By Jeffrey the Barak
In the story, “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, adults are persuaded to accept a false reality, which is eventually shattered by one little boy, who voices a true observation that instantly makes the adults realize they were following a false path.
I too have my little boy, the eternally young Lamb Borghini, who although tiny and innocent, has a great skill for pointing out the obvious when I am being silly, or when I am wrong. His often repeated mottos include “world peace”, “civil liberties” and “stop global warming”.
His words of course come straight from my wife, a person of great wisdom, and someone who is simply unable to chose to not do the right thing, or not be nice.
But regardless of the true source, Lamb’s philosophy is simple, true and correct, and it can be applied to very much more complicated behavior in world politics. In world politics, leaders are all too often driven by greed, Sadism, spite, hatred, ignorance, fear, aggression and other ugly aspects of human behavior, and the result is, in a word, unfairness.
It is unfair to exploit a person or entity for the gain of another, and it is certainly unfair to hurt or kill others. I mean this is just plain logical common sense. It cannot be justified by observing non-human animals in the competition to survive. Because we humans can conceptualize good and bad, we are then responsible to choose to be good.
Being bad can be mildly harmful, as in the case of the school bully, or very harmful as in the case of the national leader who practices genocide, or anything in-between.
So when looking at the behavior that gives us the most trouble today, I wonder why Lamb’s simple philosophy cannot be applied.
Why would someone use, for example, a religion, to come up with a plan to misinform gullible children and adults about the true reality, and end up making them think that conducting a suicide bombing, can be good, as opposed to bad?
In Africa, generations of normal kids are transformed into fighters who go on rampages, dismembering, raping and murdering other people just like them. Why does any one of them think that this could be anything other than completely wrong? Who is responsible for making this their reality?
It’s too easy to blame religion for everything, although on a broad scale it is hard to find a common violent or dishonest act that is not tied into a certain brand of a particular religion or political movement. But religion is one of the easiest ways to make normal people into evil ones. You see, in order to have religion, you have to have faith, which is essentially a suspension of disbelief. If you can be taught to believe that the approximately three centuries old idea of a magic man who made everything is real, you can apparently also be taught to believe that you should run out and murder all redheads called Joe, because your structure of belief has strayed too far from the path of logic and reality.
And so even leaders of very small groups of people, for example the infamous Charles Manson, can lead hereto normal people into evil acts and cause terrible outcomes.
And yet even people who understand that religion is just a new idea that started a micro-billionth of a moment back in the history of time, can still be murderers, if they do not follow the path of good, which is independent of any movement such as religion etc.
If Lamb’s principals were followed by everyone, there would not be war, murder, gangster violence, racial hatred, repression of female people, or any of the other ugliness that we see around us.
Even if we focus, not on murder and war, but on social and economic issues of everyday government, we see blatantly dishonest people getting their way. A good party with all good intentions cannot make progress in government because an opposition party blocks all their ideas in order to try to get themselves back into power, and this is driven by greed. And this is at government level.
The same philosophy extends down to the mundane. It extends to households, relationships and to a sole individual’s own choices that barely affect anyone else.
If everyone knew Lamb, or if everyone could learn ethics from the purely good kids in the kindergartens, all our evil would pass into history. We would all be…. nice.