On Genuine Goodness

The basic nature of all humanity is that of genuine goodness.  The most natural of human experiences and the most noble of efforts is that of self cultivation.

As is the case with everything that is; we humans are sufficiently self equipped to function in accord with our basic nature.  Our basic nature is inwardly revealed at the point of spontaneous urges of kindness and courtesy towards strangers, and at the point of similar such inclinations of concern and compassion for those with whom we are not even acquainted.  Even though our natural tendencies and inclinations do not dictate our actions; nonetheless these spontaneous urges are most certainly indicative of that which actually is our most basic nature.  The nature of every person is that of genuine goodness, regardless of what course of action they may pursue.

Such being the case, there is no need for external instruction as to internal goodness.  We humans are sufficiently self equipped thusly.  Goodness is not driven in from without, but rather is developed from within.  In order to be good, we only need to choose to function in accord with our basic nature.

The basic nature of all humanity is that of genuine goodness.  The most natural of human experiences and the most noble of efforts is that of self cultivation.

On Natural Ethics

The question of ethics is oftentimes approached from the stand point of conditioned beliefs and/or ideology.  Actually, such is impossible to avoid, for our daily lives are a synthesis of our natural intuition and our ongoing education/indoctrination.  Even the most disciplined thinker is subject to the influence of upbringing, culture, and general surroundings.  Consequently, party ideology can and in many cases does influence thoughts and theories regarding morals and ethics.  A synthesis of politicial persuasion, religious convictions, and cultural worldview can further influence thinking regarding such matters.  For example, those who identify themselves as political conservatives might cite scripture in order to explain their personal ethical code.  A more progressive thinker might argue from a more seemingly subjective perspective.  Thus, the question of ethics is one that will create debate at the very least.  

So is there an actual, factual moral and ethical code?

It would be interesting to form a panel of unknown figures of a variety of backgrounds to contemplate and debate this very topic.  Imagine an accumulation of folk for such a very purpose consisting of:  A Protestant, a Jew, a Catholic, a Buddhist, an Occultist, a Hindu, a Confucianist, an Agnostic Humanist, a Feminist, a member of the LGBT community, and one who claims no  persuasion whatsover (Note:  The scenario being hypothetical I took the liberty to imagine the most fictional of all such characters in the latter referred to member of the council).

Further imagine one specific stipulation.  Regardless of the time spent in deliberation as to the question of essential ethical thought and conduct, the only acceptable answers would be those of 100% consensus.  Such would obviously be a short list of prospective ethical codes; in fact some might speculate that consensus amongst such a crew of characters might be impossible.  Yet; I theorize otherwise, though I admit that few would be the synthesized areas of agreement, and very general would be the proposed codes.

In fact, the codes of acceptable conduct agreed to by such a panel of philosophers would likely amount to every person treating every other person as they themselves would wish to be treated.  The frame of reference being diverse, this one moral and ethical code would likely be agreed to by all.  The Christian, who terms such as “The Golden Rule” and attributes such teaching to the key character of the Judeo-Christian background, would no doubt be pleased with the results.  The Confucianist, who regards such as the principle of Reciprocaty referred to several times by Confucius himself (some 500 years prior to Jesus),  would be pleased to know that the philosophy of the ancient sage was alive and well even in contemporary times. In fact, I honestly cannot think of a single person on this hypothetical panel of philosophers who would disagree with such, thereby destroying the aforementioned prerequisite of mutual consent on any acceptable proposed code of morals and ethics.  

Hypothetical though this scenario might seem, I suggest that the existence of such a community of folk is a given reality.  In fact, the demographics of our society is so diverse that I merely mentioned a portion whose culture and perspective are truly represented therein.  The diversity of persectives merely give credence to the practicality of such a moral and ethical code.

When we as human beings consult our own innate understanding of what really matters with regards to morals and ethics, then personal responsibility to be respectful and considerate of “the other person” is revealed to be the only necessary code of acceptable conduct.  We do not need written material or revelations from exterior sources to educate or indoctrinate us as to what really matters.  Our intuition is a natural guide, and our spontaneous inclinations towards kindness, courtesy, and concern for others regulate a moral and ethical code which if followed faithfully, renders social harmony on all scales as realistic and achievable.

The Natural Function of a Society

The role of government is an oft debated subject.  It seems that “each side” has strong ideas regarding the topic.  The Conservatives want an impotent government, EXCEPT for the military.  The Conservatives want an impotent government, EXCEPT for surveillance and “national security”.  The Conservatives want an impotent government which will not impede the efforts of the elite to exploit basic human needs and active human labor for their own personal profit. 

