The light side of Christianity

So I have abandoned my Christian faith. But to what extent? Was it so bad that I would spit upon the Bible? Am I looking forward to returning to the pleasures of sin without a guilty conscience? Do I feel as if I have been wasting my life on a pipedream up to now? No on all counts.

I’ve been speaking quite negatively about Christianity recently because it was necessary in explaining the changes I’m going though, first in the reasons why I felt I had to abandon organised religion, then ultimately why I abandoned my Christian faith. But the truth is, it wasn’t all bad. Far from it. And this post is to reclaim that balance, lest I be viewed as someone who abandoned his faith out of bitterness for past experience.

The Bible is full of excellent standards to live by. A couple of weeks ago I accompanied a young Christian friend of mine to a church quite far away where he had been invited to preach. I went purely to give a friend a little support. But you know what? It was a pretty good sermon overall, even though I was listening as someone who had abandoned his faith. He preached from the Book of Daniel about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and how they refused to submit to the Babylonian king’s laws because they conflicted with standards of their own. My friend talked about how we can choose to do what we believe is right, regardless of circumstances, or be as changeable as the wind when it starts to cost us. Great stuff.

And the Bible is full of great stuff. I’m a wiser man from having studied so much of it. I am free from the mindless pursuit of material wealth because of the Bible. I am aware of the meaningless of life without an eternal aspect. I prize honesty. I believe in sexual purity. I could go on. The Bible is responsible for many good things in my outlook on life.

On the athiestic flipside, which I fell into at times, there was merely a brief respite from some psychological problems that had crept into my life as a result of a distorted church experience, followed by a depressing reality that death is the end. I won’t elaborate. I’ve discussed this in depth in previous posts. Suffice it to say, you can tell that, even having abandoned my faith, I feel a lot more positive about Christianity than I do about athiesm.

Possibly a slightly wrong impression is given when I talk about abandoning Christianity. It’s closer to the truth to say that I discovered something that was a few steps closer to the truth that what I had been believing as a Christian. I did not leave Christianity because I was looking for a way out. The new information that led me in this direction came upon me unexpectedly. In fact, I felt quite disturbed by it initially, because it made sense to me and challenged my beliefs. It became a choice of whether to bury my head in the sand or rise to the challenge of contemplating what I was reading. I chose the latter, and this is where I ended up. Not a pissed off ex-Christian fuelled by bitterness. Not somebody who’s been dying for the chance to do the bad things he misses, without having to feel guilty anymore. I haven’t changed one iota morally, except for the better (and I’m looking forward to discussing the specifics of that when I can work up the courage to be open about it).

I suppose it has to be asked, then: why did I stop being a Christian? Because I don’t see the Bible as the infallible word of God. Because the problems are there, not only in the Bible, but in the church, and in the church’s chequered history. And in some of the concepts the Bible demands that you believe (I will elaborate, in time). For the past seven years, I think I felt that Christianity had to be true because the polar alternative to religion, athiesm, is was so obviously untrue to me. Lately, I started to see that there was an alternative to both athiesm and religion. And when you consider that I’ve always had problems with both of those (I’ve done a lot of hoppng between them in my life), it’s maybe not so surprising that I would choose this new avenue of thought.

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19 thoughts on “The light side of Christianity

  1. Paulie says:

    Totally agree with you on this one.
    The bible is full of some very good wisdom, fantastic teachings about life and how to treat others, laws and rules that should be applied in society, mostly based on common sense and doing the right thing.

    I’ve been an agnostic now for around 9-10 years, and i must admit that i’ve lost my way a bit, in regards to some of the things i learned as a Christian.

    I started out not changing much at all, but as things were thrown at me by the world, and me now having to face them without God to have my back, i must admit i changed for the worse.

    But i still hold tight, onto some of what I learned, and more recently i’ve been trying to get some old stuff back, reclaim myself, i suppose, which includes some aspects of me that i gained as a Christian. Without actually restoring my faith, although i guess a part of me will always want that back, rightly or wrongly, i’m not sure.

