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And Now, Your Moment of Reason

A fairly bright guy once said:
"I do not believe in the immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it." - Albert Einstein

Well, sure. Since ethics apply strictly to humans, or human activity, it stands to reason that the impetus for the existence of ethics arises from humanity, or from the human need to impose restrictions on behavior for the ultimate purpose of ensuring our continued existence. The only means to immortality humans possess (currently) is collectively through procreation. Believing that a superhuman deity imposes it's own set of ethics on us also requires us to believe that they were forced on humanity against our will. Which ultimately leads to the conclusion, either consciously or unconsciously, that we're not responsible for them.

It's sort of like being tortured. One of the conclusions of the Geneva Conventions, and one of the reasons for the outlawing of torture, is that anything confessed to or said while under torture is unreliable because the tortured may not be in control of his faculties. You can force someone to say anything through torture. Therefore, the tortured can't be held responsible for what he says, and the whole testimony is void.

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4:14 PM

Yes, "the tortured man can't be held responsible for what he says, and the whole testimony is void."

Similarly, rioters cannot be held responsible for their violence against property that has been stolen from them or theirs.
The human condition for those who have developed a conscience is to react with an emotional righteous anger in line with a higher moral authority.

"There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious,
makes you so SICK AT HEART, that you can't take part; and you've got to
put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers,
upon all the apparatus and you've got to make it stop." ... Mario Savio


Come to the edge," He said.
They said, "We are afraid."
"Come to the edge," He said.
They came. He pushed them... and they flew. ... Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) French novelist, critic.

"To know and not to act is not to know" ...Wang Yang-ming - http://www.greenspiration.org/Article/ImaginationGreenFuture.html  

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