Friday, December 07, 2007

Human vulnerability

People sometimes ask me why I make such a big deal out of religion. I admit, it would be easier to ignore it but I can't. It's not religion that offends me as much as the downgrading of human sentiment that must naturally ensue from religious belief. Religious people have to acknowledge a mystical being as the ultimate. I disagree. Humanity is the ultimate. Each and every one of us, our individuals selves, our combination as families and communities, that is the ultimate.

Even that doesn't fully answer the question though. There's more to it, and I don't know what it is. But this quote, from Martha Nussbaum (ironically, not an agnostic or atheist philosopher) really resonated with me:

... we are such that we can be robbed of the things we love most in an instant, and that if we're going to plan for life we just don't know whether that plan can be carried out...

It's a very simple point, one might almost say trite, and yet it starts to stab at the crux of what it is to be human, and why I want all philosophy, all politics, all society, all interaction to be based on that common, vulnerable, beautiful humanity. That is why I have no time for sky-ghosts.

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