We liberals view government as the voice and administrator of the collective will of the people.  Conservatives view government as a paid administrative staff, whose role is to protect the rights of Corporative interests against the expense of basic human needs.  The debate regarding the role of government then comes down to whether such is to protect the interests of the few, or the needs of the many.

Perhaps the question should be “What is the natural function of a society?”.  If in fact, the natural function of a society is to ensure the rights of the few to exploit the needs, the services, and the labor of the many; then the Conservatives are correct in their view of the proper role of government.  On the other hand, if the natural function of a society is to ensure the rights of the collective whole to impartially provide the basic needs of everyone, then we liberals are correct in our view of the proper role of government.

Either way, I suggest that the proper role of government is to execute the natural function of a society.

We Do Not Have to Compete

We do not have to compete.  We are forced to compete.  Yet, we do not have to compete.

One the most persuasive forms of propaganda on behalf of a Capitalist society is to indoctrinate the people with the notion that “you have to compete”.  Once folk are conditioned to believe that competition is merely “a way of life”, then they become willing victims in the machinery of the system.  In fact, they merely submit to the willing role of being an implement within that machine.

Don’t you believe this myth.  Don’t you believe this lie.

It is sadly true that we are forced to compete.  Frankly, we have no practical choice so long as the prevailing system is allowed to function.  We were all born into a system that was put into place long before our time.  If a person is to survive, then one must get a job.  Everytime a person fills out a job application and submits such, they are competing with other unemployed folk in order to secure that job.  Every person who has ever been promoted within a firm has secured that position at the expense of another.

Our entire economic system is founded upon and functions by the concept of competition.  The profiteers of this system exploit the needs of humanity in order to assemble groups of willing implements whose purpose and function is to  labor and toil their lives away in order to feed the greed of the elite.   And the belly of the beast is never satisfied.  Enough is never enough.  Hence, the profiteers find ways to eliminate jobs so as to lower the costs of operation.  (Keep in mind fellow wage slaves, our function in this process from the perspective of the profiteers falls on the side of COSTS OF OPERATION, hence it is to their benefit to eliminate our role if at all possible and/or practical).  For our role in this process we are allowed a token amount of money, in order to be able to sustain our existence until our next work shift.  We are allowed 1-2 days to “rest up”, in order that we can return to our post refreshed, and once again willing to sell our services for the primary benefit of the profiteers.  And so it goes.. and so it goes.

Hence, the wage slavery system is founded upon the basic needs of humanity, and the excessive greed of the profiteers.  And the profiteers are able to continue this process by indoctrinating we the laborers with the notion that competitive markets are natural.  By way of this process, they have us conditioned to believe that not only do we have no choice, but that we should never desire such.

And so the profiteers have the market cornered on exploiting the services of the people. 

And so we are forced to compete.  Not that we have to compete.  For we as a society could just decide that enough exploitation of the needs of humanity is enough.  And we as a society could just decide that enough theft of services by the profiteers in exploiting the services and labor of the people is enough.  We could.  We truly could.

Or, we can just continue to feed the belly of the beast while children go to sleep hungry.  We can just continue to supply for the profiteers, while so many live in pain and discomfort because they cannot afford healthcare.  We can continue to pay for the mansions of the rich with our services and labor while many live under overpasses. 

We can just continue to compete with each other, and at the expense of each other, in order to enrich the elite.

We do not have to compete.  We are forced to compete. 

We can continue as willing implements in a wage slavery system which enriches the elite by way of our efforts.

OR, we can cooperate as intelligent caring beings, and implement a system which denies the rich their right to exploit, and which supplies for everyone their basic human needs.

We have a choice.  We do not have to compete.  We merely choose to allow ourselves to be conditioned to believe that being forced to compete means we have to compete.

Competition is not THE way of life.  Competition is A way of life.

We do not have to compete.

On Tranquility and Harmony

There is no more obvious example of tranquility and harmony than that of the cosmos.  May the universe our example be, and may we of the human species look upward and learn.  The universe is composed of bodies of matter and forces of energy which exist and co-exist in a natural state of peaceful harmony.

The disruptions to such balance and harmony are admittedly troublesome, but likewise are temporary.  When our climate takes a turn to the extreme, there results a disruption to the normal peace of atmosopheric stablility.  When storms of an excessive state ensues then there is  a troublesome disruption to the harmony which normally is.  From time to time such atmospheric disruptions do occur, but these unfortunate circumstances are as temporary as they are troublesome.  Soon the storm passes so to speak, and the balance and harmony of our surroundings returns to its natural state of being.