    The world would surely be a better place if everyone did their time learning those things, whether it be from the bible, a teacher, a parent, etc. But sadly, not only are the teachings less listened to now, they’re actually seen negatively by a lot of society.

  2. Darryl Sloan says:

    “Totally agree with you on this one.”

    I had the clutch my chest there. Don’t scare me like that again. I might not live through the shock a second time . 😉

  3. Paulie says:

    Lol. Enjoy it while it lasts. 😛

  4. Stacey says:

    Hi Darryl,

    I would like to hear a little bit more about your transition from Christianity to… spirituality? You say you’ve found an alternative to religion and atheism both. I know we may be asking a bit much of you to detail all of it, but I would like to hear where you stand now. What is this step closer to the truth? Come on, man, you’re keeping us waiting here!

    I might take the opportunity to use your blog to share some of my own journey as well, if you don’t mind. If you do, I’ll just shut up about it after this. My parents are Word of Faith type charasmatic renewal Christians. If you care to know more, look it up, but the gist is a renewal of gifts of the spirit (speaking in tongues, prophecy, etc.) with an emphasis on power in words that you speak. The result is a disorganized and dangerous way of manipulating people by claiming you’re speaking God’s words or claiming superior spirituality. I didn’t go to church for years after the experiences I had in such a church. Things like “waiting on the holy spirit” leading into “slain in the spirit” manifestations, jerking, praying for healings, etc. I never saw anything supernatural in my ten years at this church. What I did see what a lot of people’s needs ignored while the “leadership” chased after their own ministries. “On staff” became a dirty phrase to me, and the rest of us who didn’t fall of the floor laughing or spazming were deemed unspiritual and dirty. The book Counterfiet Revival details the sordid history of the movement, and it’s even worse than that of the general Protestant history, if you care to know more.

    Part of this Word of Faith movement is a heavy reliance on the literal truth of the Bible. They even sometimes use the Bible as a divining rod and ask a question, open the book, and put a finger on a passage for an answer, because the Bible is always true in all contexts. My parents believe the Earth is 6000 years old, and I haven’t since highschool, but I’ve never been able to tell them that. I’m not as far as you, Darryl, in speaking my beliefs without fear. I thought I would be some kind of heretic to them. I think they question whether not I’m a Christian these days anyway because I defend Catholicism a lot. During my non-churched years, I was terrified I was going to hell because I couldn’t believe certain things about the Bible. There were contradictions in dates, numbers, stories that seemed just like stories, etc. but I never gave up my faith in Christ. No matter how implausable the Bible might have been through certain eyes, no other view of life and the universe was as consistent and eye opening to the world around me and to myself than the Christian way. But I saw so many Protestant denomenations, like my parents, who declared that their interpretation of the Bible was the correct one, that they were the only ones with true revelation of how to interpret it. That’s the trick, thought, isn’t it? They will all interpret it a different way… so something else is needed to keep people from going down the path of the church of my childhood, as you know.

    Then Chris came along tauting the reality of God in a Spanish bar. Another person existed who had some kind of rational scientific mind and these seeming contradictions didn’t bother him one bit. Now I know why. Catholics see the Bible as the infallible word of God, but not the literal infallible word. How is this possible, you ask? Good question! Because they have an interpretor. One that has been given authority to interpret and groomed by a direct line from the apostles, each group teaching the next what was really meant by the passages in the Bible. So Catholics do read their Bibles, but don’t try to pinpoint the exact date the Earth was made by it. Instead, they (should) try to learn how to live their lives from it.

