Trying to communicate about the sacred when beliefs are in conflict



To my surprise, Lynn answered my letter of November 28, regarding her “If You Don’t Believe in God, then Sit Down and Shut-up” forward. Here is her response, followed by my answer.

Hi,

I received your post some days ago but didn't want to send just some flippant response since you obviously spent some time composing your message.

Of course your points are very valid that along the way in history many people in the minority had to speak up in order to be heard and to direct change. In all the instances you list, the minority was suffering great injustices--personal and physical harm, not to mention fear. No one would dispute that.

At least for me, the point of the original post was that the voice of the American majority is being silenced because a few in the minority are offended. I read the article to point to the cases where law suits have been filed against school prayer (which may or may not be valid--I don't think it should be shoved down anyone's throat but if you want to pray, man, you're going to find a way to do it so why can't we all join in? If you don't want to you do what my nephew does when he attends Catholic church and doesn't kneel, sit in the pew and let others pray on their knees. It's called respect.) Other suits have been filed against public display of the ten commandments, which are the cornerstone of our laws. Why can't we put them on the courthouse wall? I personally don't think the founding fathers meant that religion and government should be totally separate. What I think they meant was that the government couldn't force you to attend a particular church or church at all if you didn't want to. However, I don't think they meant that you could say “Because I don't like this then the MAJORITY has to stop.” I don't believe in celebrating Jewish or Muslim holidays but I think they have a right to celebrate them.

Here’s the deal. I teach in a public school, and I can't teach the true meaning of Christmas without it being in the context of Christmas around the world! Should one of Christianity’s most sacred holidays be reduced to Santa Claus and sugar cookies? And don’t even think about Easter and its true meaning. Stick to bunnies and eggs and everything’s ok.

We spend time learning about Kwanza and Hanukkah and Ramadan and Eid, which is valuable to our culture exchange. This, too, is called respect. It helps us know where others are coming from. Why not the same treatment toward Christian holidays and literature? If we're all going to “just get along” then we should all take part in learning about each other.

I’m not sure why it is that lately the “minority” is offended by Christian doctrine that has been a part of this country since its inception. If it has worked this long (“in God we trust” on our money; “one nation under God” in our pledge; the Ten Commandments in public) why is it all of a sudden politically correct to stand against those things? Who does this hurt? We aren’t talking slavery or Nazism or genocide here. We are talking about retaining a core value system that used to mean something in America.

So, perhaps telling them to sit down and shut up is harsh. Yet, that is exactly what Christians are being told to do. Are you saying that it is our turn? Are you saying that, by demanding that our Christian heritage keep its place in our society we are somehow creating an injustice for those who don't believe?

Lynn


Dear Lynn,

I am honored by the time you put into presenting your thoughts. I had much rather hear from someone who respectfully challenges me to think than from someone who merely echoes my opinions. I will take the liberty of responding somewhat. I don't know if you are interested in hearing more of my thoughts on the subject, so no reply is anticipated, although one would be welcomed.

“…the ten commandments, which are the cornerstone of our laws.”

The first four of the Ten Commandments concern our relationship with God, yet God was not mentioned in the Constitution (despite tremendous pressure to do so) because the goal was a secular government. Of the other six commandments—the ones that relate to our relationships with one another—the Israelites didn’t need to be told that murder, theft, lying, greed, adultery, and contempt for one’s parents, harmed the social order because people everywhere already knew this.

“I don’t think they [the founding fathers] meant that you could say, “Because I don’t like this then the MAJORITY has to stop.’”

Are you saying that you would accept without protest the removal of every mention of God from money, public buildings, legislative prayers, the Pledge of Allegiance, and so forth if that was what the majority wanted? While I agree with you that attempts to accomplish such an end often seem frivolous and unnecessarily divisive, I feel the same way about attempts to make such references more widespread.

“I teach in a public school, and I can’t teach the true meaning of Christmas without it being in the context of Christmas around the world!’”

Almost every culture has created holidays that coincide with the winter solstice and the spring equinox, and our present push toward political correctness and multiculturalism has made such subjects very difficult for teachers. I too get tired of the turmoil. Fire stations here in Eugene can no longer have Christmas trees because a Wiccan complained that they are Christian symbols that remind her of witch burnings.

