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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 10, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Humanist faith and values

Love from without

Barbara Dority states that Darwin’s theory “explains” our “special treatment” of others in our immediate little world [“From Darwin’s theory, a sense of wonder,” guest column, Local News, Feb. 7]. My own experience, observation and, last time I checked, recorded human history seem to contradict.

We are born self-centered, going through life hurting each other out of jealousy, raping and killing others in pursuit of power and raising up ranks to accomplish the same on macro levels. If we treat those around us well, it certainly can be out of self-interest, not love.

If we look at ourselves through this lens, then evolution makes perfect sense. If this is all explained by randomness alone, as she affirms, and that all I will do is “rot” in the end, then my natural inclination would be to not care about anything but my own agenda.

But, something outside us teaches us that we have value and that those next to us do also. Dority has worth because she is first loved from without, and I can unconditionally love her and others around me simply because of our inherent value.

In the “light of evolution,” are things like unconditional love and our love of beauty and aesthetics misplaced values from a humanistic viewpoint?

— Bruce Williams, Shoreline

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