Thursday, February 09, 2006

Right and Wrong and Who Cares?

I would say that nature is amoral, and if you consider humans as just a different or more evolved animal, then humans too are amoral, as are all living things.

Questions of right and wrong are fictions to amoral life, for only survival and comfort matters. And comfort can take various forms, for say a rabbit, being free from the eyes of a predator may be enough, for a tiger, comfort may be the excitement of sinking teeth into the neck of an antelope and tasting hot blood and anticipating the coming meal, or comfort for an amoral human may be health, wealth, good sex, and all the security and distractions that money can buy.

Morals don’t come into play unless one believes in a higher power -- God. Without a belief in God, then morals are simply learned experience for keeping folks under control, and thereby keeping the comfort levels high for the greatest number of folks.

Morals kick into play when one believes in God, and then rights and wrongs have real meaning. Even if we must kill animals to survive, and it must be done day in and day out, this doesn’t lessen the importance in remembering what is actually taking place.

So to care about what one eats is to care about the pigs or the cows or the chickens or the corn plants or the stalks of wheat that were sacrificed for us to survive.

The prayer before a meal, at its center, is an acknowledgment to God that we understand that the plant or animal that we are about to consume was sacrificed on our behalf. I suppose it is all about living in the moment, especially when a feast is before us and the anticipation of what is to come—the T-bone steak or the spicy taco with salsa or the barrel of chicken wings—so the prayer prior to the feast keeps us moment-centered and may even transform the simple meal to the sacred.

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