In recent years, in some streams of Western media and throughout the world, articles have appeared that some conservative-minded segments of the population have found disturbing. The subject of these articles are the ‘childfree’, adults and often couples who voluntarily choose not to have children of their own.
The question instantly arises, “What kind of a phenomenon is this? Is it possible to deliberately suppress the Gene Preservation instinct inherent in all living nature?”
Statistics show that childfree adults are most common among highly educated, urban, successful, well-off and less religious portions of the population above the average childbearing age. Following the principles of The Last Faith, I would say that the ‘childfree’ are among those with higher than average levels of Freedom of Choice.
Without doubting the original statistics, I would be inclined to interpret them differently.
According to my personal observations, the majority of these people originally come from a relatively poor background, are aware of high standards in life and when they were younger, dreamt of being able to provide these standards of living to their own children in the future.
Devoting themselves entirely to the achievement of a successful career, they do not notice how quickly time passes and by the time they have achieved success after 45-50 years, they face the real threat of not having enough time left to bring their own children up until they are old enough to stand on their own two feet.
Moreover, by this age they are drained by the fear that having children will mean that they will lose the comforts of life to which they are now accustomed, i.e. they develop that well-known phenomenon: age-egoism.
Now they simply find themselves having to explain their situation and so they tell others that their decision not to have children is deliberate, i.e. that they are childfree.
In my opinion, the situation is in fact exactly the opposite, i.e. in their youth, these people experienced an over-inflated sense of responsibility for their future children. In other words, for the Law of Gene Preservation. Their claims that they are satisfied by relationships with their favourite pets, or at best, with their nieces and nephews, are not entirely convincing.
It brings to mind a story from many years ago published in the Russian ‘Literary Magazine’ about two students from the same university who were in love but then argued and split up over some trivial thing. To prove himself to his love, the young man devotes himself to science, in the end becoming a well-known scientist, academic, and winner of all kinds of awards. And then one day, once he had retired, he was walking through a square and came across an elderly lady, surrounded by a bunch of merry grandchildren and recognised that she was the girl he had loved in his former university days many years ago. They gave each other a hug, sat down and began to reminisce about the past. When it came to parting, the academician gave a sad sigh and said: “How gladly I would give up all my titles and rewards for all these charming little ones to be our grandchildren.”
Of course, among the childfree there are those genuine individuals who decided not to have children at a young age. There are even so-called ‘childhaters’.
Returning to the main question however: ‘what makes a person suppress their natural instinct, mutation or extreme Freedom of Choice?’, I am of the opinion that the question is something for geneticists. I am sure that genetic studies are already being carried out in this area, just as once studies were made of homosexuals.
Either way, the more conservatively minded portion of the population can rest assured – the childfree phenomenon by definition, cannot be passed on genetically.
P.S. During the period 1960-70, ethologist J.Calhoun conducted experiments on rodents placed in artificial, ideal living conditions with food provided. In the case of rodents, these conditions led to the cessation of reproduction, however, the transfer of these results to equivalent behaviour in human beings raises great doubts. We all know that couples who are already rich or become wealthy at the peak of childbearing age almost always have many children.
Karmak Bagisbayev, professor of mathematics, author of “The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer”
In our fourth-year primary school class, there was a girl called Klava. I don’t remember her surname. She was quiet, inconspicuous and plain, short and poorly dressed all in grey. She did not take part in class games and never even jumped the skipping rope with other girls during school breaks.
She always got average marks and was her parents’ only daughter. Both her parents worked at the school, her father as the boiler man and her mother as a caretaker.
Klava was the only Orthodox believer in our class. She was the constant concern and headache of our teacher Faina Grigorevna, a woman who was as beautiful as she was clever and kind.
Once, our teacher went off sick for quite a while and so was replaced by the Head Teacher, who taught history and social science to the older classes. Naturally, I don’t remember her name.
When she learned there was a believer in the class, she was completely horrified. She shouted that while she was Head Teacher there would be no religion in our school. That same day, in place of the last lesson of the day, she announced a special ‘town hall’ meeting in which she called Klava to the blackboard and demanded that she publicly denounce God in front of the entire class.
Klava did not say a word and hung her head in shame. Seeing that the silent Klava was not going to respond and having exhausted all her cries and threats to expel Klava, the Head Teacher decided to switch to a gentler approach.
“There is no God! There just isn’t! I am not afraid of God! He can’t do anything with me, you see?” she continued calmly.
Klava remained silent.
Losing all patience, the Head Teacher finally went back to shouting.
Klava’s lower lip began to tremble furiously and several times she tried to speak, but all she could do was make strange sounds. There was an oppressive silence but right at that moment Nikolay, who shared a desk with Klava, grabbed hold of his stomach and fell to the floor with a terrible groan.
Leaving Klava by the blackboard, the Head Teacher came over to see what was wrong with Nikolay and sent someone for the doctor. Right at that moment, the class was saved by the bell, Nikolay made a sudden ‘recovery’ and everyone went their own way home.
Klava did not come to school the next day. Her parents did not come to work the next day either. The Head Teacher sent Nikolay and I to visit their tiny cottage on the outskirts of the town to summon the entire family to the school.
When we got there, the door was wide open. There was no-one inside and the house was empty. The neighbour said that the family of three had said a quick goodbye the evening before, loaded their things into a small truck and set off, who knows where, without saying anything to anyone.
Karmak Bagisbayev, professor of mathematics, author of “The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer”
Why does the Christian Church refer to Adam and Eve’s transgression of God’s prohibition to approach the tree of knowledge as the “original sin”? What right do we have to call this transgression a ‘sin’ given that we emerged as a result of it?
Why has no-one yet discovered the real reason that compelled Adam and Eve, having tasted of the tree of knowledge, to consciously break God’s prohibition, full in the knowledge that they would be driven out of paradise?
Because a paradise with restrictions, a paradise without Freedom of Choice, is no paradise at all, but a golden prison! It is impossible to come closer to God, let alone stand beside Him, in a paradise such as this!
