By Danielle,

If We Were Born Again

5/12/2012 DK 3 Comments

This is something which I have been curious about for a long time: if, somehow, all human beings along with all man-made objects on earth have vanished and a new generation of human beings of the same genetic make-up were to be born into the same (but now bare) earth (which, I guess, is an interesting question on its own: is this possible?), would the 2012th year of that world resemble our world now? Would the international relations, political systems, development of science and technology, and human morality(/moralities) be similar?

I think that once we know an answer to this, the debate on moral relativism and objectivism might be able to near a conclusion, although I don't quite know how. What if that new world is exactly the same as ours - so that morality differs across and within cultures, so that people across the world have not agreed on universal moral truths? Does that mean that we will then be forced to endorse relativism as the truth? Or would we just run into the same dispute all over again?

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  1. No because if you think back humans were once monkeys and in that state if someone stole off you it would have been justifiable to fight, if not kill them.

    Now we would call that 'barbaric'. The truth is, if someone steals off you, you do want to fight them. You just know that there are social and judicial implications if you do so you don't (this doesn't count for all).

    So if that happened, I believe that humans would have to grow to develop the classifications of what is acceptable and what is not.

    I feel that religion would play a part in this. For example ancient civilizations sacrificed living things (both human and animal) to appease the gods. However with the introduction of Christianity it was said that God didn't need anymore sacrifices (I think, pretty sure there is something about Jesus being the last sacrifice that God needed), now if someone was to sacrifice a cat they would be at the hands of the judicial system because (majority of) society doesn't see the need for it.

    Likewise without the current dominant religious system, I feel as if science would also move forward at a more rapid pace than it was allowed with our version of the human race. This is because science can ultimately prove the non-existence of God, or at least point out inaccuracies in the Bible, and because of this science was discouraged and publicly bashed by the then-powerful clergy.

    1. My original post is not considering the Creation theory since I'm not proposing that God recreated humans. So in this case, although I'm a firm believer in God, I will employ an atheist's point of view and consider that religions are man-made "fantasies" (or of similar kind).

      Even then, I find it hard to disassociate humankind from religions. Religions have been around from the beginning of time. And if there is no such thing as God and if religions were merely created by humankind, then we ought to look at the possible reasons why this was so.
      My theory is that with little knowledge of the world and complete dependence on nature, humans were prone to believe in a higher power which could guide them - hence, carrying out sacrifices of humans and animals for rain, etc.
      Additionally, since we were not born into already "civilised" societies with legal systems and moral codes and so on, they had to be created for the harmonious living of all beings. And what better way to create and enforce so-called "morality" than to believe in a creature who judges, rewards and punishes? Thus, this would have been when and how the concepts/rules of right and wrong were established.

      With the complete elimination of religion(s), though, we would have to take an alternative approach to morality. I believe that this type of religiously independent moral codes would not distinguish between right and wrong. Rather, it would merely classify beneficial and non-beneficial acts for humankind and nature - since there is nobody telling them what's right and wrong.
      For example, the concept of murder would not be "wrong" but inconvenient since it causes fear and physical and psychological 'harm'.

      On the other hand, when we look at our judicial systems and human rights and so on, there is an undeniable consistency with religious "rules" - do not murder/steal/threaten, etc. It's my theory that these have originated from religious beliefs.

      To sum up, I'm not promoting religion and that humans are disfunctional without it. I completely agree with you that if there were no religions, human morality would differ from what we had/have in this world.
      Instead, I'm asking whether it is possible for humans not to create some sort of higher power whose guidelines we can live by: Would it be possible for right and wrong to be firmly established? Would a religion-less world be necessarily more harmonious than a religious world, or would it be a more confused world?

  2. Note that when I talk about religion and Christianity this is with only Western Culture in mind.