I'm enjoying your answers. Here's a few more questions:
1.>Who decides what is good and what is evil?
What is good for one is, by general default, evil for another.
This cannot be lumped into the category of "Universal Good or Universal Truth," as this is entirely dependent on perspective.
If we can apply human emotions to animals for a moment . . .
2.>How does the rabbit view the hawk diving toward it with its talons spread?
3.>In human society, killing another human is generally considered evil. However, if that killing is committed for the purpose of preventing the person who is being killed from committing untold atrocities, could the killing be considered good?
It would depend upon your point of view.
Even the Samurai, who were generally Buddhists and thereby theoretically opposed to killing, were able to justify this exception.
4.>Let's further say only for the sake of this discussion (I'm not going to say one way or the other what I really believe as it is not relevant at this point), that I am an Atheist. Not only do I not believe in God, I don't believe in ANY type of god, gods, or supreme power of any sort. I believe that we are mere accidents, flukes, of a cosmos that has no beginning, no end, and no creator. Further, I resent those who tell me that I MUST adopt their beliefs, because I am preventing the development of a perfect God Conscious World.
Let's say (again, simply for the sake of this conversation only) I have no interest in "seeing the light," or being "saved," as I am utterly happy right where I am. As a bonus, I'm not going to try to convince anyone else to follow my path.
Am I evil?
If, as you say, I am "identified by my screams of protest," should I be killed because of my beliefs? Or, will the God Conscious people practice what they preach? I am willing to live and let live. Are they? Or is my mere existence an abomination? I think it says somewhere in the Bible that "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live."
I'm honestly interested to hear your thoughts.
I think the last part of this excerpt might interest you. It's rated R, so my apologies if you find the language offensive in a spot or two: http://sparkwords.wordpress.com/2008/02/11/transcript-from-an-excerpt-of-bill-hicks'-"revelations"-performance-at-the-dominion-theater-in-london-september-1993/
1. Your question comes from a conditioning that keeps us from understanding either. "Who is to decide"? It will never be the decision of any one, but what we will learn from the many once we allow them to speak. Good is that from which all can, regardless of their lot in life, experience fulfillment and freedom in that state free of fear, worry, stress or guilt. In short, allowes to "live" and grow. The individual "decides what that is without being forced to think differently to satisfy the wants of another.
2. I never, ever go there. I am not an animal. I can assume to know, but to equate that behavior to justify man's will always be off limits to me by choice. It serves no purpose but to justify "animal like" behavior in man that is due to entirely different reasons.
3.> The mind "abused" is capable of justifying the most horrific atrocities. To kill one so afflicted is a necessary evil if we are unable to connumicate with that mind. In most cases all we can do is either eliminate it, chemically disable it, or lock it away from the reality that created it. In any case, none solve the problem. Death is the most vicious in that it is motivated by an evil itself, revenge, in and of itself, a human frailty.
The only solution is to eliminate the "abuse" that caused that mind to go "haywire". We will never no on an individual basis what that is, for the accused don't know themselves. They are also innocent victims who haven't a clue why they think the way they do. We "will" eliminate the abuse all together once we as human beings treat other human beings as human beings.
So to answer your question, the situation should have never existed. For we are all culpable in that we do not communicate as human beings. Once we do we will eliminate those reasons those minds went "haywire". Until we do, I'm afraid you ain't seen nothing yet as to what the mind of madness is capable of.
4. Don't take it personally. I am just like you. I cannot follow the dictates of others. But let me also state I am not a selfish person in any respect for I have realized he reward one gets from considering others before self. My happiness is not at the expense of others. I find joy in aiding others to find meaning to their lives as best I can in this reality. That gives me a joy that is hard to describe, in mine. A meaning that has nothing to do with egotistical attainments of self achievement. If I excel in any given endeavor, I feel it is imcumbent on me to aid others to excel in that same field. In that respect we all benefit as we perfect it together for all to benefit. The screams of protest will come from those whose "blind ambition" render's them unfeeling to those they have taken advantage of the attain their status in life. If you are of this ilk, then yes you are evil.
Man is not inherently selfish. He is force to be to survive in the reality we have created. It is time to change that reality. And if we do it right, no one should sacrifice. If you desire more than you merit, you "take" from another that what he needs to fulfill his life. This creates status, that creates selfishness, that forms the ego, that seeks power, that needs control, that justifies inequity that sustains that power, that creates animosity, envy, hate and bloodshed as a consequence of those you took from.
I said nothing about seeing the light or being saved. These are your words as you relate what I have to say to those religious interpretations. Please don't go there because you are at odds with those very interpretations. Hear the words themselve and debate on the merit of the words only, please. Thanks for you respectful comments.