Our ancestors Adam and Eve favoured Freedom of Choice endowed by God Himself (consciously or inadvertently) over living in that kind of paradise. In other words, they chose a hard life here on “sinful” Earth, where they gave birth to their children in pain and by the sweat of their brows they ate their daily bread.
Having tasted from the Tree of Knowledge, our ancestors Adam and Eve learned not only Love, Good and Evil, but opened the gates to any Knowledge!
Many centuries since then, Jesus Christ, the worthy descendant of Adam and Eve, rebelled against existing religious views, proposed a compassionate morality for humankind, and consciously went out to Golgotha.
And all humanity’s efforts on Earth over thousands of years have been directed towards increasing the value of human life, the right to Gene Preservation, Freedom of Choice, and the right to independently experience the world around them.
And the results are extraordinary! There is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, along with flights to the Moon, preparations for a flight to Mars, the creation of the Big Bang theory, explorations of the beginnings of the Universe, and much, much more.
And all this started with Humanity’s first uprising, the uprising of Adam and Eve, which we should herald as a great feat! We owe them a low bow and our eternal gratitude.
Incidentally, that is why it seems naive and ridiculous that certain earthly powers attempt to curb and suppress their citizens’ efforts to expand Freedom of Choice, because it was something even the Creator was unable to achieve.
Karmak Bagisbayev, professor of mathematics, author of “The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer”
A little munchkin
came to his father and asked,
‘What is good and what is bad?’
I heard on the news recently that American human rights organisations are accusing Donald Trump of inciting racism, xenophobia and discrimination in his speeches, and that Trump is strongly denying these accusations.
Then I began to wonder… why is Trump justifying himself? Why does not he openly declare that he supports such views? For America is a free country, where every individual has the right to hold their own opinion.
- Why do politicians always defend themselves with claims that they have been misunderstood whenever they begin to reveal their unorthodox beliefs? Why did Hitler and Stalin initially present themselves as peace lovers? Then, only once they neared the peak of power in their countries, openly declare that certain people have the right to enact violence against others, from Aryan to non-Aryan in the former, and Communist to non-Communist in the latter?
- When and why did widely (though not universally) accepted notions of Good and Evil emerge on Earth?
- Why is it good to feed the hungry, save the drowning and protect the downtrodden, but evil to steal, rape and kill?
These are serious questions. It is no secret that members of the criminal world choose the opposite morality. Moreover, a small criminal world is nothing in light of the fact that almost entire nations could easily switch their beliefs to those of a criminal nature and devastate the lives of tens of millions, as we saw in the Communist Soviet Union and China as well as in Nazi Germany.
- Could we see a repeat of Communism or Nazism in the world?
- Why is it that people in ancient societies allowed cannibalism and human sacrifice to flourish, yet in today’s society we worry about the imminent disappearance of some rare animal?
In this article, we show that the advancement of human society towards humanism was brought about not by the mysterious forces within us (as Immanuel Kant would have us believe), nor by the influence of some divine being from above (take any religion), but on account of two very clear, simple reasons:
- The expectation of an evil response to a show of evil.
- In the long term, there is an obvious benefit to humanistic rather than aggressive relationships between individuals and human societies.
Unfortunately, this benefit only becomes obvious to the majority of people after the next man-made humanitarian crisis. In other words, the humanistic ethic always makes a positive step forward a posteriori.
We will also show that the driving force behind both these reasons is the Law of Gene Preservation, Freedom of Choice and Humandynamics (see “The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer“). We will demonstrate this using numerous examples.
For almost three million years, 99% of the duration of its existence, human life differed little from the life of other living creatures on Earth. That is, just like animals, humans lived motivated only by the Law of Gene Preservation. There is no need to speak of humanity having any kind of morality during this period.
But relatively recently, just a few tens of thousands of years ago, the first signs appeared that humankind had something resembling the expansion of the freedom of choice. Humanity began to domesticate useful wild animals and cultivate nutritional wild plants.
The nature of community life and shared livelihood must have facilitated the origin of the rudiments of morality. Yet it is unlikely that at that time this looked anything like what we call humanist ethics today.
It is hard to imagine a primitive father wearing a mammoth skin instructing his offspring, also in mammoth skins: “Do not hit the boy from the next-door cave. Don’t take his sweet bone from him! It’s bad, it’s not humanist.” Even these words are unlikely to have existed then.
I imagine the lesson of such a father to be more like this: “If you want to take something from another boy, then choose someone weaker than yourself. A stronger one will beat you. And don’t forget to look carefully to check that the boy’s father is not around and won’t come running up to you screaming and rip your head off. “
If this were to happen today, people would accuse the father of providing his son with an immoral upbringing. Yet how else could the father have acted, if for millions of years the human being was just a link in the natural food chain, and not even at the top of the chain? Humans hunted animals weaker than themselves and were in turn hunted by those stronger than themselves.
The father taught his child to behave as adults behaved. And if the father did ever teach his son to restrain his aggression, then it would only be for the purpose of protecting the child from retaliatory aggression. In the end, this would be because he was striving to preserve his genes in the best way possible.
Naturally, tribal chiefs and later czars and kings, along with the aristocracy, enjoyed enormous privileges. This gave them incomparable advantages (material and otherwise) in the task of preserving their own genes in comparison with the rest of the population mass.
It is totally understandable that they should have educated the tribes and peoples subordinate to them in a morality that enshrined those privileges, and that they should create and instil myths about the divine right of kings calling others to serve their interests without a murmur of objection.
This kind of hierarchical community has reached the present day with similar myths enshrined in the constitutions of some countries. Even in the recent past, advantages in the matter of gene preservation existed in the “right of the first night” in feudal societies and may still very likely exist in isolated primitive tribes in the jungles of the Amazon.
The existing right of polygamy among wealthy citizens in Muslim countries also secures this advantage.