“I’m not sure why it is that lately the ‘minority’ is offended by Christian doctrine that has been a part of this country since its inception. If it has worked this long (‘in God we trust’ on our money; ‘one nation under God’ in our pledge; the Ten Commandments in public) why is it all of a sudden politically correct to stand against those things?”

“In God We Trust” first appeared on coins in 1864 and on paper money in 1957. It didn’t appear on the flags of Georgia and Florida or on the license plates of Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina and Ohio until THIS century. “One nation under God” was also a latecomer, not appearing in the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954.

Both believers and nonbelievers have always protested these slogans (Teddy Roosevelt wrote, “[It is] my very firm conviction that to put such a motto on coins…does positive harm, and is in effect irreverence, which comes dangerously close to sacrilege... it seems to me eminently unwise to cheapen such a motto by use on coins, just as it would be to cheapen it by use on postage stamps, or in advertisements.” –What would he say about putting God on a muddy old car tag?!) Yet, even if no one had protested religious references 100 years ago, why would that preclude a person’s right to protest them today?

“…perhaps telling them to sit down and shut up is harsh. Yet, that is exactly what Christians are being told to do. Are you saying that it is our turn?”

No. I was instead reacting to the implied demand that anyone be denied freedom of speech. I don’t feel strongly about the issue itself one way or the other since I see it as symbolic rather than substantive. You obviously see it as substantive, as do those who bring suit against such references.

Now for a bit of a footnote. I belong to the Masons and the IOOF. Both lodges require a belief in God, but they don’t define what God is. I define God as the awe that I feel toward numerous things including nature, art, and music. I furthermore define God as existing in the intimacy I share with other people (and even animals) and in such virtues as compassion and courage. To many of my fellow lodge members, I would be an atheist, yet I do not regard myself as an atheist because my “spirituality” is of supreme importance to me. Yours is of supreme importance to you, and I envy you the comfort that your belief in a benevolent God and in an eternal heaven must bring. You believe that, in the end, all things will go according to a divine plan, and I do not.

My lodges don’t, so far as I know, say why a belief in God is essential. I’m sure one reason is that the word God is often mentioned in our rituals. I have no problem with this. In fact, I very much enjoy religious observances and, for several years served as chaplain in one of my lodges. Do I believe then that some powerful being heard the prayers I led? No, but I do believe that lodge prayers are a way of affirming our values and bonding us together. If we had a member who said, “Hell no, I’m not going to take part in praying and, in fact, I’m going to try to put an end to it,” that unity would be disrupted. For my part, I would wonder why he joined in the first place and why he was making such a big deal out of such a small thing since he would have the same freedom we all have to define God. But lodges are private institutions that belong only to their members; the government belongs to us all.

I suspect that my lodges also require a belief in God for another reason, and to that one I would object strenuously. I suspect that our founders felt that a belief in a supernatural lawgiver was essential to morality, and that it never occurred to them that people such as myself who have no such belief would join. I would say to them that we don’t need God to tell us that it is wrong to rape, steal, or murder, and I would even suggest that, if a divine voice should thunder from the heavens telling us that these things were okay after all, that voice would be wrong.

I see no positive connection between a belief in a supernatural lawgiver and morality, although—as with the Ten Commandments—moral precepts are often put into the mouth of a deity in an attempt to give them more weight. It is my observation that this is more likely to lead to evil than to good. Moslems are notable today for doing dreadful things in the name of their deity, but for hundreds of years both Christians and Israelis behaved just as badly. If the evil of one exceeded that of the other, it was not because the one was more vicious but because it found more people to oppress.

It is commonly said that these religions were not to blame for the evil done in their name. I deny this totally for I have read the Bible, and I know very well what vile words it puts into the mouth of God. It was one such passage that, at age twelve, set me on a road that led away from Christianity. Moses, at God’s command, has sent the Israelites to annihilate one of the many tribes that already occupied the land that God “gave” the Jews. Utter destruction, even down to the animals, was the rule during such attacks, but here God made an exception:

"Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves." (Numbers 31: 17-18)


And with this cheery verse, I will leave you for now. Again, I thank you for your reply. Even though we disagree in many ways, I am honored to hear your thoughts.

18 comments:

Caitlin Dale said...

