Human Existence Is in Peril

Whitney Robson Harris (August 12, 1912 – April 21, 2010) was an American attorney, and one of the last surviving prosecutors from the Nuremberg Trials. He wrote the following piece in 2006 at the age of 94.

Given the issues that Donald Trump has brought to our country and our world, I think it is important that we remember that God isn’t going to come along and save us from him, after the fact. We are going to have to solve the Donald Trump issues ourselves. As my Dad used to say: “Get up and do it yourself.” We can’t wait, get involved now. Don’t wait until it is too late.

This paper has always impressed me. So I am sharing it now with a spirit of hope. Be sure to read the finale.


Human Existence Is in Peril — by Whitney R. Harris — June 2006

If we attempt to comprehend this vast universe with its millions of fiery stars and frightening dark holes, and say for comfort that only God could have created it, and therefore, there is a God, we default in our reasoning, for we are unable to answer the further question, “who created the God who created the universe?”

We do know that we live on Earth, spun off from the sun and, therefore, on a planet with a beginning. Moreover, we know that, once a fiery ball, the Earth has cooled and gained life upon its surface — static, nonthinking plants and mobile, thinking animals. We do not know whence came the first manifestation of that life — the tiniest amoeba — capable of discernible thought and movement. To ignite the spark of life requires the hand of God. Never mind the universe. Here on Earth, we find the quintessential role of God.

Hence, I believe first, that God exists.

Until this time at least, man has evolved far beyond any other animals on Earth in comprehension and intelligence. The carnivores exceed his strength on land; the amphibians surpass his power at sea. But man has the gift of reason, which enables him to dominate life on Earth — and the chance to survive as long as the solar system remains hospitable to him. That chance, alas, is not eternal.

And, thus, I believe human life is finite.

Within these limits of survivability man holds his destiny in his own hands. He has yet to prove his worthiness. In the last century, he destroyed more of his own kind in war and in merciless murder than in any other time in history. He is fated to acquire the capability of obliterating himself and all other life upon this planet. And he seems unable to appreciate the consequences of that power. The life that God gave to him may be by him destroyed.

And so, I believe human existence is in peril.

The challenge to man is to establish and to maintain the foundations of peace and humanity upon the Earth for the centuries to come that God has allotted him to live upon this planet. He must learn to end war and protect life, to seek justice and find mercy, to help others and embrace compassion. Each man must respect every other man and honor the God who made this incredible mystery of human life a reality.

I believe there is God,
I believe God is merciful and just,
But if man desires to destroy himself
I believe God will not save him.


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