It seems to me that if it were not for the problem of the human resource, tribal chiefs in ancient times would have ensured themselves the sole right of reproduction, as dominant males do in the animal world.
- Why is it that today we increasingly hear calls for tolerance towards all society’s minority groups, at least towards those that are not a threat to others?
- Why are all these changes taking place in human society moving in one and the same direction? From a racial society to a non-racial society, from a class system to a classless system, from gender inequality to gender equality, from intolerance to tolerance?
- What mechanism is the driving force behind these changes and where does this mechanism find its energy?
We all know that primitive tribes still exist, which openly profess the ideology of war. But whereas Sparta, the first fascist state known to us in history, did this openly, the Communist Soviet Union led by Stalin, and Nazi Germany led by Hitler, armed with aggressive ideologies, demagogically presented themselves as peace-loving states and sought far-fetched grounds for their aggressive actions.
And whereas until very recently by historical standards, prior to the onset of the twentieth century, women enjoyed a lower social status than men in the US and the majority of developed European countries, today even Islamic countries are, one by one, legally consolidating gender equality in their constitutions. That said, full gender equality has not yet been achieved in any country in the world.
There were open outbreaks of racism in the United States right up into the 1960s, and yet today, just half a century later, it is the United States that places such high demands on public observance of racial political correctness.
There are fewer and fewer states in the world remaining where class division is legitimate and where kings and aristocrats are endowed with legal privileges.
- So what is happening on the planet? And why is it happening
- Surely men the world over haven’t suddenly become so wise and mellow that they simply decided to give women equal rights
- Could it be that the white people of America and South Africa suddenly became so wise and mellow that they decided to give black citizens equal rights?
- Surely the aristocracy did not voluntarily give up their privileges?
In order to answer these questions, we must return to the example of the stone age father and son mentioned earlier in this article.
In bringing up his son, the father emphasises the fact that any aggression will always be answered by aggression and not only in the case of murder. Any infringement, inflicted pain or insult evoked a thirst for revenge and often turned into a bloody feud that lasted for many generations. All subsequent human history is witness to this fact.
Of course, no one has ever voluntarily renounced their privileges and advantages. And it is only the confidence that resides in every oppressed person that they have been given exactly the same right to Gene Preservation as anyone else, that has lifted up humanity and given the oppressed the strength to engage in the fiercest of struggles for this right and all the natural rights to life that result from it – their own and that of their children; the right to provide them with housing, food and health, together with all the social rights of today’s world.
Any oppression, any infringement of this most natural human right necessarily evokes a reciprocal reaction.
It was not that men gave women equal rights. It was that women fought a long, hard, exhausting battle to win these rights, subjecting themselves to cruel acts of persecution and even imprisonment. The feminist movements and the suffragettes who have shaken the Western world in recent centuries are a perfect illustration of this.
It was not that the metropolises granted independence to the peoples of their colonies in Asia and Africa. It was the insurgent peoples, who won the right to dignified Gene Preservation in the terrible anti-colonial wars of the 20th century, sacrificing at the altar of freedom millions of lives of their best representatives.
Never have the hereditary, ruling, aristocratic classes voluntarily refused their privileged rights to an unequal portion of income generated from labour in society as a whole. The abolition of privilege has always resulted from bloody revolution. World history is witness to this fact.
The abolition of slavery in the USA and the abolition of apartheid in South Africa were no gift from white citizens to their fellow black citizens. Change would have been impossible without the desperate, ferocious, sacrificial struggle of the black population for equal rights.
At some point, the simple truth dawned on Man, that you cannot safely preserve your genes by means of oppressing others. Human beings began to understand that we must look for other ways to preserve our genes, without forcibly denying this opportunity to others.
In this process, the deciding role was played by Freedom of Choice, something endowed exclusively to human beings. It is specifically Freedom of Choice, the force which enabled ancient man to domesticate animals, master agriculture and exchange goods with neighbours, that brought about the understanding that in the long run, the absence of oppression secures a more reliable means of feeding oneself and preserving one’s genes than denying the same to one’s neighbour, and this means is particularly reliable if one’s neighbour understands this also.
Here we turn again to the ancient world. Time passed. The vital necessity, which today we call globalisation, forced people to unite into ever more sizeable communities, motivated by the need for collective hunting methods and collective protection of land boundaries.
With the shared living space of large communities, strict containment of aggression became a requirement and so now parents began to teach their children the skills necessary for this type of cohabitation without referring to the other party’s possible response.
Gradually, the original reasons for the former style of upbringing were forgotten and the teaching of tolerance, at least in relation to members of one’s own tribe, became mandatory.
This is how the first humanist skills were born. Later, this type of education was called humanistic, and those who professed it unconditionally, humanists.
Today, humanism is consolidated in society in the form of Human Rights and countries with governments built on the priority of human rights, are referred to as human rights states. No-one would argue that these countries primarily include Europe and North America, where not only human rights are respected but animal rights as well.
Has it always been this way? No!
In the fifteenth and sixteenth century, Europeans began a series of colonial acquisitions, which in fact began with the crusades of the eleventh to the fifteenth century. These colonial acquisitions were marked by a particular cruelty formerly unknown to Man, and the mass genocide of native peoples which, according to various estimates, led to the annihilation of hundreds of millions of the indigenous peoples of Asia, Africa and America.
It should be noted that these shocking figures had little impact on European consciousness despite, weak, lonely protests from the voices of European humanists.
Only two world wars later, in which the Europeans themselves lost millions of lives, and after the bloody wars of independence waged by the colonial peoples, that the voice of the humanists sounded loud enough to reach the level of national governments and newly formed international organisations.
But it was neither the losses of the anti-colonial wars, nor the massive anti-war protests which undoubtedly raised the bar of humanism to unprecedented heights, that played the decisive role in metropolitan countries freeing their colonies.
The truly decisive role in this process was played by the unprecedented development of technology and resultant, buoyant economic growth brought about in part by the high levels of Freedom of Choice achieved by this time in Western countries.
