June 7, 2002
(This letter was originally addressed to Times columnist Paul Andersen.)
In your editorial of June 3, you stated that you and your friends, “shared a sympathetic embarrassment and shocked acceptance of the fatally flawed species to which we belong.”
While I, too, feel deeply saddened by the sorry state of affairs in the world, I take issue with the statement that we, as humans, are fatally flawed. As Daniel Quinn explains so eloquently in his books, (especially “Ishmael” and “The Story of B”) it is our particular culture that is flawed. Humans lived in harmony with the world for thousands of years before the birth of our power-addicted culture. To say that we are fatally flawed as a species is akin to saying that we might as well not do anything to improve our relationship with the world and each other, because even if we did find a solution we’d screw things up in the end. Saying that humans are fatally flawed is, in my opinion, the ultimate cop-out.