Let us momentarily put aside the arguments that are for or against the idea of a god existing.
Why don’t we have a look at the world as the world is with an impartial view? Imagine we are contemporary historians evaluating the broad picture of the politics of Earth.
Our vantage point, in this instance, is Australia. What is the picture of society that we see?
Do we see a reasonable amount of ethics oozing from our highest offices of governments, our business leaders and ourselves, or do we see rampant opportunism forging ahead at the detriment of the less fortunate and the environment? The latter is irrefutably the true statement. None of us comes out with a clean slate in this regard. We collectively and individually have to share the blame of a gross social miscalculation.
The reasons for this are so simple and understandable that they are completely missed because we think it all should be far more complex. The overload of problems humanity faces gives rise to this false notion. The planet is operating without a solid foundation based on ethical considerations.
We are running very intricate societies without seriously instilling ethics as a goal into its younger members. The former teacher of social morality, religion, worked on the principle of punishment and reward, whilst favouring the rich. To fall stall proper criticism, it also tended to the poor. Now it has largely disappeared from the scene, and a limited ineffective weak replica replacement is stumbling around in a morass of self-interest and worsening the problems.
Make no mistake though, punishment and reward systems have less regard where educated people thrive and too much regard where the opposite is true. Most regions of the World are overly and overtly controlled by the pious messiahs who have a direct line of communication with their god. These are fearsome places full of fearful peoples living in a continuous state of self denial to accommodate the insanity they exist in. Escape is near impossible for these cultures and only time, protest, rebellion, education and outside pressure will ease the yoke of living in that kind of asylum.
How fortunate are we that all this horror is in our history. The threat of censure, pain or death no longer “keeps” us in line. After thousands of years of our society being force-fed theocratic rules of conduct, we are at last free. We now do not force feed any rules except the rule of survival of the fittest.
Heaven and hell no longer restrain our whims and fantasies. No supernatural social pressure points the finger at miscreant behaviour. Although there exists a legal and moral veto on brutal personal demeanour and property misdeed, it is applied unfairly in an unfair system. This is a direct hang-over from religious feudalism.
Our simple and missed mistake is that we have not replaced this anachronistic social brake with anything else. To do so would be an admission of failure by the old and still powerful system. Having only regard for absolute rules and not reason has it in vehement opposition to implementation of comprehensive ethical teaching.
Civilisations need concrete philosophies to keep them vital, cohesive and functioning in a fair and equitable manner. This does not mean that we all have to personify perfection, but it does mean that we have to have an understanding of what perfection is and its importance as an ideal to smooth running, sustainable and happy societies.
It does not seem such an arduous or impossible task to come to some very basic conclusions about what ethical teaching should involve. Once the concept of ethical thinking is accepted, its constant reinforcement would expand it at its own pace and discovery. Ethics is a life learning process, but only if you know that it exists as an idea in the first place. If you do not, in our society, then you are forever mentally imprisoned by whatever the “authorities” tell you to be imprisoned by.
Our world is dissolving before our very eyes and the reasons are that we have no firm ethics as a backbone for our secular democracies, and that we are religiously burdened in others.
This is the most potent of social mixes and Sept 11th was a sample of some consequences, with what is to come somewhat more frightening than any of us can imagine.
The death of religion may end up being the death of us. Not because we can only survive as a species by threat of rod or reward, but for no other reason than in its dying throes, religion denies us the very means of our survival.
We may lose the human race just because the teaching of ethics is in direct opposition to the teaching of god, with the socially powerful promoters of these supposed entities, seeing no difference between the two.
The planet is running under the controlling auspices of ethereal drunkards and mindlessly taught individuals trapped in an ethical vacuum. This system is successful for some but disastrous for many as well as being a wasting drain on limited available resources that ethical standards demand be held and used in common as well as with rational restraint.
Religion is sinking and taking the world with it. Every effort by right-minded people has to be implemented to remedy this child-hood induced bloody-minded and untenable situation and it would pay not to be tardy about it.
The example exists of the effectiveness of frequent and repetitious inculcation of the young by religion. If we cease with the supernatural part of this equation and replace it with a universal set of ethical standards to be similarly introduced to children and yon, the benefits would be enormous. These must be based on consequences of actions and not on ancient and antiquated absolutes.
If we do not, the continuing slow decline into a state of unsustainable mayhem will be assured.
By David Nicholls