Saturday, January 4, 2014

New Letter (again)

Religions are man-made institutions.  Every society throughout history has had them, and there are many common threads running through them but there are also differences.  There are differences because different cultures had different societal norms.  Not because there are several gods.  Not because the one 'God' thinks different societies should have different rules.  But because all societies, throughout history, have created their own social norms.  And all of them gave some of these norms the force of law.  And all eventually wrote these laws down and until quite recently all of them ascribed these laws to a god.

Almost all societies show some evidence of cultural evolution.  Here in the USA we even founded a nation on some very non-religious ideas, like equality and liberty.  Other societies have been much slower to evolve, still treating women as barely above property and denying liberty to anyone who can't gain it by force.

Whenever anyone suggests, then, that we're straying from 'biblical law,' keep in mind that many laws are mentioned in many books of 'The Bible,' a multi-authored book that evolved over a few thousand years, but none of them is binding on us.  Each was meant for a particular society at a particular time.  Our society will continue to evolve as its people see fit.