Have you ever noticed how a child will imitate the actions of an older child or sibling, or even those of its parents? How a child will want to grow up and be a policeman like daddy, or a fireman, or a nurse or a teacher ? All good and noble professions. We seldom see children wishing to grow up to be thieves and murderers. They want to be good.
Our human nature allows us to react to what we see happening around us. We will giggle when we see a group of children giggling, we cringe when we see someone or something being hurt. We cannot bear to look when the baddie is about to grab the heroine. When we see other people suffering, we feel their pain, we feel empathy. We like it when things are harmonious and we can feel in tune with our surroundings and our fellow man – we want to feel good.
I believe there is a very basic and simple reason why good triumphs over evil – mirror neurons. These neurons are found in the brains of humans and some other primates. What has emerged from all the research that has been done is that we are all innately good. We also mimic the good that we see in others. If you Google “mirror neurons” you will see the extensive research and findings.
With the evolution of man over the millennia, the perception of good and bad has also evolved and, hopefully, improved. During the Middle Ages hundreds of thousands of people were killed for no reason other than that they believed differently. Today this is still happening, but in lesser numbers, so man’s perception of the fact that we don’t all have to believe the same thing has also evolved as man has evolved.
The majority of us, adults and children alike, know that it is wrong to steal. We know that it is wrong to commit murder. We know this not only because our parents and (hopefully) our teachers have told us, but because we just “know” - thanks to our mirror neurons. When a criminal “finds God” whilst in prison, could it be that his mirror neurons kicked in when he was removed from his previous criminal environment ? Many of these people go on to counsel other criminals, so it is not impossible. I am not going to get into the workings of the criminal mind – I will leave that to the criminologists – but I find this theory an interesting one.
So then the existence of mirror neurons and their function is a fact. That they make us innately good and empathic beings, and that we were born that way, is also a fact.
Now here’s the thing : If we are born innately good, wish to be good and wish to do good, why do we need someone telling us how – and why - to be good ? And to what extent we will be punished if we are not good ?
Why do we need to listen to a person reading various chapters from a book which has no apparent author, no apparent publisher and no apparent editor, and whose main characters have left no evidence of their existence ? And the place they speak about, this place which is so much better than what we have on Earth – has anyone ever come back from there and told them it’s better ? If not, then how do they know it’s better than what we have now ? Sounds like pure fiction to me, with no basis in facts.
As a result of the existence of mirror neurons in our brains – and hence our innate goodness - the 10 Commandments from the aforementioned book don’t have to be preached to us by men in robes who belong to a secret society (and we now know many of their secrets), live in luxury and wear handmade clothes. If we all know that we should not commit murder, commit adultery, etc., because we are innately good, then why do we have to pay them every week or every month in the hope that we will be redeemed from our sins. ?
Are these people preaching from a higher position and doing so, hoping to elevate their own goodness ? Or to lead us to believe that they are good or better than us ? Or to cover up some of their badness ? Is their preaching some sort of confession ? Given some recent (and not so recent) events with especially the Catholic Church, this would appear to perhaps be the case.
So let’s all just go out there and do what we are wired to do – be good people, show empathy towards our fellow man (and animal) and live in peace and harmony – i.e. live a GOOD life.
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