Each new day brings with it blood curdling stories of Man’s inhumanity to Man. Violence has become a way of life, wiping out millions of helpless and innocent people in all parts of the world. Terrorism in the name of God and religion is strangling the voices of sanity with its vicious tentacles. The animal in Man has surfaced like never before, effectively suppressing the image of God and supplanting it with the human self image.
Whether it is Osama bin Laden fighting to save Islam from western values, or the Lashkar-e-Toiba bent on expelling Hindu India from Kashmir, or Naxalites taking up arms against the government and law enforcing agencies, the single common factor is violence – the shedding of innocent blood. Even in civil society, honour killings, killing for money or revenge or disappointment in love, and taking another’s life has become so commonplace that we are gradually becoming immune to violence and bloodshed.
As St. Augustine said, Adam (made in the image of God) now lies scattered on the whole surface of the earth…. He has fallen, having been broken to pieces as it were; he has filled the universe with his debris.
The animal in man is just skin deep. It is kept in check by the logical part of the brain, in deference to social laws governing human behaviour. Humans have a conscience that can differentiate between what is right and wrong. We are aware of the consequences of wrong behaviour, and so we try to refrain from doing evil. This power of deductive reasoning is peculiar to human beings. Our ability to reason, introspect, form relationships and love each other sets us apart from animals. The highly developed brain in man is capable of compassion, morality, ethical behaviour and communication.
Unfortunately, godlessness, along with stress of modern-day living, has made a large section of humanity relinquish control of these qualities to the mid-brain, which is incapable of logical or rational thought and is instinctive in its response to situations. Freud describes the mechanism of personality as the id, ego and super ego.