The very nature of human beings. War is insane. It is the maddest ugliest thing in the universe that we are aware of and it is beyond the limits of the human mind to imagine anything anywhere that is madder and uglier. We know this for sure because if it could be imagined then we most certainly would have done it.
This doesn't present the philosophical dilemma for me that it does for others. We are what we are. Like all life we are the product of a brutal evolutionary imperative. We are what we are because that is what has worked, at least up until now. All must accept this to remain in the realm of the intellectually cogent. Those who believe in God must accept that this is as it is meant to be and I must say that every religious person I know has no difficulty at all with this.
So that makes us ...well ... complicated. I once fell into a conversation with the mother of an old girl friend who I had run into by chance. The mother I mean. Not the girlfriend. "She's a very complex person" said the mother by way of explanation about something that had happened. "Aren't we all" I said.
I don't deny that the war streak might eventually kill us all. In the meantime it will cause untold misery on a vast scale. But there is another side to our nature and we all know this. I think the old religions are right when they teach there is good and bad in us all. It's just that the mix varies enormously.
On balance, I'm a huge fan of humanity. You can list every vile act we have ever committed since we first learnt to use a rock as a club and I still say we are magnificent beyond all language.
Please keep in mind how short our story has been. 150 000 years since we first emerged as a distinct species. A bare 20 000 years at most since civilisation dawned. Not even a blink of an eye.
Evolution hasn't stopped. Not for us. Not for any form of life. On the contrary, for us it is about to accelerate. As a species we are a debutante and the whole universe is our oyster.
Or we will go the way of countless failed species. A design flaw leading to an evolutionary dead end.. Our brains were too big for our reptilean minds or something. Whatever. What Lincoln called the better angels of our nature turn out to be not good and strong enough after all.
This is the reason why I get so passionate about people like Ahmadinejad. He could steal it all like others have tried in the past. Trust me with this. I recognise the type. To me they represent a defilement of humanity that may well be our future. We could be everything we ever want to be. We are so close. The scientists have seen to that. The stakes are huge. This is worth everything.