[FoRK] "Peace and Love"

Corinna Schultz <corinna.schultz at gmail.com> on Tue Dec 18 15:35:34 PST 2007

On Dec 17, 2007 5:06 PM, Dr. Ernie Prabhakar
<drernie at radicalcentrism.org> wrote:
> On Dec 17, 2007, at 4:53 PM, Aaron Burt wrote:
> > Meanwhile, the converse idea--that religion is what makes people act
> > good, while cultural and social factors ("bad influences" like TV, peers
> > and the corrupting influence of Darwinism and rampant Secular Hedonism)
> > are what make people do evil--is taken as obvious, Gospel truth by
> > religious people worldwide.

Yep. My father is one of them...

> Is our behavior simply a reflection of genetics and external culture,

By default, yes. This is what you start with, as you become
intellectually capable (starting from, oh, say, age 11).

> so nothing really matters?

Not sure what you mean by "matters", but...
I would say that there is minimal meaning to people who act/think by
default. You might as well be an animal.

To the extent that your ethics/morality is deliberately chosen, your
meaning is created.

> Or, on what basis can/should we attempt to
> mold culture and/or behavior to improve morality?

You encourage people to think, to seriously consider diverse points of
view, to truly understand how someone could possibly believe *that*.
You get people to reflect on their own beliefs, and see for themselves
the contradictions and the lunacy. Once they do, change follows. This,
of course, assumes that "improved morality" will naturally result as
we eliminate bad thinking.

> Or are even those attempts tainted by our *own* cultural biases?

Of course. That's why it's a group effort -- everyone should engage in
the constant examination of their beliefs. If you fall into the trap
of thinking you're right, and everyone should believe as you do, then
you will overlook the contradictions and lunacy in your own thinking.

The fundamentalists are correct to view education with suspicion :)

(My father simultaneously thinks it's a great idea to teach kids to
think for themselves, and thinks that education breeds  "confusion".
He's impossible to talk to about anything serious.)

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