Finally, Western rulers realised that it was much more beneficial to develop science, technology and competition, thereby supporting advanced economic development, than to constantly deal with problems of uprisings in the colonies, as well as mass anti-war and anti-colonial protests at home.
They realised that it was much more beneficial to produce high-tech goods that could be sold to third world countries, than to live with the constant risks associated with plundering their resources.
Incidentally, as a point in case, the colonies were freed strictly in the order of the level of Freedom of Choice existing in the corresponding metropoles. The French colonies were the first to be liberated, and the last were the Portuguese.
The level of violence in the world has significantly decreased.
When we say, “more beneficial” here, we should clarify that what we mean by this is “more beneficial for the majority”, but not for everyone.
Historically, the majority has always prevailed because, in the end, it was the stronger and not because someone persuaded us that this was ‘fair’.
In the end, the ‘majority principle’ was consolidated in the notion of democracy. But let’s not forget that for all the democratic reforms, there are still segments of the population who are losing their privileges and are therefore worse off as a result of these reforms. This is the essence of democracy.
But life does not stand still. The rapidly growing economic gap between rich countries and their former colonies on the one hand and the inevitable accelerated process of globalisation on the other, is presenting a new challenge for Western society.
The first signal of this challenge can be seen in the huge streams of refugees coming to Europe, the United States and Canada from the countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
If in the forthcoming decades, the West together with China, Japan, Australia and South Korea do not take urgent measures to reduce the terrible gap between rich and poor countries, we will soon find that there is no-one for the West to sell their goods to, and the stream of refugees, constantly increasing due to both the internet and the modern transport system will lead to a general economic collapse.
Perhaps now we can explain what is humanism as suggested in the title of this article… Let’s break our explanation into three parts:
- Is there an innate humanistic morality in us?
Sadly, the answer is no! A long history of human beings destroying other human beings is proof enough of this fact. Moreover, as far as modern science can tell, all peoples experienced phases of human sacrifice and even cannibalism in the early stages of development, so what innate humanist ethics can one possibly speak of? In other words, all our humanist traditions are the result of a many-thousand-year long process of evolution, which developed progressively through a process of trial and error.
- Can we hope that the humanist traditions so hard won have become instilled in us and taken root?
Sadly, the answer is again, no! Any tradition, including humanistic traditions, can disappear in the blink of an eye when external factors are intent on destroying them. In the twentieth century, the peoples of Russia, Germany and China, all with a sufficiently developed history of human civilisation easily accepted the destruction of hundreds of millions of people in the world including their own citizens once they came under the influence of the teachings of Communism and Nazism. In addition, we have seen humanitarian disasters in Cambodia and Rwanda, where these countries destroyed between a quarter and a third of their own population. In other words, humanist ethics, like any other set of ethics, is nothing more than a conditioned reflex to external circumstances.
- Does all this mean that there is no hope for a humanistic future?
Fortunately, no! We observe a distinct growth in the number of people with humanist principles who govern human and international relations, despite periodic deviations from these principles.
It appears that Humanism actually serves as a beneficial foundation for a society in which the main human instincts: Gene Preservation and Freedom of Choice can be most effectively realised (see “The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer“).
A society that values gender equality turns out to be more beneficial than a society that discriminates against women. It is enough to compare these societies to the Islamic countries, and see the huge streams of refugees, ignoring Islamic principles relating to women, fleeing the Muslim countries of Asia and Africa trying to gain entry to the countries of the Western world! Those who have children dream of bringing them up in a safe, free world. And those who don’t already have children dream of the same being possible in the future. Gender equality came to the Western world not only because women struggled to win equal rights, but because men realised that a society built on the principles of equality would be more stable and prosperous.
America abolished slavery not only because the blacks fought for their rights, but also as a result of the fact that the bulk of white Americans came to realise that a society without racism is more productive and safer for everyone, i.e. more beneficial than a society that practices racial segregation. Of course, change was eventually brought about to some degree by the enlightening speeches and demands of the humanists.
Corruption, that has wholly taken over the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America, with a few exceptions, serves the interests of an absolute minority, usually a powerful minority, and is witness to the low level of Freedom of Choice existing in these countries. In democracies with a sufficiently high level of Freedom of Choice, thanks to the free press and the control exerted by civil society, it is possible to keep corruption within rigid limits, despite the natural inclination and willingness of most people to take part in corruption, however sad it might be to acknowledge this fact. And again, this serves the interests of the majority.
In the twentieth century, a number of fundamental reforms were carried out in Western capitalist countries, aimed at significantly raising living standards among hired workers. These included the shortening of the working day, minimum wage guarantees, pensions, all sorts of social security, stimulation of employees ‘interest in the growth of their companies’ profits via share sales and numerous other measures. The laws corresponding to these reforms were adopted not as a result of the humanistic mood of the ruling capitalist class, but as a result of strikes by wage workers, fears of bloody Communist revolutions like those that took place in Russia in 1917, fear of the difficulties of raising children in an unstable country, i.e. fear for Gene Preservation.
But very quickly everyone was convinced that humanistically reformed capitalism was more beneficial for almost all members of society and produced an unprecedented increase in labour productivity, general welfare, and therefore the best conditions for the realisation of Gene Preservation.
World society will continue to become more humanistic in nature as a requirement of the most fundamental human instincts: Gene Preservation and Freedom of Choice (see “The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer“).
Since humanism is essentially one of the facets of Freedom of Choice, according to the Law of Humandynamics (see “The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer“), it will grow along with it.
Our most important conclusion is that a society structured on humanistic principles is more beneficial for the majority than any other type of society model.
The question arises, “Why should we even consider a society built on the principle of the will of the majority to be fair? After all, the minority loses out, doesn’t it?” Indeed it does! Yet in a democratic society, Human Rights remain unshakable and inviolable. This is the guarantee of stability in a democratic state.
In connection to the question posed above: “When does a nation gain immunity from being susceptible to a totalitarian ideology?”, We can now propose the following answer: “Only when that nation has long-term experience of democracy, lasting at least several generations.”
