By Promod Puri
Do we have to blame a nation or nations for their respective involvement and stake in initiating wars, battles, or violent conflicts rather than the individuals responsible for calling out to strike the fire?
Historically and down the road, we blame the nations and forget the leaders or rulers’ combating roles and catastrophic orders.
But this is how the human mind is architected to humanize nonhuman physical entities from countries to animals, political to religious concepts.
We’re humanizing Coronavirus as “sneaky, “tricky,” “merciless,” “cruel,” and “invisible enemy.”
It is an innate tendency of human psychology that, according to 18th-century philosopher David Hume, “We find human faces in the moon, armies in the clouds; and… ascribe malice or goodwill to everything, that hurts or pleases us.”
Painter and philosopher Leonardo da Vinci saw humanism in the random patterns of cracked walls and the images of animals, plants, and landscapes.
Humanization of Disney World animal characters happens, and so is the case with visuals in most children’s TV shows.
Human thought, action, religion, season, and weather, are also personified, and given the gender, he or she. However, Judaism and Islam reject a humanized deity, believing God is beyond human comprehension.
Human psychology to visualize everything relates to our senses to understand the nature of things in its most familiar way, and that is the human face.
According to the World Meteorological Organization, “the naming of hurricanes and storms — a practice that originated with the names of saints, sailors’ girlfriends, and disliked political figures — simplifies and facilitates effective communication to enhance public preparedness, media reporting, and the efficient exchange of information.”
The phenomenon, called anthropomorphism, is the attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions to nonhuman entities.
The multifaceted nature of anthropomorphism makes things easy to relate to and easy to apprehend. But it can also generate misrepresentation. It is a “source of error.”
In this error or anthropomorphization, the real culprits who generate horrible or bloody events escape from the condemnation and punishment they deserve.
In the call out for sacrifice, nationalism, and patriotism, or just for “defence,” battles are fought, soldiers fight and die, and the accountability rests on humanized states but not on the ruling leaders in the long run.
That happens on the world stage when nations, tribes, or communities get humanized, and the leading triggers of wars and conflicts recede into history as unscathed and unharmed culprits.
It happened during the Vietnam and Iraq wars, including the abuses in the Abu Gharib prison and Afghanistan, Cambodia, and Rwanda genocides. The initiators of these heinous conflicts are almost oblivion, replaced by the nations humanized as living biological entities.