Everyone today, is very clued up on their human rights, they demand that life live up to their expectations and when it doesn't, they start shouting about 'violations' of their 'human rights' and can quote verbatim from the section, sub-section, paragraph and line of the Human Rights Act.
We’ve come a long way from the days of Thomas Paine and Mary Wollstonecraft when ‘rights’ were nothing more than a middle-class aspiration, and while there is much that I agree with in their writings, overall, I don't actually believe in human rights. I don't believe that there are natural rights or God given rights, as a matter of fact, I don't believe we have the right to anything. The only rights we have are those we have awarded ourselves and when we award ourselves rights then, we are morally obligated to award those same rights to everyone, equally. We consider the Human Rights Act a sign of our evolution into a more civilised society and a demonstration of our moral and intellectual superiority. And like Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, the more we get, the more we want.
We are quick to demand our rights, however, we are not as vocal when it comes to our responsibilities and are often quite happy to run away from or ignore them. The concentration on rights without the same consideration of responsibility leads to a skewed perspective and causes an imbalance within society.
Within the Human Rights Act, we have the Right to Life, the Right to Respect for Private and Family Life and the Right to Freedom of Religion and Belief but no responsibility to provide a counter-balance to them.
I do not believe in a ‘right to life’, life is not a right, it is a gift which we are very lucky to have, so alongside a 'Right to Life', I would put a responsibility - the responsibility to take care of and respect that life.
Alongside the Right to Respect for Private and Family Life - I would add the responsibility to ensure that a private and family life does not compel any member of that family to share in your belief system, if they choose not to, and also, that your behaviour as a family does not impact negatively on the community outside your family.
On the Right to Freedom of Religion and Belief - I would add the responsibility to ensure you do not force or impose your religion or beliefs on anyone else. Religion should be a private matter between the individual and whatever God they believe in.
Why do we believe that we have more rights than any other living organism on this planet? The demand for rights comes from the belief that we are 'special', more special than everything else on earth because we sit at the top of the food chain. This idea originally came from the book of Genesis, where God gave man dominion over the earth (which of course was written by man and has more than a bit of self-serving bias in it) and was adopted by religious institutions. From that, we were led to believe that the universe was created for us and we were, literally, the centre of that universe with everything revolving around us.
In the psychological development of a human being, this is known as the egocentric stage, or egocentrism, and was first identified by the psychologist, Jean Piaget. This stage of development, usually occurs between the ages of 4 - 7, although, it can persist into adulthood for some (believe me; I deal with them all the time!). It is characterised by a lack of awareness of different points of view - something which was very evident in the Brexit debate and which you can see any day in Parliament (and is actually the modus operandi in Stormont!!). It is a stage of development where a child/person is self-absorbed and still has to learn that things are not always from their point of view or perspective. When it persists into adulthood, it can be identified in people through their 'egocentric shortcomings' which include:
'The False-Consensus Effect - where people overestimate the extent to which their preferences are shared by others; (as evidenced by the ‘remain’ side in Brexit)
The Curse-of-Knowledge Effect - where experts in a particular domain fail to take into account the level of knowledge of laypeople with whom they are communicating; (or egosplaining, as I call it)
The Illusion of Transparency - where people exaggerate the degree to which their internal emotional states (such as anxiety during public speaking) are evident to others;
The Spotlight Effect - where people overestimate the degree to, which aspects of their appearance and actions are noticed by others.'
Or, in other words, it's all me, me, me, me, ME!!!
The universe is approximately 14 billion years old, earth is approximately 4.5 billion, man or a man-like creature is estimated to have been around from somewhere between 2 - 7 million years and your life, if you are lucky, will average 70 years. The life of a human being, in proportion to the life of the universe, is nothing more than the blink of an eye. You are a dust mote sitting on a quite beautiful rock which revolves around a glowing hot rock, in a universe whose size is beyond our knowledge and comprehension and, of which, we know very little. We don't even really know the basics - we know that there is a gravitational force in the universe but we have no idea what it is, or how it works, all we know is how it behaves.
Our tendency to egocentrism, often means that we lose our perspective on life and our place in the world. Our egos delude us into overestimating our importance and our knowledge and it can be a shock to the system to confront this reality and realise that, at the end of the day, we still don’t really know that much, we really don't matter very much either and if we disappeared tomorrow, the world will still keep turning and life will still go on.
Within the 'climate' hysteria that has gripped most of the mainstream media; the delusions of the ego are predominant. Like Brexit, no real debate is allowed and the stream of propaganda continues, as those who are still in their egocentric phase refuse to consider any opinion but theirs, or consider that they could be deceived.
I can understand and sympathise, if people only get their information from the mainstream media and believe that they are being told the truth. There is a generation who were brought up to believe in the integrity of institutions like the BBC and NASA, to name but a few, and find it hard to comprehend that they are being lied to on such a grand scale, and believe me that scale is huge. I mean, I believed in it too until someone pointed out the truth to me, and it isn’t nice to have to admit that you were taken for a fool. I was a real ‘greenie’ and was quite happy to pay £3 for a light bulb, I used to pay 60p for. But, that’s life, it wasn’t the first time I’ve been fooled but it will most certainly be the last, I hope!
A few months ago, I tried to debate with a couple of people I know on 'climate change', both have quite large egos and one of them was flying to the US to protest with Extinction Rebellion (ironic or what?). But they completely refused to even consider any alternative viewpoint or read any of the literature I recommended. They chose wilful ignorance over scientific truth because it fed into their egos.
Coincidentally, I took my mother to mass on Sunday and one of the readings was from Genesis, it was the passage where Adam and Eve are tempted by the serpent into eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which is one of my favourite passages from the Bible because there is so much you can take from it and is probably one of the earliest writings on humans and consciousness. So, I spent most of mass reading and re-reading this passage. There were several interesting things I took from it. One of the things I noticed about it was that, in this passage, God lied. Now, in all the years of being taught religion at school, no one ever pointed that out or questioned it. The serpent asks Eve if God has told them not to eat from any of the trees, and Eve tells him yes, that God has said 'you must not eat it....under pain of death'. This is the lie which the serpent reveals. He tells her she won't die and that if she eats from it, her 'eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil'. So, with consciousness, we become the god of our own lives, we have the knowledge of good and evil and can then make a choice.
The lack of curiosity and desire for truth and knowledge from the ‘climate change believers’, because it is about ‘belief’ and not scientific truth, shows that some of us prefer to live in ignorance, which is doubly disappointing in an age when so much knowledge is, literally, at our fingertips. Carl Sagan once remarked, 'knowledge is preferable to ignorance, better by far to embrace the hard truth than a reassuring fable' and was a great advocate for scientific truth over superstition and myth.
I wonder what he would say now or how he would fare in the present day when science is being destroyed by lies and propaganda; when even the Nobel Institute has lost their integrity and real scientists are dismissed and silenced, in favour of an uneducated teenager, who is being cruelly set-up by her parents and paymasters. Would he too be side-lined and silenced? Where lies the responsibility for truth now, is it with us to demand it as a right?
In searching for truth, I can only be grateful for the internet, for providing a gateway to truth and a different perspective. I dread to think how we would fare without it at the present time and the only advice I can leave you with are the words of another advocate for scientific truth, Benjamin Franklin:
"Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see"
By the way, if you still believe you are the centre of the universe, or even if you don’t, because Carl Sagan is always worth listening to, follow the link and enjoy –