Just a question.
You say that we do not need a Supreme being to tell us that murder is wrong. or lying, stealing, etc... I just wonder what you mean by "wrong". Do you believe that there is a "absolute wrong" or "absolute right"? If so, what is it based on? I agree, typically, people instinctively understand that to take another human life is wrong. But why?
What if there were a group of people with contrasting moral values who believe that murder is acceptable? Are they wrong? Who says? I can totally relate to people who either do not believe in "God" or a supreme being. But what I can never get past is the question of what determines such a person's understanding of morality.

~Caitlin

Snowbrush said...

I would say that it is absolutely wrong to intentionally harm another person without a good reason. A good reason could mean many things--self-defense, a dentist pulling a tooth, etc.

Why is it absolutely wrong to harm another person without a good reason? Because no normal human being could think otherwise. It is wired into us as a social species. Okay then, how about things that large numbers of people did believe were right that we now see as indisputably wrong, things like slavery. I would say that slave holders rationalized, that if they had been acting out of normal human feeling rather than for profit, they would not have seen slavery as right. The fact that any number of people do wrong does not mean that right does not exist.

Could you ever, do you think, believe that it was right for your husband to beat you or molest your children? Even if God (as you understand God) said it was right, would you take his word for it, or would you denounce him as a monster? When I was in that church class at age twelve and read that verse, I was heartsick because I could not reconcile a good God with a horrid act. I could not say that, well, if God said it was okay, then it must have been okay even if everything within me says it was wrong. Instead, I began to move toward thinking that, even if God really did order children to be murdered and virgins to be used for the gratification of soldiers, then that God was evil and didn't deserve my worship.

Bill said...

"Because no normal human being could think otherwise."

What is normal? Is that not a culturally defined term? Are we not socialized into a particular cultural definition of "normal"?

Yes, the acts of the Israelites in the OT do seem to go against the commands of what a benevolent God would be, but much of this writing is 3000 years old. To the writer of the particular verse you quote, partaking in the spoils of war would have seemed "normal" given the times. While I do find the acts committed against women in time of war to be VERY horrid and despicable acts, they are judged from contemporary standards. Throughout much of history, it was "normal" to engage in frequent war and it was "normal" to subjugate women.

"The fact that any number of people do wrong does not mean that right does not exist."

But, according to your definition of what is right being that which a normal human being would see is right, there are several constructions of what is right. Go to China, Japan, India, or Africa. There are vastly different social constructs of what it means to be normal, and per you definition, what is morally right. Which one is absolute, or are they all equal in spite of the inherent contradictions between one construct of what is right to another?

Respectfully.

Snowbrush said...

Hey, Bill, what you doing coming round my blog giving me a hard time? I thought I was the one who was supposed to go around your blog and give you a hard time.

I was unaware that parts of the O.T. were 3,000 years old. I had thought it was all less than 1,500. I'll enjoy doing some research about that.

I think "normal" expands beyond the various cultures and into our species. It's the details that are the issue. For instance, women in some cultures would marry at an age at which they would be still be considered children in others, but where is the culture that would consider sex with a girl who was years away from puberty to be appropriate?

Even though taking women from other tribes might have had survival value in primitive cultures, my point was that the Israelites used God to sanction it. So, did he sanction it or did he not? And how about his standing commands related to stoning--stoning an animal to death if that animal was sexually abused by a man; stoning witches; stoning homosexuals. stoning anyone caught working on the Sabbath; stoning children who talked back to their parents? Talk about your law and order society!

"There are vastly different social constructs of what it means to be normal..."

Remember Maslowe's Hierarchy in which higher needs can only be addressed after lower needs are met? "Normal" in parts of Africa right now would include 14 year old boys wiping out villages with AK-47s. But that not mean that mass murder by children is normal behavior for our species anymore than cannibalism is normal. Both are acts that are sometimes committed by desperate people in abnormal situations. The fact that we human beings have what I believe is a common impulse to observe certain moral standards does not mean that we are incapable of not observing these standards. Then there are those of us who are truly deranged--sociopaths like Stalin who lack any moral sense and can do any horrible thing to anyone at anytime without any qualms or any regrets. These are the people who lack that to which I refer, and it robs them of a basic requirement for full membership in the human species.

Snowbrush said...

P.S. to Bill. I mistakenly read 3,000 B.C. instead of what you actually wrote which was 3,000 years ago.

Bill said...

"So, did he sanction it or did he not?"

