There are two different ethics that can be chosen by our reflective species. One separates us while the other brings us together.
This first and most popular ethic that separates us teaches us things like individuality, self preservation and being suspicious and protecting ourselves from other races, nations, cultures, religions and ideas. It resists the fact that we are interconnected to each other while pushing commercialism, nationalism, big business and militarism. It blames the poor sick people for their problems and considers charitable giving a waste of money.
The second ethic brings people together, but it is less popular even though many of the wise founders of the world's religions have taught it. However, most people support their religion in order to be personally blessed rather than follow their ethic. Most religions in the world have evolved into pride and greed and claim this ethic is exclusively their own. Then they they ignore it to concentrate on their superstitions. If you study world religions, you will see that this second ethic can be found in common sense wisdom, teachings and experiences all over the world.
This ethic stands for things like humility, love, compassion, sympathy and forgiveness. It moves us to trust rather than fear, identify with others rather than protect ourselves from them. It seeks the end to armaments and militarization, puts the well-being of the environment over selfish business interests, and because we all live in one world, to respect the United Nations.
Each one of us must choose one of these ethics. This important choice will be played out in things like how we relate to and treat other people, how we work, how we vote. It affects everything in our lives.
It's become clear that the popular choice of the first ethic is putting our species into deep trouble. Many scientists like Stephen Hawking, David Attenborough, and Frank Fenner are predicting a quick end to our species. (Fenner says it will come in just 100 years.) This pending extinction is because of our arrogance and greed in our treatment of the Earth. I believe that unless we can wake-up and choose the second ethic, our quality of life and our future will be threatened.
It seems obvious to me that we have chosen the wrong ethic and are living out the consequences, so the question is, can this bad choice be reversed before it's too late? It's questionable because right now because the first divisive ethic is so deeply rooted in our psyche that it totally controls us.
On the other hand, the second ethic is associated with religious superstitions and is generally seen as being naive, weak and impractical. All I can say is that the first thing we must do is wake up and face reality. We can't afford to blindly drift along in this pride and ignorance.
The writer lives in Murrells Inlet.