    I wasn’t convinced by this when Chris told me. I was convinced by two years of church-going in a Catholic parish. After a while, I got past the repetitiveness of the liturgy (difficult for an ex-charasmatic), and listened to what they were saying and paid attention to what they were doing. I saw the church not demanding anything of people, never giving a giant sermon on how you should give them your life’s savings to be blessed. They constantly reminded people if they could do anything for them to contact the office. Did you need a spiritual advisor? Confession is there, not like in the movies, but as a counselor. Do you need a meal during hard times? Or a group to join for fellowship? Or people to leave you alone otherwise? There’s room for all of that. I’ve been thinking to myself for so long, and it’s nice to say it, that this is what a church should be. There is so much thought, accountability, order, and ability in the Catholic Church. Now the question for me is, since I believe they are the Church that Christ set up… can I get past disagreements and accept their authority in my own life? I don’t know.

    I guess I tell you all of this, Darryl, because it can be a great relief to know you’re not alone. And you aren’t alone in the problems you’ve had with the Bible and the Church. I don’t know what other problems you ellusively refered to yet, but we’ll find out in time. Until then, I’m glad you haven’t thrown out all things Christian. I would still like to know what exactly, besides the things you have mentioned of what you dislike about Christianity as an organized religion, has made you reject Christ as your savior?

    By the way, I really think you ought to make an exception to your aversion to Christian authors. I think C.S. Lewis has some really wonderful insights into the consequences of certain lines of thought, morality, pain in life, selfishness vs. selflessness, and more. I would highly recommend Problem of Pain first and if you enjoy that, then Abolition of Man next. I think I can really relate to him as an ex-Protestant, not quite Catholic.

  5. Heidi says:

    Just a quick message.. just a quick quote before I read the rest… (bit bad really, but can’t resist), on mobile broadband at mo as blooming usual broadband company not mentioning names beginning with T have really buggered up)

    “It was a pretty good sermon overall, even though I was listening as someone who had abandoned his faith. ”

    I’m afraid I am someone who had little faith in the first place, so I suppose the wrong person to relay any information. but… haa the buttttt.

    A story? A Story for You…

    As a child I went to Sunday school, I listened to things I can’t even remember. As an adult I married a man whose family was Roman Catholic.

    I’m afraid church I still did not attend (except Christmas).. opps. But anyway I did oblige my husband and let all my three children become Roman Catholics….
    and they actually went through the rigmarole of the meetings and fairy fantasies of becoming Catholics themselves (although 1 priest was convicted of child porn humhumm)

    Why?

    Because I believe the bible and church instil a certain respect, although I believe ..false..
    (k lost my words) belief for the future. I think it gives them a “home” grounding. A feeling of security…

    The people I saw in church where welcoming, nice, respectable to each other… yet.. when I see them at school, they are ambitious, vein and totally disrespectful Esp.if their children are not involved. Contradiction?

    To me – remember just me, my opinion – I see faith, bible n all religion as maybe a quick start. kind of a cheat, on how to show (scare) your children into the first ‘kicks of life’.

    Personally I would sit my kids down and explain to them (which I have done anyway) about the wrongs and rights of life. I find the tales in ‘The Bible’ almost do the trick for me and are enough to make my children love and respect each other (I’m afraid to me they are like reading bedtime tales).

    I do also tell my children that there is more to life than what the bible says. I do state to my children that they are not slaves of God and that if God created us in his image then we are free to do what we please, which as in ‘His’ image he would be pleased too. I do enforce the thought that there are a million religions and one must believe in what one feels is right for oneself.

    No idea if I got it right or wrong? Hopefully I showed my children that there is more to life than obeying a God, hopefully I have indicated some sort of the truth
    and yet the untruth too?

    Basically I say to my kids. If it feels right and you feel good while you are doing it, then it is good. Nothing wrong with that is there?

    No, I don’t think so. I want my kids to be as open minded as me.. no, thats not true, I want my kids to be open minded. lol

  6. Heidi says:

    Stacey Says: ” I was terrified I was going to hell because I couldn’t believe certain things about the Bible.”

