Oh man

What a wretched animal you are!

You call yourself the apex of creation, that you have reason or that you are rational, does it protect you from jealousy, anxiety, greed, gluttony, war or even from the fear of death? Some even think themselves special, and separate from animals. Look at yourselves, and see yourselves for what you really are; an unfortunate animal, a wretched animal.

It is no wonder Montaigne says

there is more distance from a given man andย a given man than from a given man andย a given beast

Montaigne: We are all animals

Apology for Raymond Sebond

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

33 thoughts on “Oh man

  1. Hariod Brawn says:

    “I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises, and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air – look you, this brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire – why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world. The paragon of animals. And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?”

    – Hamlet addressing Rosencrantz. Act 2, Scene 2.


  2. shelldigger says:

    I think that coming to the realization that we are as much animals as every other species on the planet, is one of the most terrifying for religiots. They just have to be special.
    Sorry. Take a good long look, after that you either know better, or are very good at lying to yourself.
    I got kicked off of a local forum because I had the audacity to point this out to some ignoramus who claimed they were special. What a joke.
    I said something along the lines of: Do you have 2 eyes? 2 ears? 4 appendages? Do you eat, breathe, defecate, pass gas, procreate like every other animal on the planet? Or are you something different?
    The simple truth is hard to take for some.


  3. fojap says:

    You’re going to make us work! When I was in college, I used to like to study among the stacks in the philosophy section at the library, because it was so quiet. I often sat next to a copy of Montaigne’s essays, which I read from time to time in an entirely peripatetic manner. However, that was – well, never mind how many years ago that was.

    I’m working on “Apology for Raymond Sebond.” I do not believe I’ve read that one before. I’ll have to get back to you. It’s actually rather long.

    If anyone else is interested, it can be found on Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/3600/3600-h/3600-h.htm#chap12


    • makagutu says:

      I will be looking forward to your comments on it. It is rather long. So far I think it is the longest essay. It begins with an apology for faith but then he gets to the more interesting portions where he talks about the human animal.


  4. john zande says:

    We’re worse than animals. We sacrifice living things to placate fears.


  5. Fine post, sir. Animals are by far more honorable than most humans I know, especially most goddites. I’ve a few essays to read from your links. Thanks again, my friend.


  6. A Guy Without Boxers says:

    A very observant and astute assessment on our nature (human). Good work, my Nairobi brother. Perfect quotation! ๐Ÿ™‚


  7. Honestly, I often find other species of animal far more noble and honest than humanity.


  8. Peter says:

    If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.

    – Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar (Mark Twain)


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