Derrick_Dent 
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Re: “Letters to the Editor

*correction: "I don't believe that an external AUTHORITY is needed to act in a way that ensures the survival of myself, or my species..."

Posted by Derrick_Dent on 10/01/2009 at 8:06 PM

Re: “Letters to the Editor

Charles,

I can agree that maybe the terms "good" and "bad" are completely subjective, and hastily chosen. If I wanted to narrow my worldview to a just/evil binary, perhaps I should adopt Christianity (or at least the fashionable and inconsistent right wing denomination of it).

I should elaborate on my argument in a few areas. I don't believe that an external influence is needed to act in a way that ensures the survival of myself, or my species...because we are animals, despite so many arguments otherwise. And there are countless examples of animals that can get along with each other without the need of Our Lord In Heaven.

My ethics are derived from the VERY universal need that we all share to survive and continue the species. It's very simple: we are social creatures whose survival depends on cooperation- it's no good if we are at war or killing each other, both things that have been done proudly in the name of your God.

To make it clear, I never explicitly said that genetics were responsible for behavioral patterns. I simply inferred that there is more evidence that biological factors can be attributed to the instinctual behavior that keeps us alive than there is evidence of us holding it together because of God's laws. The human species is older than Christianity, you know...

Not to say that there haven't been any atrocities committed in a secular context, but it seems awfully arrogant of you and your club to take credit for the natural disposition we all have to live long and fruitful lives. It's even more arrogant to claim that your club's rules are the right ones- that they should apply to everyone.

If you take every non-Christian in the world and label them as immoral, then there are a lot of heathens running around.

Thank you for your response,
-Derrick

Posted by Derrick_Dent on 10/01/2009 at 8:02 PM

Re: “Letters to the Editor

In response to Charles H. Gillihan's letter:

Charles-

I'm addressing you directly in hopes that you will find this, read this, and hopefully respond as I welcome a healthy exchange of thoughts and ideas. This is not an attack on your beliefs as much as it is a defense of the inherent good nature that I belief we all have, yourself included. When you say that a higher being, a cosmic patriarch is needed in order to be positively inclined to your fellow man, I take that as an insult. That statement takes personal responsibility out of the equation, as well as the ability to empathize with other people.

To use an extreme example, I wouldn't need God to tell me that ending someone's life is wrong. I simply know that I enjoy life and hate the idea of another person ending it prematurely, therefore it would obviously be bad business to murder someone while they were, say, waiting at a bus stop. Our inclination to be decent to each other has more to do with common sense, not to mention an innate survival instinct that is hard-wired into every living organism, than it does with a micromanaging father figure in the clouds.

I'll finish by posing this question to you- Let's say God (and this is under the hypothetical scenario in which we all believed in its Judeo Christian iteration), the entity that you attribute your morality to, were to disappear from existence. Would we all, or more importantly, would you immediately proceed to a murderous rampage? Or begin stealing indiscriminately? Would you stop loving you family and friends?

Sincerely,
-Derrick Dent

Posted by Derrick_Dent on 10/01/2009 at 2:20 PM
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