    Stacy, my personal belief, if it helps, is that, when you die you create your own personal ‘heaven’ – think positive babe and you will live and die positively, God will give forgiveness and create a ‘space’ for everyone, if you don’t believe in God then you’ll get one anyway cos the people you love believe in Him and you.

  7. Paulie says:

    Heidi: Basically I say to my kids. If it feels right and you feel good while you are doing it, then it is good. Nothing wrong with that is there?

    I see that statement as more fairytale than anything written in the bible. It sounds great, and invokes an image of everyone being happy and doing what their little heart desires, but if you follow it through, you’ll quickly realise that there has to be limits.
    The world isn’t a wonderful place full of wonderful people, and some people actually get their kicks by torturing animals, rape, murder, and other disgusting acts. Those people can’t be allowed to just do what makes them feel good, nor believe in whatever justifies their actions.

    This applies to religion too, and, i hope, covers your point about Christians being nice and welcoming in the church, then being not so nice out in the real world.
    Religious people are just people, they’re still vulnerable to the lusts of life, the drive of ambition, greed, pride, etc.
    Priests who abuse young boys, probably justify themselves, because they move around the goalposts of the bible, play with things until they have a faith that suits, throw out the bits that fly in the face of their actions, keep the bits about Jesus forgiving and being loving.

    I do agree with you in part though, i look at the bible as a nice little collection of stories now, some of them very good stories with great messages, but stories all the same. It’s just a shame so many people use those stories for bad.

  8. Paulie says:

    Heidi: Stacy, my personal belief, if it helps, is that, when you die you create your own personal ‘heaven’ – think positive babe and you will live and die positively, God will give forgiveness and create a ‘space’ for everyone, if you don’t believe in God then you’ll get one anyway cos the people you love believe in Him and you.

    Well that covers all the bases, there’s no need to ever do a good deed in our lives again, if that’s the case, let’s all just satisfy the darkest sides of our personality and then we can be good when we get to heaven. 😀

  9. Darryl Sloan says:

    Heidi and Paul,

    I like to look behind what people are saying to try and put my finger on the source of where disagreements lie. And I think Heidi and Paul have two drastically different views of humanity.

    Paul, I think your thinking is steeped in the traditional Christian view that we are rotten inside. We have a sinful nature that is always urging us to be bad, and we need laws, etc., to keep us in line, and ultimately we need “salvation” to transform us, or at the very least the influence of God on our lives in a strong way. So, when someone like Heidi talks about entrance to heaven regardless of how we’ve lived our life, you automatically see this in terms of us being able to throw off the restrictions on your life and be as bad as you want to be.

    Heidi talked about doing what you feel is right and about the afterlife being positive for everyone. I think this is because she doesn’t live with this very dark view of humanity. One of the transformations that I’m personally going through right now is that I’m starting to finally understand that my heart isn’t evil – that evil in my life is a result of a great deal of emotional and spiritual imbalance. I don’t need more laws to keep me in line, or a big carrot called “Heaven” on the end of a stick, to keep me facing a single direction. I actually wan’t to do good, with more of my being than I ever did as a Christian, and without any thought of reward.

    Of course, I’m not a reflection of everybody. There are people who have chosen an evil path, to one extent or another. Is the answer to these people more laws, more imposition, controlling them by the promise of some reward to come, or perhaps instead helping them to transform their understanding of life?

  10. Darryl Sloan says:

    Stacey and Heidi,

    Thank you very much for taking time to share your stories. Stacey, I’ll try to get my head together today and compose a post about the specifics of what I’ve come to believe.

  11. Paulie says:

    I agree, we’re certainly from completely different ends of the spectrum.
    I agree with your reading of what i said, in part, but i wouldn’t go so far as to tie it up with Christian mindsets, after all i’m not actually Christian any more.

