What is the most insane thing humanity has ever done?
Depending upon how one defines "insanity," an argument could be made for our completely irrational sense of disconnection from nature and our consequent neglect and evisceration of the only planet we have. This form of dis-relationship madness appears to be increasing with each generation (our kids don't want to spend much time outside, they live in their video games and cell phones, and they don't always even know where food comes from), and our behavioral insanity as the most destructive beings on the planet gets more insane by the decade.
We are taught in school about the food chain, of course, how every living thing is connected, how ecosystems function, and even about the effects of pollution; but "civilized" man is now so involved in his technology (cell phones, tvs, video game systems, internet), his politics, his religion, his job, his sex life, his material possessions, his social status, etc., he somehow thinks he is no longer part of nature. He behaves as if the natural world were the artificial background of a video game - it has to be there, but it doesn't really have to be noticed. Mankind actually seems to think he is disconnected from the consequences of his impact on the environment.
The majority of us are so mentally/emotionally disconnected from the fact that we are in reality just a part of nature that we seem to be lost in a kind of ego-centered delusion; we do not bother to take the kinds of serious actions necessary to save our own species. The house is burning down around us, but we cannot be bothered enough to get up and take serious actions. Instead, we continue on like lemmings rushing over the cliff. Extinguishing other life forms headlong, animal and plant, without recognizing that ultimately such behavior must also bring down our own life form, even when we know the facts as explained in science classes, is the height of insanity.
Not to mention our callousness in causing the current 6th Major Extinction - over 300 species are estimated to be going extinct daily, which is many times the background rate. Even the mammalian species (the cute cuddlies whom everybody supposedly loves) are expected to be reduced by 40% by 2040 if current rates continue. Oceans are horribly overfished, but we appear tuned out to the implications. We continue policies that promote pollution, dig up more fossil fuels to increase planetary heating, continue fracking, continue building nuclear reactors even when we have not dealt with the spent radioactive fuel we already have, and we destroy the rain forests which provide most of the air all life requires to breathe.
This suicidal and uncaring mental/emotional disconnect from feeling a part of the natural order, our apparent knowing-but-not-knowing that we are only a part of nature, this delusion that we are some special gods set apart from it, untouchable and divine, must be the gravest insanity we have yet developed - and our consequent destructiveness will trump even the madness of warfare in that it won't just kill massive numbers of our own kind and some of our animal and plant cousins, it has the potential to bring down nearly all life on earth. This form of madness involves the disconnection of both our heads and our hearts, so I believe something has gone very, very wrong in our souls. This is the gravest of insanities.
Mother Earth rebuilt eventually after the dinosaurs went extinct, and she might again if the thin layer of breathable air is not too damaged when we are done. But it will be an ironic footnote in the annals of aliens when they discover that we considered ourselves the most intelligent species on the planet. They will wonder how we came to kill off our own kind and so many other life forms on what was clearly once a beautiful Eden of a world, rich with a plethora of lovely, diverse beings living in intricate, interrelated balance.
My personal hope is that we recover from our insanity. That we as individuals wake up, turn off our technological distractions, rein in our egoic self-interests, and take action at the grassroots level. Crazy people cannot recover until they decide to. How far must our house burn down around us before we take serious action as a species? Depends on how crazy we really are. The flames are already pretty high.
Actually "humanity" which means "the bondage between humans" to me - never failed in truest sense. Sure identifying ourself to self, family, society or country creates partitions and we fought.
But "mankind" has done itself lot of "plastic" harm. Let me explain.
By plastic I mean inability to go back to its original state (non recyclable), in contrast to 'elastic' which can always go back to its original state by itself.
Sure we understood "fire" - learn to create one. Big innovation, but unfortunate every innovation which subsequently followed came with merits and demerits.
I am sure nothing can be done, but one thing is for sure, innovation has become a disease and in the name of innovation, which is viral now, we lost "ability" to check-and-balance our "plastic" growth :).
We can never go back to early-man-ages, only nature has to devastate us or we devastate ourselves.. for that. I know that is -ve way of thinking about civilization. But we are already into the grove, and I am part of it, and we cannot go back, only go forward and face it.
So the viral disease of innovation - which surely helped us in several ways, is insane by itself as well ! And has to be attributed to mankind and free will alone !
Th most insane thing that Humanity has done and is continuing to do it is- LIVE AN ARTIFICIAL LIFE, a superficial life that exists only to look down upon others, show others that you are better, that revolves around money and sex only.
In the wake of development and comfort we have somewhere lost our purpose of existence and believe me! This is not going to lead us anyway we'll forever remain entangled in the same web of greed and ego.