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Fallen Angels Or Risen Apes?

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Posted by S.H. Le on January 3, 2000 19:28:31 UTC

In reply to the belief that social relativity and evolution are evil. Ethics are a difficult branch of knowledge and I wont pretend to have mastered it in this post; just a lone atheist's ideas on the subject. Anyhoo, I don't believe either social relativity or evolution to be evil. Here's why.

1) Social relativity: Sociology explains that expressions of deviancy are always present. What is deviancy? It is to differ from what current society deems normal, to the extent that it becomes harmful. The more people threatened by a certain type of behavior, the more dangerous the behavior is. So I'm asserting that ideas of good and evil don't exist outside of a human society. The universe is morally neutral.

The fundamental axiom of soci is that actions in themselves have no meaning. In order to examine significance in a particular action, it must be gauged by society as a whole. For instance the act of praying, if viewed as an objective scientist who didn't know what praying was, would simply find a person quietly kneeling for a few minutes. Only in relation to a society does the act of praying have any relavance. Thus, it is not the act itself that is important, but what it signifies. Going to church is simply an agreement that some almighty being exists. It's a consensus, a group experience. A form of solidarity. So it would seem that such unification is necessary for society to function. I don't think it is. One might find the same feeling of comradery between strangers at a football game. Unifying factors are everywhere, that's why they call it a society.

By extension, one might then assume that this leads to a purely subjective view of good and evil. That is what I believe them to be. Acts are are good/evil are labelled by their implications to society. Killing obviously has negative implications to every society. Thus they're met with harsh punishments in every culture. But beyond that, there can be much variation with what certain society deems to be good and evil. These difference is what makes the world such a rich tapestry of culture.

But what christianity suggests is that there is only one good/evil, independant of the culture. This is meant to be a truth. This is a harmful idea. It's arguably been the driving force behind imperialism, seeking to destroy the variety of cultures in the world. Gee, native americans look and eat different. Their barbaric and evil! Must convert their evil religion to ours. This was probably the justification used by european imperialists behind european expansion. It's an ethnocentric view. Is there only this one way of looking at the world?

2) Evolution: Yes, we and apes came from the same ancestor. All living creatures evolved from simpler forms of life. Evil? Yup. It's just down right dirty that we have to excrete waste (or take a Language Removed to put it more eloquently), and have dirty naked sex isn't it? Society spends so much time masking our biological urges, so we are as different from animals as possible. "Excuse yourself for burping/farting. It's rude!" We ARE animals. The only thing that separates us from animals is our brains. That's it. Other animals have developed societies (ape's hierarchal system, lion's coexist in prides, etc. etc.). It's just out of some twist of chance that we're the dominate life forms here. Evolution explains love (it's just chemicals), life, and lots of other things. Need specific examples? Just ask (but expect a lengthy explanation).

My believes may seem crude and unrefined, but to me Christainity seems over romanticized, sugar coated view of the world. I'm certain I offended you all (reverse psychology).

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