    I don’t really have the answers, i’m asking questions really, although granted, they don’t sound like questions, i’m just thinking out aloud when i type.
    I’m not really saying the Christian way of thinking is any better, in fact i’d say they’re as bad as each other, because people are people are people, at the end of the day, some good, some bad, regardless of their beliefs or lack thereof.

    There are Christians, or at least people within the Christian faith, with horrible deeds, just as there are atheists and agnostics with similar deeds.

    It really interests me though, how people can look at the bible, or the Christian faith and see it as a fairytale, or mythology, then state their own beliefs which in my opinion are just as airy fairy as anything in the bible.

    It’s amazing what the human mind will conjure up to make us feel better about life and death.

    As to the question of imposition vs. helping to transform, like from the other thread, i don’t really believe you can separate the two things.
    The very fact you think they should be helped to transform their understanding of life is quite arrogant, like your way of understanding is better than theirs, and is just as bad as controlling them. In fact, it is a type of control, just a very subtle one.

    A Christian would dangle the carrot of “heaven”, saying the person is a sinner and needs to repent of their sinful ways, possibly for fear of going to hell.
    You would tell the person what they’re doing is wrong, bad, and that there’s more to life, enlightenment to be had.
    They’re the same thing, with different agendas, and in all likelihood, both would have been done for the right reasons, or the wrong reasons, dependant upon the person doing it. Some Christians might do it because they feel the need to control or judge and feel better than the person they are preaching to, some would do it because of a heartfelt love and care for their fellow human being.
    You, yourself might do it because you want to see this person enjoy their life, find happiness and move away from things which are damaging to themselves and others, another person with the same beliefs as you might do it for other, unscrupulous reasons.

    Everything for me, comes down to people, regardless of their beliefs, understandings, reasoning, they’re still people and no-one is perfect. Some of us are good, trying to genuinely do our best, and even then we might get caught up in doing things for the wrong reason, or making mistakes, some of us are nasty, vile pieces of work out to destroy and hurt others, and even those people are capable of good acts, with people they love. Hitler loved Eva Braum, and was probably capable of loving acts towards her, regardless of his depravity towards Jews and anything else non-Ayrian.

  12. Darryl Sloan says:

    Paul,

    “people are people, at the end of the day, some good, some bad, regardless of their beliefs or lack thereof.”

    I would change the word “regardless” to “because.”

    “The very fact you think they should be helped to transform their understanding of life is quite arrogant, like your way of understanding is better than theirs, and is just as bad as controlling them. In fact, it is a type of control, just a very subtle one.”

    Arrogant just for sharing information. Then I guess every assertion that you and I and everyone ever made on this blog is pure arrogance.

  13. Paulie says:

    I totally disagree (ah, back to normal) with the “because”. People change between their beliefs, yet they remain the same people, mainly. They still have to fight the same urges, battle with themselves, etc.

    I think we are all arrogant, we all have our idea of right and wrong. It may not be an all out arrogance of “i’m better than you”, but it’s certainly inferred, by the fact that we think we have a better understanding of something than someone else.
    For example, if you have some truth, of how the universe works, and i don’t, even by claiming to have that, you’re saying that you worked something out that i haven’t. And vice-versa.
    Maybe arrogance is the wrong word, but it’s similar, maybe not quite so… bold? I’m not sure.

    I’ve written a post on my current beliefs, as everyone on here was writing a bit i was tempted to add my own, but i knew it would be long and likely swamp the page, so i decided to blog it instead. It’s still very much a condensed version, but gives a general feeling of where i was and where i am, i think and hope. 😀

    Be warned, it’s almost 4,000 words long. I only wish i could type that easily and quickly, when writing fiction.

  14. Paulie says:

    I’ve just had an extended think about that first part, and i needed to say more. 😀
    A way in which i can hopefully shed better light on what i’m saying, with some positivity for a change. 😛

    I realise Darryl, that because of your new thinking, you feel like a better person (not better than, just better in yourself), happier, and more level and pacified?
    But, i really don’t see a difference between you now, and the you i knew back in the 90s.
    I possibly have a different perspective on you than some others, because i knew you when you were genuinely happy as a Christian, then lost contact with you and only regained contact with you again recently, so i didn’t get to see all that happened inbetween.

