Monday, June 26, 2006

Does humanity have the right to argue or debate over what the value of the human being is? What is the need for organized religion? Is it control, or perhaps, is it an organized understanding of unchangeable truth-expressing values?

We live in such an individualistic age that it is almost considered rude for a person to discuss with another as to what the value or meaning of human life is. To think that in an age of such apparent free-mindedness that for people to discuss such a topic would be acceptable is sadly with weak evidence; “free society” labels those whom are open-minded about discussing the deepest natures of the human being, and actually believing what they say and living according to it, as “fundamentalists.” This is to show that the definition of the word “fundamentalist” is misunderstood. A “fundamentalist” is one whom believes in certain fundamental truths, hence “fundamentalist,” and is not to be misunderstood with “extremist,” which is a person whom carries fundamentals to extreme conclusions. Granted, the confusion between the words, the mistake made that turns them into synonyms, has a lot to do with the fierce individualism that is bothered by notions of fixed values. It is a civilization that tries to wriggle its way out of fixed (and therefore limiting) values that seeks to define “fundamentals” as “extremist.” It is a social mechanism of freedom. A society that cannot even understand what “fundamentals” are damages itself and others when it begins to pass value judgments on what “extremism” is; if it is not comfortable, then it is extremism. This is not to say that extremism does not exist, because it does, but a civilization with a moral compass in need of readjusting cannot accurately discern between the two, which has negative repercussions for everyone.

If the members of society cannot openly, freely, and genuinely discuss the deepest and most essential values in an honest manner, are they not then cursed to shallow, superficial living, existing on the surface of the human experience but never delving below into its actual value? Is the lack of desire, or the hesitation to speak about such things in fact a social ailment, which has the ability to severely incapacitate society and all its members? We have the wrong impression that a damaged society dies. This is not true, society continues to trudge along albeit in a damaged state, for as long as human beings exist, then so does society. In a time in American society (at least American society) when it has once again become a value for citizens to question authority and politics, why is it the deepest searchers of political truths that turn a blind eye to the matters of the human spirit and the powerful effect that society has on our being? How can and do they justify the political paradigms and values for which they stand and not the spiritual and religious paradigms of humanity? How can they leave the entire search for human meaning in the hands of politics and not in the hand of spirit? Why do people, intelligent, value-driven people, neglect the soul? Where does the soul meet politics? Is there an intersection? Why is it chic to don bumper stickers with radical political messages but not with radical religious messages? Does politicalism trump religiosity?

We take for granted that murder is something which all humanity considers to be morally objectionable. We fail to see that perhaps “humanity” is a word that does not accurately reflect the human population; if the human population is made up of civilizations which are in debilitating disagreement with each other about the meaning of human existence and its role, then is not the word “humanity” a terrible misnomer? It would be like using the word “brotherhood” when people do not believe that they are family, or “Pan-Arabism” when Arab countries are not unified by any real ideological unity. Which society is to be correct in saying that murder is wrong, and which society provides the authorative definition? Is it by some “nature” that all societies happen to object to murder, or is the concept that murder is wrong an idea that flourishes within the body of humanity and which reaches the corners of the Earth? Is it, to make a contemporary analogy, one of the oldest forms of media in humanity; a value that spreads through some kind of channel, perhaps the ability to speak?

We take for granted that there are fixed values in humanity and fail to understand that there is not much separating what we consider to be fixed values and what are able to change. For example, it has happened countless times in human history when a civilization or society took to murdering another, despite the apparently fixed human value that murder is wrong. To the society, it was clear, a word other than “murder” was appropriate; perhaps “cleansing,” “defense,” or “retaliation.” To the murdered, however, it was just as clear or perhaps more that “murder” was in fact the only appropriate word. We get offended when we are told what is right and wrong and what the inherent value and meaning of the human being is, which means that there are inherently right and wrong behaviors and ways of thinking, but we do not get offended when we are told that murder is wrong; why not? Is that “murder is wrong” not just another value “imposed” on us through our inherited status as human beings and not animals? Is the immorality of murder a human tradition? Are we not free to disagree that murder is wrong? What if we are able to prove it, are we then free to murder? Have their not been several “historical superstars” whom have tried to prove that murder is not wrong? Do we not take that murder is wrong on faith?

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