Russia, China and Germany, who became victims of Communist and Nazi ideologies in the first half of the twentieth century, did not have this experience. German democracy which began with the Weimar Republic lasted for less than one generation, while Russia and China to this day have no true experience of a real democracy. Let’s take Italy as an example of a country that does have this experience. Under Mussolini, fascism became the ruling ideology even earlier than in Germany, although it did not succeed in taking root as a national idea.
There is not a single nation in the world that can guarantee to be exempt from the possibility of a totalitarian ideology being adopted by state power. The possibility of a new communist or fascist regime emerging somewhere in the world still exists and yet the probability of this happening becomes smaller and smaller as time goes by, and the surety of this is the Law of Humandynamics (see “The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer“).
Nonetheless, the ‘good’ has to be continually instilled in us as a cultural value and we must recognise that ‘evil’ can spread of its own accord like a garden weed.
As the reality of history shows, humanist ethics can never prevent the occurrence of a social catastrophe. As we have said before, the awareness of these ethics always develops a posteriori.
If this is the case, do we, in fact, need a humanist ethic at all?
Yes! Without a shadow of a doubt!
Humanist ethics save us from repeating the same catastrophes again and again and in this way, we acquire experience. Humanity is, in fact, becoming more humanistic. “The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer” cites numerous examples, which we won’t repeat here, of unprecedented expansion of Freedom of Choice particularly around the middle of the previous century, and by connection, a growth in humanism.
Here, in short, we will simply answer the question as to why the public rhetoric of politicians has changed over time. The culture of war, through which all nations have passed from antiquity (remember Sparta!) up until the middle of the last century, is today considered taboo among politicians. At least, they will not admit to supporting the culture of war openly. We no longer hear delusional ideas from the mouths of politicians concerning the superiority of one race over another, or of one class over another, as was the case in the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, relatively recently in South Africa, and even earlier in the US before the adoption of desegregation laws. No less delirious ideas that used to divide society on the principle of “blue blood” into patricians and plebeians have long sunk into oblivion. We no longer hear politicians openly expressing sexist views.
Just because we don’t hear them, does not mean that they do not exist. They do still exist and always will do!
We conclude this article with a very recent example of how a new element of humanistic ethics is being created before our very eyes in the form of condemning sexual harassment.
So far, only the USA has been prepared to condemn this phenomenon openly and categorically. In France, a group of actresses led by Catherine Deneuve have expressed their concern that the fight against harassment has been excessive, although from the very beginning it has been quite obvious that what is being addressed is the unacceptable harassment of women by men. Almost immediately after the confident statement of the famous director Andrei Konchalovsky that one would never see a similar reaction to harassment in Russia, three brave Russian journalists began an uncompromising struggle against the harassment of a State Duma deputy.
Given that everything in the twenty-first century is happening at such huge speed, we can confidently say that within just a few years, the Western world will have done with the problem of harassment.
P.S. Those interested in a proof of the conclusions above can refer to an enlightening lecture by Professor Steven Pinker who presents various statistics showing a constant decline in violence and rise in tolerance since the ancient times despite the wide-spread myth that “the world used to be a better place”.
As The Last Faith professes, levels of Freedom of Choice on Earth are constantly increasing (fluctuations notwithstanding) by virtue of the Law of Humandynamics (see: “The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer”). As a consequence, levels of acceptance and tolerance in society are also growing: political, religious, racial, cultural, sexual and many others.
The reader will no doubt make the same conclusion by simply observing how life has changed over the past few years and/or by comparing the acceptance and tolerance levels of various historical periods to the present times.
Growth in levels of Freedom of Choice and tolerance is accelerating at an unprecedented rate. Whereas previously, one would have to review quite a large period of time, at least several decades, in order for change to be visible, now, similar change can be perceived with every passing year.
How does the Law of Humandynamics work? Recognising the undeniable fact of a growth in moral virtues from one generation to the next and the accumulation of humanistic principles in society, one might be tempted to believe that each succeeding generation is born smarter and kinder than the one before it.
Is there a physiological explanation for the buildup in one generation of the experience of previous generations? Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), there is not.
The most in-depth research shows that there is no spiritual or intellectual difference between a statistically average child born in a primitive tribe in the Amazon Jungle and an average child born in the centre of contemporary London. Similarly, there is no such difference between a child of the present day and a child of say, one hundred years ago. Judging from the methodical observations of teachers of that time, junior schoolchildren solve the same mathematical tasks today just as well or as poorly as their peers of a century ago. There is every reason to believe that no significant change has taken place in this regard over the past thousand years.
In order to understand more fully why humanity’s sense of moral ethic develops, we must first look at the cases in which it is compromised and the influencing factors that bring that change to bear.
It is a well-known fact that when a small group of people finds themselves in the wild, isolated from the rest of the world as the consequence of a shipwreck or other disaster, the moral virtues to which they have adhered throughout their previous life up to this moment are almost instantly swept aside. The individual’s entire expression of Freedom of Choice is directed exclusively towards securing the survival of self and family, if they are still together, in other words, towards Gene Preservation. In cases of extreme hunger, people will not only steal food from one another, they will go as far as to commit murder or an act of cannibalism. There are numerous accounts of such cases, in literature and particularly in documentary sources.
Lord of the Flies, the wonderful, allegorical novel by the English writer and Nobel Prize Winner William Golding comes to mind. With horrifying realism, the writer tells the story of how a group of teenage children end up on an uninhabitable island after a plane crash and how the relationships of a primitive community form and develop among the group based only on the privilege of force and how, eventually, they divide themselves up into tribes who hunt and kill the members of other tribes.
The thing is that this kind of tragedy is quite likely to take place, not only among children, whose sense of morality is not yet consolidated, but among entire nations in the context of conditions of military, economic or political crises, and not only in conditions of extreme survival.
