Us. vs. Them.

Quick question: Can human beings live meaningful lives without having something to fight against?

This is not some abstract, academic, pseudointellectual rhetorical question. I’ve come to believe that it is one of the most important questions that has ever been posed. Seriously. Can you imagine a world not defined by this fundamental dynamic?

Think about it. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the whole purpose for our existence is firmly rooted in the conflict of Good vs. Evil. It defines the reason for every interaction we experience. Our entire judicial system is based on the same Us vs. Them principle. It’s the prosecution vs. the defense. It’s not about seeking the truth; it’s about who can make the most convincing argument.

Consider our politics. Everything centers around the Republicans vs. the Democrats. The conservatives vs. the liberals. The elites vs. the populists.

Moreover, the current impeachment imbroglio is not about determining the truth; i.e., what actually happened. It’s about furthering agendas and loyalty to an ideology and/or a person. Us vs. Them.

Sadly, I have come to the conclusion that most people simply don’t have the capacity to think in terms that transcend Us vs. Them. They can’t envision a world that isn’t built on this central premise.

On a more personal level, I have surmised that many individuals simply cannot conceive of relationships devoid of this defining principle.

But what if we woke up one morning and realized that it’s not Us vs. Them? What if we had a collective epiphany that we really are all in this together and everything doesn’t have to be a transactional, either/or proposition?

Then again, maybe it’s indigenous to our species. I guess it all comes down to those who think everything has to be Us vs. Them and those who don’t.

Aaron W. Hughey

Bowling Green

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(12) comments

Enough Already

The answer is yes, with a caveat. We can, just not in this time period.

You eluded to the answer even though you did not get it correct. “In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the whole purpose for our existence is firmly rooted in the conflict of Good vs. Evil.”

God created a perfect world without evil. Once Satan tempted Adam and Eve and they did eat, the conflict began. Until then, life goes on just as it has from the beginning of the fall of man.

When eternity starts God will do away with the “evil” part of “good vs evil”. Your exclusive remedy for your predicament and your destination of Hell - (Rom_3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.) - is your repentance and the acceptance of Jesus Christ to save you from your sin. (Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.)

Koheleth

Preposterous! All the fundamentals of life came from the spittle of Re. The union of Shu and Tefnut begat Geb (Earth God) and Nut (sky goddess). The first humans were born of Re's tears.

Or perhaps... Everything was chaos in the form of a chicken egg. Yin and Yang lived inside the egg in constant struggle against each other, until one day the egg split in two forming the elements. The heavy elements became the Earth, the lighter the sky. In between was the first being, P'an-ku of which humans were born from its fleas.

Or maybe, The Eternal Ancestors awoke from their slumber and roamed the Earth. Sometimes as animals, other times as plants. Two self created beings, the Ungabikula, found unfinished people made from pieces of plants and rocks. Using their knives they finished carving the people creating all of humankind.

All of the above creation myths are just as 'true' as your preferred one.

Enough Already

Yeah I know, you're not a believer. Nobody cares what you think but Satan does appreciate your input...

Koheleth

Your preferred mythological deity, Yahweh (YHWH), was one of the many sons of El- Elyon. He beseeched his father to allow him to slay the chaos dragon in exchange for his chance to create the universe, or rule over Israel, depending on which account you read. Either way, your one 'true' god is an amalgamation of mythic entities and the fever dreams of primitive superstitions.

Same goes for his supposed son, Jesus, who is also Yahweh (YHWH) himself, depending on which story you read of course. Either way we slice it, we're talking myths.

Le Ecrivain

The fact one story-teller describes the mechanism of a helicopter and the engineering and another describes some crazy birds flying in and grabbing people does not change the reality that some people were picked up by flying things. Likewise with creation. Spittle is an emanation. It doesn't matter if one person says the architect was named Bob and another says the architect was named Jim. That's why the pope says many religions worship the same thing. The myth I find to be least credible is that one day there was a non-sentient being that gave birth to a sentient being. Talk about the children being in charge of the household....

Enough Already

You have made this assumption (non-sentient) because you do not understand the nature of God. The Pope is right when he says "many". (Not all) He and the other world religions are worshiping false Gods. Christians worship the one true God. That will become more apparent to you as we get closer to the end of time as you know it. Unfortunately if it takes you that long to figure this out it will be too late for you.

Enough Already

I'm not impressed and neither are Christians, but you may be able to impress your know nothing atheist buddies.

Contact me later @ Rev 3:10

Koheleth

To inform. Not impress. You lie. I correct. It has always been as simple as that.

Enough Already

The voices in your head continue to tell you how impressive you are. You buy it...

Koheleth

You mean scholarship, objective facts, discernable reality, etcetera...? Yeah. Most honest people gravitate towards such things once they've demonstrated their cogency.

You keep doing you though. It's always good to have a benchmark to point others to for a case study in abject absurdity.

Cheers, for old times sake.

Enough Already

Just keep telling yourself that. It won't soften the blow when you finally realize you are a fool, but you will have the satisfaction of knowing you never waivered and were the best fool pride can produce.

delilahburkett

Thank you!

This is something I have thought about a lot lately, and throughout my life. It always seems that humanity progresses through history with the us vs. them mentality. Violence, conformity (or else), if you're not with me you're against me. I suppose with higher consciousness comes the price of judgement and tribalism. The human brain is wired to group things together and have preferences. There have been studies along this line of thought. The most powerful things that make us unique to other animals is our ability to sort and classify things around us - including each other. Our downfall is acting upon bias to such a degree we separate ourselves from one another. Unfortunately, this does not make humanity a peaceful species.

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