    The happiness and security you seem to be experiencing now, doesn’t seem any different to me, than the happiness and security you were experiencing as a Christian back then. Your moralistic outlook doesn’t appear to have changed either, you still seem to be of the mindset to do your best both for yourself and others. Wherever possible.

    I also remember that in that time, you and I, among many others, would post on fidonet, amongst many other opinions and differing beliefs, and you certainly didn’t seem weak, or quick to back down, rather you argued your point and stood by your beliefs, because they were part of you. Again, your new found strength doesn’t seem new to me, because i already witnessed it back then.

    Of course, i’m not going to say you haven’t changed it all, there are things that are different, but i think the core you is still you. The things that matter are still the same.
    It’s like the novel is still the same, the same beginning, same end, with the same characters and same overall message and outcome, but you’ve edited some of the spelling mistakes, corrected some grammar and changed a chapter or two, that didn’t quite fit in.

  15. Darryl Sloan says:

    Paul,

    “But, i really don’t see a difference between you now, and the you i knew back in the 90s.”

    Heh. It’s all a matter of degree, really. I certainly haven’t gone from evil bugger to angel. I’ve just noticed some changes for the better in my moral attitudes and abilities that are hard to see on the outside. I do plan to discuss them.

    The same is true of my outspokenness. I haven’t gone from scaredy cat to lion. But I’ve picked up some clarity recently on the issue of living in fear of what others think. It’s having an affect on me, while not dramatic. Chris has known me since before I met you and during all the intervening years. I think he’s noticing something different about my attitude these days, for better or worse. 🙂

    Anyway, Hyde hasn’t become Jekyll here. I’m still me, as you say. And perhaps I would be better to use words like “improvement” than “transformation.” But from the perspective of being inside my head, the changes feel radical.

  16. Heidi says:

    ………………….OK, I know it has been a while since this topic was discussed, but I just wanted to add a little (hope you don’t mind);……………………..

    [quote]Paulie: “The world isn’t a wonderful place full of wonderful people, and some people actually get their kicks by torturing animals, rape, murder, and other disgusting acts. Those people can’t be allowed to just do what makes them feel good, nor believe in whatever justifies their actions.”[unquote]

    Paulie, I didn’t mean for everyone to do what makes them feel good. I meant, as I stated, I tell my children [Quote; If it feels right and you feel good while you are doing it, then it is good.]. My children are old enough to know what is right and what is wrong. They know about actions and consequence. Therefore, they know that if they carried out an action which would upset or harm others, their consequence (for a start) would be to feel ‘bad’ about it…

    What I meant is; they don’t have to follow and do what other people tell them, they can make their own decisions based on how they ‘feel’ about the situation.

    The world IS a wonderful place full of wonderful people, and some people actually get their kicks by helping others. Those people CAN be allowed to just do what makes them feel good and believe in whatever justifies their actions. 🙂

    I believe my children are kind and caring and have great empathy for others, therefore ” being happy and doing what their little heart desires” is exactly how I want my children to be; without any limitations.

    [quote]Paulie: “It really interests me though, how people can look at the bible, or the Christian faith and see it as a fairytale, or mythology, then state their own beliefs which in my opinion are just as airy fairy as anything in the bible.”[unquote]

    See it as a Fairytale? Bible, yes, I do. Christian faith, I do not. I think in reality you live your life to what you believe and everyone is different. Although I would prefer the (fairy tale) positive world rather than living life on the flip side.

    Also Darryl I agree with you about prisons, we should be teaching the prisoners about life, empathy, love and ‘consequence rather than punishment’, and not imposing new ‘breakable’ rules.

