I'm continuing my reporting on the next installment from Conservative Estimate, the recently founded website that is devoted to demolishing Conservatism.
Yesterday, Alfred George began to discuss the Myth of Independence, the belief that the strong succeed in life on their own. He pointed out that this notion just doesn’t hold up when compared to reality.
Today Mr. George begins to look at evidence from Religion and Science that also refutes this Myth, and he finishes by noting that the very existence of Society testifies against the Myth.
We take up his argument just after the graceful orange coils.
He begins by saying that both Religion and Science reject independence in favor of interdependence.
Any bona fide religion—that is, one that tries to connect human beings with a spiritual source—reminds us repeatedly that we are our brothers’ keepers. If there is a God who created and who maintains the entire universe, then all of us must be connected back to him, even though the nexus may be invisible to us in our daily lives. At that central point, our individual existences must come together, and it would be impossible to distinguish any longer between “us” and “them.” The message of true religion is that, in some fundamental and essential way, we are all the same. Religion taken seriously should lead to mutual connection rather than noxious contention, and to a penetrating appreciation of the interdependence of all beings.He then points out how belief in this Myth leads to bad behavior.
Science also has come to the understanding that all things are profoundly interdependent. Quantum physics, the science of the smallest constituents of matter, has discovered that the particles (or waves) that make up all matter are connected with one another so intensely that neither time not space can separate them. Once two particles interact, their connection remains, and changing one of them results in a change in the other, no matter how far away it is.
To the extent that we are unaware of the innumerable connections between us and others, or keep ourselves in a mindset where we deny those connections, we are likely to behave selfishly, just as the Myth of Self-interest prescribes. . . .Finally, he mentions the facts that we would not live in society if we were independent beings.
Many people, under the influence of the Major Myths, have chosen to believe that they have few if any connections binding them to everyone and everything. Of course, life may at times demand that we stand on our own two feet, think for ourselves, and persevere though our own strength and stamina. But it hardly demands these things all the time. In fact, it calls much more for working together with others, for helping others as well as accepting help in return, and for contributing to the common good by playing a responsible role in society.
[A]rcheology, oral tradition, history, and natural philosophy all agree that one the earliest acts of human beings was to come together. . . . Why would this happen if we could live perfectly well on our own? Why would we join together if we could meet all our needs alone?You can read the whole post here.
The simple fact is that we are not self-sufficient. . . . We are social beings, and that means we are interdependent.
Tomorrow Mr. George will continue his discussion of the Myth of Independence,. He will show why belief in this notion makes Mythers irresponsible and ungrateful, and how this Myth corrupts society.
I’ll be reporting back each day as a new installment appears.