You are not the prisoners of context. You are not the prisoners of your own bodies. You don't have to be.
You can transcend this interaction. You can transcend stimulus-response. You can transcend your impulses and urges.
Set yourselves free. You have the key to your attitude. How will you confront the world? How will you defend yourself from the onslaught of circumstance?
You have the power to change. You have the power to stop. You have the power to start over. Will you allow yourselves the opportunity to become something greater than yourself?
Christians say that Jesus died for your sins. What exactly did Jesus change? Did he change the environment? Did he change the laws of genetics? Did he stop complexity arising from simplicity?
How did you and I get here? We evolved. To such great hands does the creator of the Universe entrust its creation! Our current state is the direct result of doing whatever we could to survive.
Fighting, fear and fate. These are the masters of billions of years of natural selection. We have been engineered to survive. You have been engineered to become amoral beings. To be or not to be.
That is the sole moral law of our universe. Every act you consider good is only designed to ensure a fair chance of survival. Every wrong you do is wrong because it hurts another survivor. What's the difference?
Everyone wants to survive. What's fair to me is what I could get in my position if I were you. It's easy to deny someone else. It's preferable to look out for number one. Let me repeat: to be or not to be is the moral law.
However, you are not the hostage of fortune. This is the good news. You can be better by cooperating. You can transcend your fortune. You can defy fate. You can master probability. Do you want to transcend your own mere survival?
We can create a better legacy. You do not have to be controlled by your environment. You do not have to be consumed by your urges and impulses. You each have the ability to question everything you do. Inquiry is the ultimate path to transcendence.
This post found inspiration in Muse's song "Uprising" and in The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Friday, January 1, 2010
There is a new organization on the block - the Foundation Beyond Belief - that I am proud to bring to your attention. Foundation Beyond Belief will represent and coordinate charitable and educational efforts intended to demonstrate and encourage the generosity and compassion of atheists, humanists, and other freethinkers. The Foundation will also provide a comprehensive education and support program for non-theistic parents.
Foundation Beyond Belief will highlight ten different charitable organizations every quarter. All contributions each quarter will be directed toward these charities - however, individual donors can direct their contributions toward any of the organizations which are featured. You can join as a Member by making an automatic charitable contribution each month in the amount of your choice.
The featured charities may be affiliated with or founded on any worldview as long as they do not proselytize. I believe that the Foundation Beyond Belief can be and will be a tremendous resource not only for atheists and humanists, but for all the people who will be positively affected through the actions of the charitable organizations which are the beneficiaries of the Foundation Beyond Belief.
Members of the public may not realize that many people who are not religious also feel the desire to help other people through philanthropy. Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, two of the world's most notable philanthropists, are non-believers. When you watch the suffering all around you in this world, there's a desire to act and to help someone else achieve a better life for themselves. How could you not see the suffering? How could you not want for your fellow human beings the opportunities that you've had for yourself? It's simple, but profound, empathy and compassion.
I am proud to be able to bring news of this Foundation to my readers. Here's a brief video which explains and elaborates many of the details of the Foundation Beyond Belief: