Aylan Kurdi : potentially harmful or potentially helpful ?
One can view this week's refugee crisis (just as one can view WWII and WWII Penicillin) as a conflict over varying ways to best control our fears of the future.
Because all humanity, all the time (sometimes consciously but often also unconsciously) worries about the unknown future.
It remains the sole most distinctive thing that we humans do that other lifeforms don't seem to do.
Controlling fears of Future by controlling everything... or nothing
Many of us humans feel that we can best control our fears of the future by controlling everything ---- after totally eliminating everything else that we judge potentially harmful. What remains is a knowable future we can control and direct.
(Think Adolf Hitler, Howard Florey and their ilk.)
But others of us humans feel that we can best control our fears of the future by not controlling anything ---- diversifying our biological portfolio to totally retain everything potentially helpful, giving humanity lots of Plan Bs, Cs,Ds, etc.
(Think Henry Dawson and his supporters.)
To many of a Vancouver newspaper's letter writers, a little three year old refugee boy seems a potential terrorist, best drowned at birth - overseas if possible.
If this was 1940, perhaps by drowning on a badly overcrowded boat, filled with Europe's Jews, on its way to exile in Madagascar.
If not drowned, then perhaps gassed and burned, just in case any little baby grows up as a Jewish terrorist.
But this is 2015, and their new phobia is Arabs not Jews, so a Turkish beach will have to do instead until new furnaces can be stoked up.
To other newspaper letter writers the little three year old boy was potentially a genius and savior who would grow up to solve our environmental crisis (or perhaps not), but in any case a child to be held and cherished, a fellow human being.
Potential terrorist or potential savior - or just little three year old -- now we will never know...