    …………OK, finished for now, probably replied to too many topics, apologies for that!!…………………………

  17. Paulie says:

    That’s a great idea, if your children really are the personification of good and kind and respectful etc. But a lot of people in the world aren’t, and in my honest opinion, even those that appear to be so, still have the potential for bad. For this reason, i don’t believe in just doing what you think or feel is good, certainly not without being judged or pulled up on it.

    There has to be rules, for the sake of everyone else. Of course the difficult part is who should make those rules and who should enforce them, as we’re all as capable of bad things as each other, so just holding a position in government or the church, or anything else, isn’t good enough to suddenly make someone a authority on right or wrong.

    It’s a difficult one. One which i don’t really have an answer for. 😀

  18. Darryl Sloan says:

    This is really the vast and important topic of what makes one person evil and another good. I’ve grown more and more to believe that the idea we have a built in “sinful nature” is a wholely inadequte view.

    In my experience, we are essentially good. Imbalance is the thing that turns us towards evil. That imbalance can come from outside, in the form of influences, or it can be inner, in the form of our philosophy of life.

    For instance, if you believe death is the end, you’re going to feel a sense of urgency about life that doesn’t affect people who believe strongly in an afterlife. That urgency will affect your decisions, rightly or wrongly. A person who believes in the pursuit of material wealth is more likely to steal and swindle that someone who doesn’t care about owning anything. Our behaviours, good and bad, are reflections of our views on life, not becuase we were born sinners.

    Something to remember about rules. We all believe in our own personal autonomy regardless of the rules. How do I know this? Because if the government announced tomorrow that it was taking everyone’s children away, you wouldn’t submit to that law. We only obey law when it is convenient and helpful to us and society. In that sense, we are individually greater than the law, and so we should be.

  19. Paulie says:

    But there’s problems with that thought, which aren’t as clear cut as you make out. It’s great when you’re defending an injustice like the government taking peoples kids away, or stopping our ability to have opinions which are negative of the rulers, etc. But there are people in the world with opinions, actions and desires which are harmful for others.

    This is where it becomes really difficult. Again it’s an easier judgement call for us to say that paedophiles, murderers, etc should be restricted, locked up, and have society protected from them.
    But what about things like smokers? Passive smoking has been proven to have negative effect on our health, so should someone be able to force that upon us just because of their habit, which they do just to feel good personally?

    How about racists? Homophobes? Their opinions are by definition hateful, should that be allowed?

    It could certainly be argued that getting rid of smoking, racism and homophobia could benefit society as a whole, but which is more important, personal freedom or the better good?

    I would say we only adhere to laws which are convenient and helpful to us OR society, depending on our personal outlook and belief. And even then i think it works at many other levels, which can’t be as easily described or explained. Which is what gives us the problem we have.

    As for us being essentially good, i’m not sure i can agree with that, nature itself doesn’t really agree with this.
    When a baby is born it is completely 100% selfish. A baby doesn’t care about the needs or wants of others, it knows when it’s hungry, needs it’s nappy changed, needs burped, etc. It also wants held, loved, etc. As someone grows up they are taught that selfishness is a bad thing, and the baby grows out of it, or learns to deal with the fact that it’s actually not the most important thing in the world.

    If a child continued to be as selfish as it was from the day it was born, through it’s entire life, just how “good” a being would it be? Most would view that person as selfish, uncaring, sociopathic. Not quite “essentially good”.

    I’m not really sure what i believe on this. I don’t believe we’re all bad, or all good. I don’t even believe on an individual level that anyone can be pure evil, or pure good. As i’ve stated before on other comments, Hitler himself was capable of Love to those he cared about and i don’t believe anyone is perfect, so even those with the kindest hearts are capable of bad thoughts/acts, etc.

    The only thing that makes sense to me is that we are all the result of both nature and nurture. But just how much each is responsible for, in the bigger picture, i’m really not sure.

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