In the first half of the twentieth century in Europe, the world witnessed two global catastrophes: firstly, the coming to power of the Communists in Russia, and secondly, the Nazis in Germany fifteen years later (subsequently in China and Cambodia).
How did the Communists and Nazis manage to control the souls and minds of millions of people and force them to reject so rapidly the humanistic moral ethics that had developed over centuries (including the Christian commandment ‘thou shall not kill)? How is it that millions of people not only agreed to the mass murder of millions of innocent people but actively participated in the act?
One has to acknowledge that people not only feared for their own lives and the lives of those close to them, huge masses accepted a new cannibalistic morality!
What did the Communists and Nazis use to lure and entice millions of their followers?
The answer is easy to find when one considers the conclusions set out in “The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer”. As the book explains, man (like any other living being) lives first and foremost for the sake of preserving his or her genes on Earth. Secondly, human beings (and only human beings) live constantly striving to expand their personal levels of Freedom of Choice. Of course, the extent of this striving may differ between any two individuals, as much as the earth differs from the sky.
Both the Communists and the Nazis played on promises to fully satisfy all conditions essential for the realisation of the primitive instinct for gene preservation, i.e. the promise to feed everyone until they were full, to provide everyone with adequate housing, and generally, to create a high material standard of living in all areas of life.
At the same time, they made no attempt to hide that this state of affairs would be achieved via plunder, suppression and, if necessary, the physical annihilation of the non-proletariat on the one hand and the non-Arian race on the other. People followed the Nazis and Communists because the horizons they promised were so tempting and, it would seem, so easily achievable that the existing humanistic moral principles were not enough to support the population in withstanding the introduction of a new misanthropical morality.
Yet, neither Lenin nor Hitler, nor their ideologists ever mentioned the natural right of man to Freedom of Choice and its associated Human Rights. Moreover, they made public warnings that anyone who failed to comply with their ideology would be destroyed.
Nonetheless, people followed their line. True only to the Law of Gene Preservation and the satisfaction of the flesh, people forgot and betrayed God’s second law, the Law of Freedom of Choice, turning their backs on the moral principles of the past. The link in time was broken! And finally, the peoples of the countries in question paid for it dearly in a manner known to all.
Those who believe that all these events are in the past and that humanity’s humanistic morality is strong enough never to allow such events to be repeated are fatally mistaken. Alas! Sacrificing Freedom of Choice and encroaching on the freedom of others will inevitably lead to the tragic mistakes of the past being sorely repeated.
And so we can only draw the sorry but honest conclusion that the true nature of human beings does not improve with time. And yet, thanks be to God, it does not worsen either. It remains unchanged.
That leads us to the question of how the Law of Humandynamics actually works. Who among serious observers of historical change would argue that morals in the world today are largely much more relaxed than they were yesterday, just as yesterday they were more relaxed than they were the day before that? Why does this happen?
This tendency emerges because every new generation begins not from a point of zero but from the point at which the previous generation left off in the battle to expand Freedom of Choice. This is the reason why levels of Freedom of Choice increase in human society and it is for this reason only that the Law of Humandynamics functions. Even though this law is guaranteed to work across relatively large periods of time, we cannot assume that it works consistently.
As we can see from the above, wars, revolutions and other disasters lead to relatively powerful fluctuations in the working of the Law, albeit tiny changes on a historical scale, when the link in time is broken and when the entire achievement of society’s morality is jolted far back into the past. The fundamental difference between the world of man and the animal world is that human beings are capable of transmitting an entire history of labour skills and morality from one generation to another. Animals, on the other hand, are incapable of doing this.
The life of each and every one of us, together with the rest of our own generation represents a single point on the Arrow of Time. Nobody wants a fluctuation to occur in their own lifetime and so, there is no cause for complacency. Virtuous morals are always very fragile. In just two to three months, television propaganda alone was enough to evoke hatred in one people towards another brotherly people transforming them into a mortal enemy (i.e. Russia’s occupation of Ukraine).
Whereas, we may be unable to influence the entirety of the Arrow of Time, either its future or its past, we are capable of bringing influence to bear in a subtle way on the point at which we currently find ourselves.
This brings us to our final question. Why is it that Human Beings strive to expand Freedom of Choice, driving the workings of the Law of Humandynamics? Could it be that there is someone above who takes care of us in this manner, nudging us further towards humanism? If only that were the case!
Man’s striving to expand Freedom of Choice was described in “The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer“ as an independent ‘physical’ law, confirmed by the endless number of observations.
And among the many consequences of this law, there is one key consequence: without doubt, growth in Freedom of Choice facilitates an increased guarantee of Gene Preservation. This means that the Law of Gene Preservation, in turn, will push human beings towards an expansion of Freedom of Choice, towards democracy and towards an expression of humanism. It’s like Yin and Yang…
This explains the endless stream of refugees from the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America, who risk their lives en route, striving to gain entry to the Western world.
I call to mind how in the 1990s an elderly friend of mine, a retired colonel of the Soviet Army took the decision to emigrate to the United States. I asked if he was not afraid at his age to face the challenges associated with having to adapt to a totally foreign world, to which he replied that he was well aware of the insurmountable psychological difficulties that awaited him and his wife in America, but that he was doing it for the sake of their children and grandchildren. That is the Law of Gene Preservation at work!
Might one fear the possibility that the peoples of the third world will one day turn away from Democracy, ceasing to find it attractive? One can say with confidence that this will never happen whilst the countries of the democratic world provide their people with the best conditions necessary to realise the most fundamental human needs, Gene Preservation and Freedom of Choice.
(Part 1 of this article on human morality is available here)
Translated from Russian original by Joanna Dobson
This article isn’t intended to give a comprehensive overview of the topic. It is simply an addition to the book’s contribution to the theme of morality already considered at length in “The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer”.
In accordance with the Law of Humandynamics, the level of freedom of choice that human beings enjoy has grown continuously throughout the entire planet since the very outset. Stumbling on its way, sometimes completely capsizing during times of war, it nonetheless always gets back up on its feet again spreading outwards and upwards and continuing its journey towards the fulfilment of purpose known only to itself and to God.
