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NeoNote — My favorite party trick

Religions are not created by the Divine.

Religions are created by people claiming to speak for the Divine.

In other words, man made rules.

Even under the best of circumstances, the men and women "in charge" will sometimes abuse those rules. And then other men and women will cover it up.

Are there universal rules? Possibly. Do we know what they are? Maybe. Too many times, religion is used as a cudgel to beat others into submission.

First, there is nothing either intrinsically right or intrinsically wrong about liberty or slavery, democracy or autocracy, freedom of action or complete regimentation. It seems to us, however, that the greatest measure of happiness and of well-being for the greatest number of entities, and therefore the optimum advancement toward whatever sublime Goal it is toward which this cycle of existence is trending in the vast and unknowable Scheme of Things, is to be obtained by securing for each and every individual the greatest amount of mental and physical freedom compatible with the public welfare
     — E.E. "Doc" Smith, First Lensman

No, we're not sure if universal laws exist, or what they may be. The Ethic of Reciprocity is a pretty good possibility, with one catch.

It has to be freely chosen.

My favorite version is still "Be excellent to each other. And party on, dudes!" But the message is the same. Treat others as you expect to be treated. At least until they screw you. Then tit for tat applies.

That's it. No invisible overlord passing judgement over the actions of us mere mortals. The Divine put us in the universe. What we do while we're here, that's up to us. We're responsible for what happens. It's not "God's will," it's not demonic influence. It's us for better or worse.

The secret of life is simple. Leave the World a little better than how you found it.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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