I’m not so big on organized religion, but I cannot deny the common sense of metaphysical thinking. In fact, I figure I’ve got two choices: either to believe there is (or may be) more to life than mere abstract life; or, the physical world is all there is and “survival of the fittest” is the only “natural” rule. The political and social sciences can hem and haw all they want about what (should) motivates us in our private and public lives, but the when all the spin is removed, either there is some kind of judgment and what we do now counts for something later, or there is no judgment – no spirituality -- and I am free to do whatever I figure I can get away with. Which concept I adopt determines what I do in the closet – when no one is looking.
If the latter is true, what is there to keep me from killing, stealing, and, of course, conquering every filly I can get my grubby little hands on? And, left untouched by the possibility of an after-life, I am likely to only be concerned about my public actions only when it benefits me, for this is the state of nature undaunted by religious restrictions.
Humanism and modern, liberal, relativistic thought seems to ignore this reality, presuming that we are by nature good. “They” wish to spread the falsehood that we are not born evil – that we learn to be selfish and rebellious. I wonder, have any of these secularistic philosophical moguls ever spent a day actually observing the behavior of a two-year old child in a crowded sandbox? I firmly believe we are all born evil; that all children are born selfish, thus, bad. (What makes some seem not so bad is an action of our individual DNA mixture- some of us are born to contemplation, which in its most primitive form is fear.)
I am having these rambling thoughts as I sit and contemplate an article about John Lee Malvo’s ultimate fate. His lawyer, Cooley Esq., adamantly argued that the poor boy was molded by John “JA” Muhammad’s charisma and that Malvo – like all children – “are not born evil.” and when such “evil acts” are committed by children we can “trace the acts to the evil that has been performed against them.” What a pile of doo-doo. I am a living example that lessons can be learned; that violence, born in rage, can be an example of what NOT to do. This is, in my opinion, what separates childhood from adulthood- intellectualizing a situation and overcoming primitive desires with thought, foresight, compassion and ingenuity. But today it seems as though childish passion, as opposed to compassion, has stayed with us through our transformation into adulthood (thank you Woodstock).
Truth is, any observant parent can see their child is naturally evil (even though today we ignore this otherwise obvious fact). We are born stingy, self-absorbed, prepared at a moment’s notice to go into fits of rage and discontent, caused by selfishness and fear. Rebellion is built into our character; it’s a way for nature to ensure our survival in the most primitive environment. Our very thoughts are evil, even for us who grew up with culture and civility. Larceny lurks in the hearts of all Men, and often surfaces on multiple occasions on any given day. Only the “rod” keeps us and our evil at bay and allows us to maintain some level of acceptable decorum. Then, if the world is lucky, in our maturing growth process, we learn to accept these moral restrictions and hopefully we hold on to them when we are alone. But we are all born evil.
Let’s take the Death Penalty for example. While I agree in theory that governments must and do have the ultimate authority to kill one of its own, too often we are driven by emotion (thank you MSM) to hate and to fear that which we cannot seem to understand, or face, or control. I honestly think the Death Penalty is used way too often because we know way down deep the rage and lack of control exercised by a killer is really a reflection of what we know all of us have within our own being; instead of facing this human frailty we choose rather to discard its actor in the covered up name of civility. In an odd kind of way, that’s almost humorous- covering our own wickedness with legalized murder. By implementing the Death Penalty we are all still acting as though we are stuck in a sandbox. We choose to believe there is a difference between certain “sins.” Homosexuality, for instance, is worse than lying; really? How does that jive with our Christian roots? At its core, sins are all on an equal basis.
We cannot know what goes on in the minds and hearts of those about to be executed, but we do know a fox hole is seldom occupied by an atheist. The presence of potential imminent death has a way of unclogging our minds- removing the spin of politics and the worldly desire for possessions. Spirituality has a way of bringing us properly into adulthood with a clearer view of what can make us better than what came before. But we must respect the physical past and dream of a spiritual tomorrow.
Thus, I choose to believe. I choose to believe because such is the only “pure” source of hope. And hope is the healer of yesterday and the builder of tomorrow. If anyone somehow finds out that I have lost hope, you’d better give your soul to the Lord, because I’ve dreamed of a million ways to wreak havoc in the hearts of weak-kneed liberals!
Be well my brothers and sisters- remember yesterday, and keep dreaming of tomorrow.