Re: virus: The other

William Roh (
Wed, 12 Nov 1997 13:34:07 -0800

Marie Foster wrote:
> William Roh wrote:
> >
> > Marie L. Foster wrote:
> > >

> This needs further explanation on my part. I erred when I said that
> people are fundamentally good. You are correct, people come without
> goodness or badness but have adapted these ideas to promote survival.
> However, where we might differ is that I believe this to be a
> rationalization. It is the lack of empathy, and compassion that must be
> corrected.

Oh yea, this is it exactly!!!! Empathy and compassion are some of my
favorite emotions.

> Theism or Atheism has very little effect here. You can
> reason that if there is no god then it is OK to steal or assault.
> Prison seems to be a very good place for evangelism... On the other
> hand, a belief in a judgmental god can also promote violence in the
> focus on the life after death rather than seeing heaven here on earth.

I only half agree with this, i would suggest that Athiests are less
likely to commit acts of violence or other criminal activity than
thiests. This is due, i think, to athiests generally rationalizing their
way to athiesm. They realize the finality of murder, so murder become a
much more serious crime as there is no heaven for their soul to ascend
to. i don't know how far down the line of criminality this goes.

> I also believe that this concept of 'other' is what leads some to see
> victimization as a valid survival mechanism. Surely if they believed
> that they are the person they are violating this could go a long way to
> eliminating violent behavior.

Yes, i agree
> I personally do not care if you believe in god or not as long as you
> allow that I am on the same path to a better understanding of our
> relationship to one another. Does my faith in my version of god
> threaten you or your autonomy? You are me after all...
> Marie

i don't feel that I am you, but as long as you do not attempt to force
me to live in any certain way and I mean ANY way, then no, you are not a
threat and your belief in God is of no concern of mine.