If there are pre-existing laws of morality and truth, then they should apply to all species (the same way gravity applies to both humans and sea slugs). If that’s the case, couldn’t we study the way life works for the rest of the planet, and, in doing so, start to rediscover, uncover, or just finally notice the rules that we’ve been flaunting?
Here’s an example: studies of several different kinds of apes find that they do have a form of morality, and that this form is generally based on two rules:
1) Choose to help.
2) Choose not to hurt.
If these rules are true, if they are laws, then following them should actually aid a species’ survival.
As far as religion is concerned, it’s basic function might be to encode and enforce rules of morality. Unfortunately, if it’s true that man has exempted himself from these rules, then it would also be true that man has coopted religion, using it to justify rather than to correct his wrong actions.
This new religion, then, no longer serves as a source of truth, but instead has become a means of control and even suppression.
But what if, in spite of this change, there still remains in religion the seeds of truth? Where would we find them? I’m pretty sure we would find them in the first story and in messages from the prophets — those nagging calls to righteousness that keep interrupting society’s comfortable seeking after security and prosperity.
What if, in spite of this change, there still remains in religion the seeds of truth?