If you compare levels of freedom of choice at the beginning and the end of any 50 to 100 year period of history, you will see that this statement related to the rise in levels of freedom of choice is true. Sometimes, an increase in freedom of choice occurs spasmodically over a short period of time as a result of a democratic, or even a scientific, technological revolution.
The main reason for the growth in freedom of choice is that it becomes profitable to the absolute majority of the people. It benefits the economy, which cannot develop without the existence of freedom of choice in economic relations, and it benefits the arts and the sciences which cannot develop at all when freedom of choice is suffocated.
In this short post, we cite five examples of the most pronounced signs that levels of freedom of choice are increasing. All four examples, taken from diverse areas of human life, made the headlines around the world at some point over this year.
(1) Women in Saudi Arabia have been granted the right to drive, overturning a cornerstone of Saudi conservatism. King Salman ordered the reform in a royal decree, requesting that drivers’ licences be issued to women who wanted them.
(2) The Tunisian government scrapped the decades-old ban on marriages between Muslim women and non-Muslim men. This was announced by the press secretary to President Beji Caid Essebsi, who congratulated women on securing the ‘right to the freedom to choose one’s spouse’.
(3) After a centuries-long history of a complete ban on abortion, the Congress of Chile approved a bill that legalises abortions in limited cases. Who would argue that as a result of the approval of the bill, the level of freedom of choice enjoyed by women in Chile has not increased?
(4) The recent funeral ceremonies linked with the 20th anniversary of the passing of Diana, Princess of Wales, illustrate the extent to which custom within the Royal Family has softened and become freer over the past one hundred years.
The historical norms of the residents of Buckingham Palace, their strictly regulated upbringing and traditions are known to all. As a member of the Royal Family, you cannot get into a scrap at school, get drunk in a pub, marry freely or openly enjoy a romantic relationship. No deviation from prescribed traditions is allowed. You have to play the role you were born into, otherwise, being expelled from the family is inevitable.
It was not long ago, back in 1936 that King Edward VIII abdicated for the sake of the right to freely choose a spouse. Do not forget that the inhabitants of London responded with hostility to Edward’s choice, who in their opinion, was ill-suited to the role of future queen. Compare that to the living relationship which the British people, despite everything, have with Princess Diana.
It is a relationship that simply could not have existed even just a few decades ago, when a man was forgiven what a woman was not.
That the growth in freedom of choice, which is mainly finding expression in the acknowledgement of equal rights to freedom of choice between men and women, has reached as far as the gates of Buckingham Palace is clearly illustrated in the participation of the entire Royal Family in the funeral ceremonies mentioned above.
(5) The final significant event of recent times on our short list is the peace agreement between the Government of Colombia and the radical left-wing rebel movement FARC, which could put an end to a civil war that has continued for more than 50 years and cost an estimated 200 to 300 thousand lives.
It had taken half a century of bloody war aimed at mutual destruction for the Law of Humandynamics to bring both sides to the understanding that war does not achieve freedom of choice for anyone and what’s more, it deprives the dead of any kind of choice at all!
And whereas 50 years ago, poverty, privation and lack of human rights depriving many Colombians of the certainty of gene preservation forced them to arm themselves with weapons and take to the jungle, today, Colombia’s economic success story, establishment of the rule of law and exercise in democracy have for the very same reasons caused the rebels to reconsider their goals, make different choices and meet the government at the negotiating table.
Just as the fall of the Berlin Wall led to a dramatic surge in levels of freedom of choice for all the German people, the influx of rebel army fighters back into the civilian population based on peace conditions will undoubtedly lead to increased levels of freedom of choice for Colombia’s population as a whole.
What unites these two, seemingly very different, stories?
Here we are looking at Freedom of Choice in its extreme, hypertrophied form. The heroes of these novels, the captain of a seal-hunting schooner Wolf Larsen and artist Charles Strickland have one thing in common: an all-consuming passion for personal Freedom of Choice.
It is the kind of passion that denies not only the laws and traditions of society but overcomes the main law of nature, the Law of Gene Preservation. One hero never has children of his own and the other abandons his children.
Captain Larsen, whose face gives the impression of a “terrible, overwhelming mental or spiritual force,” believes that only power can rule the world. From early childhood, he forces his way through life ignoring anyone and anything, placing no limits on his Freedom of Choice, to the point of murder, in order to achieve the social position, which he has no doubt he fully deserves.
In contrast, the quiet, unremarkable and mediocre stockbroker Strickland, who has never displayed a rebellious nature, suddenly, at 40 years of age, to the shock of his family, colleagues and friends, abandons his job and his family and decides to become an artist. He leaves first for Paris where he learns the rudiments of being a painter.
Freeing the demon of Freedom of Choice that had lain dormant and repressed for so long, Strickland turns into the same kind of person as Captain Larsen, with no moral limitations. He gets together with the wife of his friend and benefactor, Dirk Stroeve, and exploits her as a free nude model, eventually abandoning her when she has served his purpose.
Like Captain Larsen who goes without sleep and rest in pursuit of seals across the seas and oceans, Strickland knows no rest, furiously painting one picture after the other as if fulfilling some order from “the very top” and instantly losing interest as soon as he has completed each picture. Both Larsen and Strickland pay no attention to the world around them, following a path known only to God and themselves. However, very soon Strickland begins to feel hemmed in and stifled by the limitations of classical painting at the turn of the 19th and 20th century, gives everything up once again and leaves for the island of Tahiti, where nothing prevents him from realising the force within, that tearing at flesh and soul, is bursting to get out.
What kind of people are they, Larsen and Strickland? What drives them in life? Can we judge them harshly? Are there many of their kind among us and why are they needed in life?
What was the driving force for Columbus, who discovered America? Did he feel claustrophobic in just three continents?
