The Positives of the Pandemic. How I became a Misanthropist.

Ever since the start of the pandemic, I (like so many of you) have been forced to spend a lot of time on our little plot of land, which, surprisingly, I found very relaxing and which allowed me to discover and focus on completely new activities.

Yet, as an avid reader, I also eagerly consume news and scientific articles about the pandemic, and soon became flabbergasted, shocked and finally disgusted by the stupidity of some of my fellow humans. I have already written several blog posts on this site about this.

At some point, the quarantine measures were lifted, yet intriguingly, I found it difficult to return back to a normal life amongst (masses of) people. Have I turned into a misanthropic? Time to check Wikipedia! The texts in quotation marks and italics originate from this source.

Misanthropy is the general hatred, dislike, distrust or contempt of the human species, human behavior or human nature.” That sounds like harsh, heavy-metal-type music!. The article continues:

The major flaws pointed out by misanthropes include intellectual flaws, moral flaws and aesthetic flaws. Intellectual flaws, like wishful thinking, dogmatism, stupidity and cognitive biases, are what leads to false beliefs, what obstructs knowledge, or what violates the demands of rationality.

That’s more like it! I like what I hear and I hear what I like! This description of a misanthrope seems to fit my post- (epi- or peri-?) pandemic attitude like a glove.

Some of you may now point out that I simply dislike people with different opinions, for instance, people who refuse to wear a mask, or who refuse to get a vaccination (against a dangerous virus, a virus which not only threatens their own lives, but that also threatens all the people that they could potentially infect).

Well, as a misanthrope I don’t care. I don’t mind if you find me arrogant, or if you think that I think that I know better than everybody else, or that I do not accept other opinions or I’m not open for discussions or ideas. I prefer to think straight, not lateral, thank you, I am here all day.

As a matter of fact, as a misanthrope, I consider most of you as flawed anyway: “Moral flaws, like cruelty, indifference to the suffering of others, selfishness and cowardice, are often identified with tendencies to promote what is bad or with inappropriate attitudes towards values. Aesthetic flaws concern ugliness and include ugly aspects of human life, ugliness caused by human activities, and lack of sensitivity to beauty.

Most of you will have to admit, that, as a whole, humanity is thoroughly, completely, irrevocably and incurably stupid. More disappointingly, many, if not most of you, probably fit that simple description. Some exceptional individuals may show some rudimentary intelligence, a morsel of morals or a simple feeling for esthetics, but that’s about it.

I haven’t completely figured out how to act with these new insights. I seem to be wavering between these two options: “The activist misanthrope is driven by hope despite his negative appraisal of humanity. This hope is based on the idea that it is possible and feasible for humanity to transform itself and the activist works actively towards this ideal. The quietist misanthrope, on the other hand, takes a more pessimistic approach towards what the individual can do for bringing about this transformation. In contrast to the more radical reactions of the other responses mentioned, she or he is resigned to quiet acceptance and small-scale avoidance.

I still need to decide about the best approach. I will keep you informed about my progress. Uh… come to think of it: I won’t. I can’t imagine you would be interested.

There is one additional pitfall to this entire approach. I too belong to humankind so my criticism also extends to my own person. I haven’t figured out that part either :-)

Originally posted 2021-11-07 19:24:00.

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