I once listened to an older couple having a quiet conversation in a café and wouldn’t have paid any attention if it hadn’t been for one comment. The man maintained steadfastly that for one moment he did not believe the man was on the moon. He scoffed at the idea, and sarcastically said, “If a man went to the moon, there are icebergs in the hell.” I was struck initially by the stubborn disbelief of the man. Nevertheless, as I sat there, I found myself slowly realizing that the older man had made a most profound statement. Indeed, it was rather incomprehensible that man could travel to the moon and back. Such an accomplishment does appear to be no more than a fiction, or at least as uncanny as the idea of icebergs surviving in a blazing fire.
Maybe the older man thought scientifically it was just not feasible for a man to go to the moon. In the Cold War, after all, the news of man going to the moon came up. The Cold War was marked by fierce rivalry to achieve super-power status and global domination between the then Soviet Union and the US. The rivalry required a show of strength, and this necessitated inevitably presenting evidence that one nation had stronger, more powerful weapons and better technologies than another. Therefore it is possible that the attempts to place a man on the moon were nothing more than a hoax to convince the world of technological superiority.
Be that as it may, both the US and the Soviet Union claim to have achieved this feat, and no scientist has come forward to say that man can not land on the moon. Researchers have not denied that one can orbit in space. Furthermore, there is no proof that the media stories that portray a man on the moon were made. Any view towards the contrary is solely speculative. It does provide one food for thinking, though. Does competition drive success? In other words, if we’re in a race to outdo one competitor, will we class anything to back the opponent up? Surely it would be so.
The older man’s image started to eat away at me and left me with some ironies to ponder. We are flooded every day with media accounts of national and foreign problems, without any relief. The world recession, for example, is spreading, and man is powerless in solving the crisis. Equally, kids go missing every day and seek as we may, man is helpless to locate them and safely return them to their families. But the man may easily fly to the moon and return. The older man had a valid point. Because the world is in so much turmoil, it seems somehow improbable that these problems go unresolved, and man has the resources to go to the moon and return safely.
There is a Difference
In each of these unresolved problem situations, man is driven purely by a desire to help. In building destructive weapons and creating the technology to go to the moon, man competes with others. It would appear that competition can drive a man to accomplish lofty goals. What does that say about the nature of competition and, more importantly, the nature of humanity?
Getting back to the old man’s statement, is it inconceivable that man landed on the moon?
Certainly, it isn’t. The technology to land on the moon has been around for many years. The man just used technology. What is entirely inconceivable is that there are so many people starving in the world when there is enough food to feel the world. Therefore, the question is why a man would use the technology to go to the moon, but not use the world supply of food to ensure that everyone has food?
These are the questions that the old man’s statement and analogy raised, although I don’t think he did so intentionally.
He probably believes that man could not have traveled to the moon and back in one piece. But by merely raising the question, he opened up a path to my consciousness,
Having thought the matter through, I unequivocally accept that in the absence of evidence to the contrary, I accept that man did indeed travel to the moon and returned safely. I have only concluded that man can do anything he sets his mind to. However, he must be driven by some resolve. That resolve appears to be a determination to outdo the competition.
How else to explain the fact that man has the technology to go to the moon, but does not have the money to protect children, feed the hungry, or reverse the world’s recession?
Each of These Problems is Difficult to Resolve
However, are they any more difficult than inventing a spaceship that can break the sound barrier and launch a man into space? It isn’t very certain. The difference appears to be that man had the motivation to achieve the moonwalk.
Again man must be motivated to cure world hunger and to protect children. However, the motivations are driven by different end goals.
It was necessary to put a man on the moon to prove the competition weaker. Feeding the world would prove a humanitarian goal. While it may be a novel and ideal endeavor, it does not produce an advantage over the competition. It’s sad that the interests of men are misguided. This shows in the manner in which money is spent, and resources are invested.
So the older man is entitled to his disbelief. By his misplaced priorities in besting the competition, man has made a non-believer out of many of us.