As with the cosmos, so it should be with we of the human species.  Indeed,  the material bodies and forces of energy of our universe do co-exist quite naturally in a state of tranquility and harmony.  Likewise, we of humanity should be satisfied to exist and co-exist in a peaceful and balanced state.

If only the disruptions of social affairs were as temporary as they are troublesome.  An individual who becomes frustrated with himself and agitated with others tends to return to his normal state of tranquility and harmony once his emotional state balances.  Yet, global wars and social hostility and hatred seem to remain in a never ending state of aggressive agitation.

There is a shortage of tranquility and harmony in our society and in global relations.  We must learn to exist and co-exist.

The Genuine Goodness of Human Nature and the Christian Perspective

As most folk who are acquainted with me know, I am a firm believer that the basic nature of every single person is that of genuine goodness.  I write and converse quite often on the topic.  I recently made the acquaintance of an Internet friend who has posed a series of thoughtful questions pertaining to my assertions regarding the basic nature of all humanity.  I am all too happy to do my best to answer sincere questions, and thus today I will address the following such inquiry:

If humans are naturally good, why does Christianity beg to differ?

This question allows for a most practical discussion on the matter, for my thoughts regarding basic human nature do indeed contradict the Christian perspective on the subject (or vice versa, depending on one’s frame of reference).  This question has arisen before, as one might well imagine, since our culture is so heavily influenced by the Judeo-Christian philosophy (a fact with merits and demerits from time to time).  In order to do this topic justice, I must do the following:

-Review my thoughts regarding our basic human nature

-Discuss my thoughts regarding Christianity

-Conclude the discussion by answering the question as best I know how

A REVIEW OF MY THOUGHTS WITH REGARDS TO BASIC HUMAN NATURE

The basic nature of each and every person is that of genuine goodness.  Most entities of the cosmos function quite consistently in accord with their basic nature, yet we of the human species differ somewhat in that we are free to make select choices based upon calculated reasoning and conditioned thinking.  Consequently, individuals can and very oftentimes do function contrary to their basic nature of genuine goodness.  Such inconsistent behavior clouds the true nature of the person, and furthermore creates difficulty for we who maintain the case that all people are genuinely good to support our thinking on the matter.  Yet, the key is to realize that our actions do not always reflect our nature.  Hence, in this case, the proof of the pudding is not necessarily in the tasting of the product thereof, but rather by way of reflection upon the recipe.

Our natural function is that of genuine goodness.  Our actual function oftentimes is quite the opposite.  Yet, I maintain that every person, regardless of our many diverse personalities, conditions, situations, cultures, upbringing, and yes; even our religious beliefs; all share a common mind with regards to certain matters and situations, and that this common mind inwardly reveals and innately manifests our true nature in the most spontaneous of all settings.  I have come to believe that we do not know our basic nature by observation of the actions of others, for the inconsistency thereof clouds one’s true nature.  Rather, we know our actual nature by intuition, for every person (I do believe) innately feels certain inclinations in certain situations which reveals to us for a brief moment our own true basic nature. 

Spontaneous inclinations are based upon spontaneous feelings, which in turn reveal our actual basic nature.  Once the brevity of the moment passes, our mind then calculates thoughts which leads to our actions regarding the setting at hand.  The actions that we choose to take, if any at all, do not necessarily reveal our nature, but may very well reveal our character, which is an altogether different subject.

As an example, let us say that a person walks into a room that is empty save for one person.  A young lady is seated on a chair, with her purse on the stand which is beside her.  The young lady is weeping, head in hands, with sobs and moans which move us.  I repeat:  “WHICH MOVE US”.  That moment; that SPONTANEOUS  moment, is the setting when our basic nature creates within us a feeling over which we have no control.  Is there any  person who can deny that  FOR A MOMENT that person would not be inwardly moved by the scenario at hand?  The fact is, that our nature is such that we are momentarily disturbed by the moans of a lady sobbing or even an animal moaning in pain.  I maintain that this momentary feeling, over which we have no control, is our true nature innately moving us. 

Now, the moment that we begin to think this situation through, we are no longer feeling the natural inclinations of our basic human nature, but rather we are contemplating thoughts and calculating our decisions.  Consider a hypothetical example of four different individuals who enter the room and encounter the circumstances just as I described them. There are a variety of courses of actions that each might pursue at the point of contemplation thoughts and calculating decisions:

a)  One person might  move across the room slowly, sit next to her, and quietly inquire as to what is wrong and whether they can assist her.

b)  Another, wishing not to get involved, and out of respect for the lady, might quietly leave the room, hoping neither to have disturbed her, nor to have been noticed.

c)  A third person might sit down, and merely do their best to ignore the young lady.

d)  Another person altogether might realize an  opportunity at hand, and thus grab her purse and flee the room.

