"THE QUESTION OF GOD" ON PBS PROGRAM

By William Markiewicz

This topic, well in tune with the holiday season, was set as a dialogue between Freud and C.S. Lewis. As the main argument in the debate was the meaning and source of ethics I would like to focus on the question of Divine ethics vs Darwinian ethics.

Gnostics introduces feelings as the highest quality in the concept of goodness. For Darwinism feelings are just one of the tools in achieving goodness. The ultimate goal of goodness is the same for both sides: happiness. The notion of happiness is universal for everybody and for all living species: fulfillment in what life means -- pleasure, security, freedom, social prestige, whether human or animal. I hope the list is complete.

In the complex family of feelings, the first expression of what can be considered love is the universal instinct of parental love. The animals in a pack know that they need each other. How do parents "know" that caring for the youth perpetrates the species? So, the mystery of feeling starts at this primary instinct level. That we 'love' each other, that we 'love' our pack is self-explanatory because it is in our obvious immediate interest. But why the universally present 'love' for our species, for those who, after all, come after us? The Darwinian instinct explains our immediate interests but it doesn't explain our care for our species as well as any interest that transcends our individual ones.

A further extension of our 'gratuitous' love is love 'for our neighbour' whoever he may be, the love for anything and anybody alive, even 'for those who don't deserve it', as expressed in the Christian and Kurikural Dravidian faiths. What meaning has this non-Darwinian trend toward all apparently gratuitous feelings? They definitely don't help us to survive so they defy the Darwinian claim that the only goal of life is to serve the goal of survival.

The majority of religions are structured like fairy tales; objectively, the question of existence/non existence of God remains hermetic. Spirituality is one more card to play with or not in the game of life.

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