By now it is somewhat obvious that we each view the Scriptures from different perspectives. You approach them from a more Protestant perspective and criticize as such. I do not think he would have sanctioned it, hence the importance of viewing the Bible, especially the OT, from its proper cultural and historical context. Seeing as the texts were written hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of years after the events they purport to have occurred, I do not think they can be held accountable from historical accuracy.

I think we need to look at the intended message behind the meaning of the words. The true message is the illustration of Israel's favored status with God, not the sanction of such horrid acts. Keep in mind that God punishes and admonishes the Israelites all throughout the OT. As for the issues with the Jewish law, you would have to speak with a Jewish person about that, but I do not know of any Jew who takes the law quite that literally.

My thoughts might seem scattered and poorly developed. I am not in much of a thinking mode tonight.

Caitlin Dale said...

"Because no normal human being could think otherwise. It is wired into us as a social species."

So, just trying to understand you,you sort of advocate morality from a biological standpoint? Because we are a social species, this is why we think it is wrong to kill a person without good cause?

I agree that we are a social species and that, in our beginnings, over 100,000 years ago, to kill another human could have been devastating to the survival of our species as we needed all the numbers we could get. But now, by that logic, would you say we have a good reason to kill others as high numbers are no longer an asset but a supposed detriment to our species? Given that there are significant concerns about over population and maximum carrying capacity issues? Wouldn't you still think is was "wrong" to kill someone, even in that situation? I think most people still would say is was wrong.

I agree that "Murder is wrong" is wired into us but probably not in the same way you do.

Snowbrush said...

"Because we are a social species, this is why we think it is wrong to kill a person without good cause?"

I suspect that the root of the sanction against murder is both biological and social. If the social order is not maintained. everything that makes it desirable to live in society (from sewer systems to universities) will grind to a halt. Think Sarajevo.

"...would you say we have a good reason to kill others as high numbers are no longer an asset..."

Aside from a lot of significant downsides, simply killing people off would be terribly inefficient given the huge number that are born each day. I do favor birth control and forced sterilization where appropriate.

Snowbrush said...

"I do not think they can be held accountable from historical accuracy."

Well. How's a person to decide what is historically true and what is not? I should think God would have made things a little clearer.

Caitlin Dale said...

So do you think that torturing a person is morally wrong? Abuse? I understand that it disrupts social order but that is not quite the same thing as being inherently wrong. This is purely hypothetical, but if one could torture and murder without disrupting society or bring civilized life to a stop, would you still believe it to be "wrong"? See I cannot get past the idea that any thing that is "absolute" could be man made. I do not at all expect everyone to believe in my God, but I find it hard to believe that someone could justify a belief in absolute wrong or right without out some sort of directive, external behind it. Otherwise, on whose authority is it right or wrong? Your own? Your societies? I know many moral people who do not believe in God...I just cannot wrap my mind around how those morals or absolutes are arrived at or justified.

Bill said...

"Well. How's a person to decide what is historically true and what is not? I should think God would have made things a little clearer."

Well I would counter that with my Catholicism. God is smart enough to set up an authority to interpret a complicated piece of literature like Scripture, the Church. But the fact of the matter is that the Bible is not intended to be read like a historical textbook. I believe you often approach it from this false angle in your criticism of it. If I were to use this approach, I would have a legitimate argument in which I could criticize Shakespeare for his ahistorical renderings of certain historical events. But, Shakespeare did not intend his works to be history textbooks, nor does God with the Scriptures, as we all know. How can one criticize a work based on its historical merit when it was not written to convey literal history, rather theological realities?

Snowbrush said...

"I understand that it disrupts social order but that is not quite the same thing as being inherently wrong."

We have embarked upon a subject that could fill a book, so anything I say will suffer from somewhat from brevity.

With that introduction...I think that many things can be right despite their disruption to the social order, for example revolution against a tyrannical government. I was not referring to some kind of social pragmatism (the greatest good for the greatest number), but rather to the importance of not bringing such negative qualities as pain or fear into the life of another person without good reason. While locking someone away because they had committed a crime would bring fear into that person's heart; the act of locking them away would still be justified. Locking someone away for ransom so you could become rich would not be justified.