Now, I leave the assessment of the character of each person in the hypothetical scenario at hand to the reader’s own reasoning, but I assert my thoughts on the nature of each and every person.  I maintain that every person, regardless of the actions which they pursued, who encountered the scenario of a young lady weeping would MOMENTARILY be inwardly moved.  I furthermore maintain that our true basic nature of genuine goodness is that which would in fact be inwardly moving us with regards to the circumstances.  Thus, I assert that each of the four hypothetical persons so described share a common nature of genuine goodness, which spontaneously moved them each inwardly, even if for a brief moment, before they contemplated, calculated, and chose their respective courses of action.

THOUGHTS REGARDING CHRISTIANITY

Christianity is an agenda based philosophy which is based upon certain concepts which I cannot accept as reasonable (though at one time I most definitely did).  I furthermore maintain that its realm of thought is that of speculation which accepts certain theories as alleged facts. Amongst such theories:

-The theory that there is a supernatural realm

(I deny that such is reasonable.  I do not necessarily deny conclusively that such exists, I merely maintain that there is no evidence that allows that I can know conclusively that such does exist.  Hence, I deny that such is reasonable)

-The theory that there is a “heaven” and “hell”. 

 (I obviously deny that such is reasonable,  for such would be of the aforementioned supernatural realm.)

-The theory that the Judeo-Christian writings (the Bible) are supernaturally inspired. 

(I find the Bible more fascinating now than even when I believed such to be inspired material.  There are some wonderful philosophies therein; and there are some grossly misapplied and misinterpreted writings, and some clear discrepancies therein.  All such when followed as a way of life have historically created social hardships and shed innocent blood.  Inasmuch as I love certain concepts taught therein, all the while loathing others, I deny the notion that any or all such writings are inspired by the supernatural, for I deny that the belief in the supernatural is reasonable)

-The theory that humankind is inherently evil or that we are eternally accountable for our earthly discrepancies, and thus in danger of eternal hell fire and brimstone. 

 (I deny such as reasonable.  There is no evidence of the aforementioned realm to satisfy my intellectual reasoning, AND there is the aforementioned evidence of our own intuitive tendencies which reveal that our true basic nature is that of genuine goodness) 

-The theory that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God, and that he saves those who believe in him from eternal punishment in hell

(I find it reasonable to accept the historicity of such an individual.  Assuming that he actually lived, and assuming the accuracy of his basic message, I believe that he was a social reformer.  In fact, his “golden rule”, which was very close to the teachings of Confucius some 500 years earlier, is actually an appeal to a universal principle of social reciprocity which in order to be applied, merely requires that one function in accord with our basic nature of genuine goodness.  Like most social reformers, his message was rejected by the established thinking of the day, as evidenced by his execution, assuming such to have actually occurred.  As to his relationship to a deity, or as to his being a deity, or as to his role regarding salvation from hellfire and brimstone, or regarding deliverance of his faithful followers into the eternal “sweet by  and by”, I reject all such as unreasonable since there is no evidence to support the theory of a supernatural realm whatsoever.)

CONCLUSION

The conflict between the Christian view that human nature is evil (“there is none righteous, no not one”), and my view that the basic nature of all humanity is that of genuine goodness; is owed to the fact that in order for the general story of Christianity to be accepted, one must adopt the view that we are naturally bad and our only hopes are to be spared from eternal damnation by the atoning effect of the sacrificial blood of a perfect Savior. 

I, on the other hand, maintain that it is more reasonable to trust my own intuition rather than to trust the alleged written revelation of another.  

In closing, I would assert that there is a synthesis of my philosophy of the genuine goodness of our basic nature with that of the Christian philosophy.  In fact, I have not changed much as a person since my days as a Christian.  I have always been sensitive to the plight of others, but at one time I thought that I was fulfilling a “mission from God” in so feeling.  Actually, I was listening to my intuition.  My closing point is this:

I maintain that the most natural of all experiences and the most noble of all endeavors is to develop from within the natural goodness which is our true basic nature.  The Christian who lives a good, generous, sensitive life;  with the aspirations of living throughout all eternity in heaven after this life, does indeed develop from within the natural goodness which was always there. 

The perspective differs in that the Christian attributes to God that which I believe is merely natural.  But the process of moral self cultivation of every individual would be most desirable and beneficial for all society, regardless whether the one party does so believing he is merely developing his natural goodness from within, or whether the other party does so in order to do “God’s will”.

And such concludes my thoughts on “The Genuine Goodness of Human Nature and the Christian Perspective”.

Davey Lee