Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Human Decency is Natural

When I see televangelists preach, they almost have me convinced that I need to sit within their aura to maintain my moral ground. If I am almost convinced, it means there are a lot of people out there who must believe in a "moral flat earth" with a very small circumference.

On CNN recently there was a question posed by one of their Personalities; "Do you think atheists are morally bankrupt because they have no beliefs?" This appears to be a convention that journalists need to maintain their inventory of material for publishing. For them, everything must be a conflict, or there's just no story.

I found that human empathy is genetically predisposed in the majority of us. We have what scientists call “mirror neurons.” We can almost feel what other people are experiencing. That’s how we learn to do things, and learn to respect the feelings of others as a basic survival skill.

Most of us grow out of our selfishness eventually, we can be taught to respect others before we naturally develop the skill through trial and error, but we don’t have to be told we will spend an eternity in searing flames if we do ill toward others.

Atheism enhances the perceived value of life and the need to respect the feelings of others because there is no justice in an afterlife, no afterlife, and no invisible shield of protection by a deity through life.

Most of us are not born with fear or hate. We are not born into sin. There is no evil inheritance called "the sins of the father" unless you prefer to judge a person by the behavior of his or her parents.

The trick of the Bible is the blending of what is alleged to be history with magic. Believers like to toss around the words "truth" and "Bible" in the same breath, I would have preferred "X-Men" and "truth," but we can't always get what we want.

El Ron Hubbard blended psychology with scientology to create the book Dianetics. It's not a stretch to assume that he was writing a critical satire of the Bible, too bad for those whacko scientologists who took it literally.

Just remember that decency, respect, and empathy are a part of human nature, and that separatism, superiority, or righteous thinking is a learned trait that creates fear and hate.
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