People are not a means to a private end(s), and we (I) bring a lot of grief into the lives of others and into my own life when I forget that. I do it all the time if I don't catch myself. For example, just by regarding a clerk in a store or in a doctor's office as a resource rather than first thinking of them as a human being involves treating them as a means to an end. Sure, I might need them to tell me where the shirts are, but I can still SEE them; I can still keep my heart OPEN to them. Otherwise, they are nothing more than a machine to me, a machine that might take some social manipulation and finesse to be sure, but hardly a whole person. Life is too short for that. There is too much good to be done, and there is no second chance to anything.

The disruption of the social order is a serious act because people have a right to rely on the social order for services and security, but the over-riding consideration is the right of the individual to be safe in his or her person aside from and as a prerequisite to the well-being of the social order.

"I find it hard to believe that someone could justify a belief in absolute wrong or right without out some sort of directive, external behind it."

This goes back to the idea that right is not right and wrong is not wrong because God ordains it but because a fair-minded person could not think otherwise. Of course, there will still be disagreement, but there is disagreement even among those who believe in God (look at capital punishment, thoughts about national boundaries, what to do about poverty, whether a given war is just or unjust, etc.). This was one of my early problems with the Bible. I thought that, okay, if God wants us to do such and such or doesn't want us to do such and such; why didn't he make it clear. Why did he leave so much room for so many legitimate disagreements?

"God is smart enough to set up an authority"--Bill

You, dear Bill. have firm views on many things that I either have serious doubts about or look upon as being arguable from different perspectives. These views are often--it seems to me--so firm and so obvious to you that you begin your exploration about other things based upon the assumption these first things are true.

"But the fact of the matter is that the Bible is not intended to be read like a historical textbook. I believe you often approach it from this false angle in your criticism of it."

Here, Bill, is an instance of what I am talking about. You speak with authority when you say that my outlook is false. Yet, I do not consider the authority of your outlook obvious (I'm not even completely sure what it is), and I know that you do not understand what my outlook is. As I see it, the historical church has not only seen the Bible as reliable history but as reliable science. Okay, it is neither. I know that. There is no doubt about that. In this, you and I agree. The problem then is in deciding what parts are reliable and what parts are not. In regard to history especially, it is not all or the other. You and I also agree that God did not tell people to murder married women and children and keep the virgins for themselves. You don't believe it because, I think, the church says it didn't happen. Okay, so in deciding what is factually true, you look to the church for your authority. Is that correct? Yet, the church has sometimes changed its mind. The church taught that the earth is flat. Eventually, it was forced to retreat before science on that one. This is how I view the authority of the church in such matters. It will, at times, set forth a position and maintain it until most of the academic world disagrees. Then it changes its views, and says that, well, the Bible wasn't intended to present history accurately or the Bible was speaking metaphorically instead of literally.

Before reaching the conclusion that the church is a reliable authority on anything whatever, you have to have given your intellectual assent to, perhaps, thousands of other propositions that I do not assent to. This makes it very hard for two people such as you and me to debate intelligently about some matters--our starting points are simply too far apart. Yet, I am very much interested in knowing what your thoughts are.

Okay, so why does it even matter whether any of the Bible is historically accurate? For many good reasons, I think. For instance, in the passage about saving the virgins, well, the fact that such commands were put into the mouth of God tells us what kind of God is being presented. You say that God never made such commands. Well, okay, how do you know that the writers of the Bible didn't mean for us to believe he did--or does the intent of the writers not matter? And if they (the writers) were mistaken about it or if they meant it metaphorically, then what are we to take away from the passage other than confusion, other than my age-old wish that God had given us a clearer picture. There is also the thought that, okay, if God didn't say this, then what about other things that he supposedly said that I find pretty awful. All the stuff about hell, for example. Are giving a thief more than he came for. Or obeying whatever civil government you find yourself stuck with because all governments are ordained by God, etc. Unless I accept the authority of a church hierarchy (a hierarchy that has changed its mind from time to time) to tell me what God really said, the Bible looks more and more like a book that is anything but divinely inspired.

Caitlin Dale said...

"This goes back to the idea that right is not right and wrong is not wrong because God ordains it but because a fair-minded person could not think otherwise."

You keep referencing fair minded people. And the idea that, fair minded people will always somehow come back to idea that hurting someone else for an unjustified reason is wrong ( even if "justifications" vary). But this is so interesting to me...because you are touching on the idea that there is "something" within every human being that knows this is "wrong"...or perhaps recognizes an eternal truth? I see it, as human beings are a reflection of God,that there are certain "truths" written on our hearts or hard wired into our brains if that is more comfortable for you. So who or what did the writing/programming? Why (within limits) do we all seem to come to the same conclusion? One need not believe in the Judeo-Christian God to admit or see that there are somethings we all recognize when we see them...What does that mean to you?

