very different.
That's what I want to emphasize in the first place. And I will be happy to go on with it next time.The human dignity by Mieke Mosmuller