“Given humanity’s seemingly limited capacity to act rationally….hope tends to peak at the start of every new year when we briefly believe that the personal and societal mistakes of the past year needn’t be repeated.” Playwright David Williamson writing in The Australian 3 January 07.
In this article Williamson puts into words what I believe most of us at the grassroots feel, what the Skyhooks sang about in Horror Movie…it’s all there on your TV and what ‘the war channel’ SBS shows night after night. We abhor the dark side of human nature “the human capacity for violence, depravity, irrationality, hatred, indifference, arrogance, intolerance and greed”.
A wonderful fantasy for 2007 is that religious extremists of the Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths in particular will sit down, read Richard Dawkins book The God Delusion, and be swayed by a voice arguing logically “that belief in a god of any kind is a delusion that has wreaked untold damage on the world since the dawn of recorded time.”
Humanity IS capable of behaving warmly, decently, honestly, compassionately, thoughtfully and tactfully though what we see time after time in the media is the very worst of human behaviour simply because it attracts attention.
Dawkins says it’s not hard to see why the god delusion is so widespread:
To make his point about the world not being able to afford the luxury of this sort of ‘tribal affiliation’ Williamson gives a footy parallel…..being the supporter of the Collingwood football team does not mean you are a more acceptable human being than a Carlton supporter.
Williamson’s conclusion and hope for the 2007 is one we can all relate to. …”that the world will draw just a fraction closer to realising we are all part of one big tribe on a very fragile planet, and that the people who parrot the prejudices of their particular creed will start to realise how toxic their particular belief system is to any hope that the innate decency of humanity will ultimately triumph.”
Did you notice the pre Christmas report by 16 different faiths in Australia on climate change?
In what’s believed to be a world first, 16 of Australia’s leading faith communities released a document on global warming yesterday. Entitled ‘Common Belief’, it’s a collection of theological and spiritual statements on the climate change debate.
It seems the Climate Institute took the initiative to engage with the faith communities. They have been in a dialogue throughout this year, and we’ve been very encouraged with the response, with 16 faith communities calling for action on climate change. And it puts the issue in the moral dimension without question.
Can we have faith in the faiths or will ugly politics and short term thinking continue to get in the way?