One of the cornerstones of the temple that is my rejection of organized religion is this: humankind needs to be saved. This is utter rubbish and should be treated as the refuse it is. The idea that we are born with desires and actions and judgments already heaped upon us makes about as much sense as going skinny dipping in the sea of tranquility on the moon.
Also, I have heard and read the arguments stating because evidence within the animal orders most closely related to humans, (namely other primates and dolphins) suggests that they too, have murderers, rapists, and thieves must mean there is a genetic gene for bad behavior. I may brooch this topic in depth at a later date, but for the purposes of this discussion I will say only this on the matter; anyone who believes the above statement about the animal-human connection is saying that anything my fourth cousin twice removed does I am responsible for because we are genetically similar. I obviously can’t agree with that, can you?
Contrary to popular belief, it is not mother church or God that provides us with directions for our moral compass. According to a recent article in Time magazine, What Makes Us Moral, “Moral judgment is pretty consistent from person to person.” We have a genetic compass that has been bred into our genes over hundreds of thousands of years. Humans know when they do something whether that thing is right or wrong. The problem comes when we have no one around to kick start this moral engine. That, says the article, is where society comes in.
If given a community of people who have never been introduced to Christianity, the Bible, or any other moral code based on religion, those people will still have a moral code to live by. With only the most rudimentary of instruction in language, they should be able to grasp the concept of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This is the golden rule. The one that supersedes all others and is one of the defining characteristics of the sympathetic creature. Humans created this rule to put into words what being sympathetic means. It is the ultimate extension of the pack mentality; if you harm the group, you harm yourself.
Humans’ inability to remain completely emotionally stable during long stretches of loneliness spans back to our earliest days as packs of hunter-gatherers. We were around other people every day, all the time, and very rarely did you find yourself alone. So if you caused some kind of harm to the pack, like killing someone, you risked the entire group’s ability to survive. This act could very well have gotten you cast out from the protection of the group. Through selective breeding (why would anyone in the group mate with someone who had been kicked out, let alone had proven to be unstable), packs of humans slowly but surely bred into ourselves the genes for empathy.
Somewhere during human history we were told a lie. We were made to believe our very nature was based in immorality. We are told that the concept of free will, given to us by the gods, has to be given up to live as a moral and decent human. This travesty has been the greatest hoax pulled on the community of humans.
If it is true that we have free will then choose not to be deceived. Choose to remember that we are not born evil. Choose to live within a community of people who do not need the crutch of sin to define them as moral individuals. Choose to believe instead, that we are born moral, that we are born good, and that the only thing we need to keep us that way is other people. Not other good people, not other bad people, not other Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Taoist, or religious people, but just people.
I was not born a sinner, and neither were any of you.