tinkll1 (tinkll1) wrote,

Navel Gazing... or Quoting One's Self

I'm a little embarrassed to say this, but I was inspired to say something profound. To me, anyway. I was leafing through interests, having exhausted Spitfires, pretty much, and terribly disappointed with Single Payer Health Care, so I went on to Secular Humanism and found theendoffaith and a posting from Sam Harris' latest book, "Letter to a Christian Nation." I read a few comments, not in a class with Sam, so I thought I could do better. Hence:

Defining What is "Good"

This was one of those burning questions that made late adolescence such a churning, intense adventure. Fortunately, in a parallel universe, there came to be the philosophy of Existentialism, and, though I am not qualified to launch a scholarly dissertation on the subject, I think I can sum it up, briefly.

You were born! You exist, at least in your own perceptions of your interaction with what your senses tell you are around you. You have a given human makeup and a built-in predisposition to mammalian social structure. You were succored by other mammals of the same species and learned your place in a social structure, an later learned that you are a unit in a larger structure.... family, tribe, nation, etc. You have learned that you cooperate and that you compete, and that survival is dependent upon acquiring values that contribute to that survival.... education, material resources, spiritual resources, money, amongst them.

So what's good.... in the long view, those things that contribute to the survival of the species. In the Hebrew toast
"L'Chaim!" To life.... so, I've been a physician for 45 years, and I feel I can trust myself to know what is good! I must credit the cultural values of Jewish cultural upbringing, though I have evolved into the mantle of a Jewish Secular Humanist Atheist. And, I know "Good," when I see it.... and "BAD," too!

I feel better, now. That's GOOD!
Tags: atheism, existentialism, sam harris, secular humanism
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