Also you talked about not seeing humans as a means to an end. I absolutely agree. But why is that important? Why should we value the "humanity" of other people, if we are nothing but really smart, bipedal primates? Or do you think we are more than that? And if you do, why?

And something else I notice...sometimes it seems that you see God as some sort of a dictator who just declares something and we are expected to assimilate to the declaration. I see him more as a conscious, creative force. Alpha and Omega. I am getting a tattoo of those symbols next month ;)And I happen to believe he loves creation (us..the world)...but there is a balance to this universe...there is both good and bad happening...
Honestly,I've seen quite a bit of "bad" in my short 23 years...but that does not make me think that there is no God, or eternal goodness in the universe, or that God is not benevolent...

This was much longer than I intended it to be.

Bill said...

"This makes it very hard for two people such as you and me to debate intelligently about some matters--our starting points are simply too far apart."

Totally agreed. I knew that with my last post, we would probably run into issues furthering this discussion based solely off of that.

"You don't believe it because, I think, the church says it didn't happen."

No, I believe it because reading the Bible as a history textbook just does not logically make sense to me. It needs to be read as a work of literature taking into account the author's intentions. The authors of the biblical books were not concerned usually with relaying accurate history.

"As I see it, the historical church has not only seen the Bible as reliable history but as reliable science."

To an extent, but the Church has always had a developing view of Scripture and faith, reevaluation when necessary, as slow as that process might sometimes be.

"The church taught that the earth is flat. Eventually, it was forced to retreat before science on that one."

Yet, the Church had no issue with the discussion of the possible "roundness" of the earth or its possible orbit around the sun. The issue was only the appropriate context for debating such developments. Look at the Galileo case. The Church took no issue with heliocentrism, only with Galileo's methods and approach.

"Unless I accept the authority of a church hierarchy (a hierarchy that has changed its mind from time to time) to tell me what God really said, the Bible looks more and more like a book that is anything but divinely inspired."

I think your biggest problem, please correct me if I am wrong, is that biblical interpretation, the Christian religion, what have you, are not all clear-cut. There is no black and white, but shades of gray. Correct interpretation is required. You want a, lucid, black and white picture which requires no interpretation and merely is what it is at surface value. By all means, please correct me if I am wrong. You are correct in saying that we are a thousand miles apart, which makes discussion difficult at times, especially this discussion.

Historically, I see a Church which has been slow to change, yet open to change and adaptation. Its prior positions on certain scientific issues are not that big of a deal to me as the purpose of the Church is not science, but faith. Yes, it once held that the world was flat, among other things, but this was before there were adequate scientific explanations. It has always come around to science in the end. I view the conservative nature of the Church to be a positive characteristic. On the most important matters, faith, it has never really wavered or reversed itself.

Snowbrush said...

"So who or what did the writing/programming?"

You posit God. I posit evolution. By way of metaphor, Peggy is more that a bit paranoid about some things. For example, she collects clothing buttons and has thousands of them. If she can't find a particular button after an intensive search, she will worry that someone broke into the house and stole it. This is certainly an adequate explanation, but there are simpler and more likely explanations--such as that the vacuum cleaner ate it. So do I regard the explanation of God as the instiller of moral values.

"...sometimes it seems that you see God as some sort of a dictator"

I see the God that is portrayed in the value as a dictator. I do not see God as he exists as a dictator, my God being closer to the one of Spinoza.

Snowbrush said...

",,,reading the Bible as a history textbook just does not logically make sense to me. It needs to be read as a work of literature"

Is there no need then to believe that any of the events portrayed Bible are historically accurate?

Strayer said...

Many other animals besides humans exhibit what we might term values. Dogs giving up their lives to save their owner, or even another dog. Tight knit close families in feral cat colonies, many many examples. So do they get their value systems by belief in a god? Who knows, maybe they do. I don't know. I do know we humans think we're special and immune in many ways, "god protected" and I believe this has led to many problems for our future and our interactions between one another and between cultures.

Snowbrush said...

Did you hear about the Brazilian dog that drug another dog out of traffic after it was hit by a car? It's on youtube.