What motivated Einstein who discovered the Theory of Relativity? In Einstein’s case, we know that he felt restricted by the limitations of Newtonian mechanics when attempting to explain Michelson-Morley’s experiment.
What motivated the Buddha, Christ, Mohammed, who also felt the limitations of the moral teachings that existed before them offering people a different perspective on themselves, their place in the world and human relationships?
What motivates people, who dissatisfied with the existing level of Freedom of Choice in society, dream of a revolution that would expand it?
What motivates people who spend their entire life following the stars and producing music, books and paintings?
Fame and wealth? Unlikely, since only one in thousands manages to achieve it. The rest tragically end their lives childless and in poverty, like our heroes Larsen and Strickland.
The image of the struggling artist, musician and academic is well-rooted in world literature and cinema. Nonetheless, one generation after another produces individuals who consciously sacrifice their life to this passion, the passion of expanding Freedom of Choice!
Those who are able to expand their personal Freedom of Choice, at least within the field of their craft, expand it as a consequence, for all humanity. In this way, they nudge human society forwards to a new level of civilisation. These are the people who change the world, moving it forward along the Arrow of Time.
Today, perhaps the clearest example of a representative of these sky-storming individuals is Elon Musk. Perhaps he felt stifled in our contemporary cars and on our contemporary roads and so prepared a revolutionary solution to the problems associated with them. Now he feels stifled on the planet Earth itself and is eager to get to Mars.
And how do things lie between fans of Freedom of Choice and the first commandment of The Last Faith, i.e. the Law of Gene Preservation? Mostly, not good. Obsessed with their one and only passion, these individuals often “forget” about family and children. The “Genius” drama series about Albert Einstein is just another reminder of this. But who can judge these individuals, except their own family?
Nevertheless, representatives of this breed are attractive, outstanding individuals. Other people seek their friendship or at least, their attention, but let’s face it, who would want to marry their own daughter or sister to a man like Larsen or Strickland?
So what can be said of the rest of us, 99 percent of the population? We can safely say that we are doing business, building cities, constructing factories, cultivating fields, teaching in schools and universities, playing in orchestras, although we didn’t compose the music, and printing books, although we did not write them; we feed and treat everyone, including the “other 1 percent”. The workings of all social institutions rest on our shoulders. In short, the world needs us too.
When one of my friends was asked why history needed the other 99 percent of humanity if all civilisation was created by less than 1 percent, he replied: “in order to give birth to that 1 percent!”
This article opens a special cycle called The Last Faith Analysis, dedicated to the analysis of well-known books and movies from the perspective of “The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer”.
We will assume that the content of the books and films discussed is well known to a wide circle of readers, so we won’t retell the whole plot here.
Since the author is unfamiliar with much contemporary literature and cinema, the examples will mainly be taken from works of previous centuries.
So, let us begin…
Film #1: Marriage Italian Style
A famous film by Vittorio De Sica with actors Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni in the key roles, set in post-war Italy.
Domenico Soriano, a successful “Romeo” and businessman who values his Freedom of Choice more than anything else in the world, particularly when it comes to the objects of his passion, remains a bachelor up to a mature age.
When he finally resolves to fulfil the Law of Gene Preservation, in other words, to marry and have a child, he learns that his housekeeper and main mistress of many years, Filumena Marturano, has three adult sons, one of which is his own.
This is where it all kicks off. By hook or by crook, Domenico is determined to find out which of the three young men is his son. He dreams of singling him out and giving him a good education, a wealthy, successful future. The Law of Gene Preservation fully at work!
For the mother, all three children are her own genes and so she, naturally, refuses to reveal the secret. Again, the Law of Gene Preservation!
Film #2: My Step Brother Frankenstein
A film by director Valery Todorovsky, Russia. A prosperous Moscow family whose father (Yarmolnik) suddenly discovers that his adult illegitimate son Pavlik (played by Spivakovsky) is living in the same province. His son is left physically and mentally disabled as a result of the Chechen war and is now waiting for surgery in a clinic in Moscow.
After the father takes his son back with him into his Moscow family, a terrible tragedy unfolds, which results from the Law of Gene Preservation. The father is torn between his eldest son and his wife, with whom he has two teenage children. His wife (played by E. Yakovleva) naturally protects her own children (her own genes), and not without reason, fears for them living with a stepbrother with a damaged psyche.
We instantly recall the “wicked stepmother” from countless tales of all the peoples of the world. Today, justice demands, if not rehabilitation, then at least impartial clarification of the stepmother’s behaviour in the light of The Last Faith. Protecting her own children, her own blood and trying to eliminate stepbrothers and stepsisters from their path, the “wicked stepmother” blindly follows the basic law of nature, the Law of Gene Preservation.
Who could blame her? Only a woman with a truly noble soul (possible only with a developed sense of Freedom of Choice), so noble that she would be capable of overcoming this blind instinct and accepting another woman’s children as if they were her own.
Such women are rare, but they have always existed.
From the end of the last century, we have been hearing more and more cases of families (not necessarily childless!) in wealthy Western countries who choose to foster children from the troubled countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America and often these are children with serious health conditions.
What is this if not a reflection of the Law of Humandynamics, according to which the level of Freedom of Choice in the world can only increase over time?
Recently, while surfing the Internet, I came across a video clip illustrating the Law of Gene Preservation, which is described in the first conversation of The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer.
The clip captures a father and his teenage daughter as they fall through the ice when crossing a large river in winter. Without a moment’s hesitation, the father wrests his daughter from the water and throws her to the side in one swift movement. When the daughter turns to her father to give him her hand, he pushes her away with a harsh voice and tries to climb out of the ice himself without risking harm to his daughter.
Without even realising, the father fulfilled the Law of Gene Preservation twice – he saved his daughter and never allowed her to risk her life by helping him out of the water.
The Law of Gene Preservation is what unites us humans with the rest of the living world, right up to bacteria and plants.
The Law of Freedom of Choice is what distinguishes us humans from the rest of the living world.