The World's First Family
Selfishness is a primordial survival instinct on par with the instinct to reproduce. I suspect that millions of years ago our ancestors bred like wild animals and that the male did not take any responsibility for the young that were produced; that was left up to the mother who had to find food and shelter and avoid predators on her own, and the weak did not survive. Nature programmed us to be selfish and it may have saved our species from extinction; a strong male predator that is selfish survives and grows stronger and as he grows stronger and is no longer hungry he starts feeling the second primordial instinct and that is the urge to mate. I suspect that the first families were headed by early men who enjoyed the satisfaction and pleasure of mating with particularly amiable and attentive females: I also think this altered the male’s basic selfish instinct to survive to include a mate that gives him attention and pleasure that he had not experienced before.
A strong male that could provide food and shelter for himself and his new mate would, I think, take another mate as soon as the first female was pregnant; so his survival instinct of selfishness would expanded to cover himself and his two females. The female’s instinct provides her with what she needs to know and do and the male may also have faint memories of once having a mother. Early man was, without being aware of it, expanding his circle of selfish survival instincts to include his females and their children; early man started to protect what he had and enjoyed from predators. The females were also in a new position and had expanded their selfish survival instincts; they had a strong male that was staying with them, protecting them, feeding them, and protecting their children from predators.
Somewhere on the African Savannah millions of years ago the world’s first family was created.
Our clothing has changed with physical requirements and our ability to meet those requirements. Five hundred years ago the majority of people had two types of clothing; they had warm-and-drab clothing for winter and they had cool-and-drab clothing for summer. As our technology advanced our clothing changed to make us more comfortable and attractive while at work or play. If God had wanted everything to be black, white and gray why did he give us color; and why did he create plant life and wild life of every color in the rainbow?
Our technology has created new dangers and every mother on earth has updated her warnings to her children to reflect the new dangers. Should we not expect religion to do the same? We should not be expected to follow blindly those religious customs or even laws that were meant to keep us out of trouble in a society that existed a thousand years ago. While most of the laws and some of the customs are still valid, some are not and we should not allow ourselves to be dragged down by them.
Stop the world I want to get off.
Religious leaders constantly fight with technology and every religion has their own line drawn on the technology time-line chart where, they say, God has told them to stop and go no further. Where should we have stopped? Should we have stopped when we learned to make a weapon by tying a stone to a stick to protect ourselves from wild animals? Should we have stopped when we discovered how to make fire? Should we have stopped when we learned to make bows and arrows? Should we have stopped when we learned to make guns? Should we have stopped when we learned to use a horse for transportation? Should we have stopped when the automobile was invented? Should we have stopped when we learned to make aspirin? Maybe we should have stopped when we discovered penicillin or the heart transplant? Where does God want us to stop?
The Amish in Ohio and Pennsylvania have stopped the technology time line at a house without electricity, a horse and buggy, and black-and-white cloths. However, the males and females are held to the same set of rules.
Some Arabs have stopped the technology time line at wearing particular clothing; however, this interruption of the time line only applies to women, men can travel as far down the clothing time line as they wish.
I recently read that the Zoroastrians, after 2600 years, are updating their fire temples to use gas to keep the fire going instead of wood. Their logic was "we use gas in our houses so why shouldn't we use gas in our temple". Maybe the Zoroastrians will, once again, define the path for everyone else to follow.
Update from God
I think religions need updating periodically just like a mother's survival instructions for her children. In Little House on the Prairie the mother's instructions to her children were simple and easy to follow "don't go too far from the house" and "keep away from any approaching strangers".
Fifty years later a mother living in the same place might tell her children "don't go too far from the village" and "keep away from strangers".
After another fifty years in Life with Father the mother's instructions might have been "don't go too far away" and "stay away from boys who use bad language" and "keep away from strangers".
Then, after another fifty years in The Cleavers the mother's instructions might be "don't go into that section of town" and "stay away from boys who smoke and use bad language" and "keep away from strangers".
Each mother understands the dangers her children will be exposed to and tailors her instructions to help them survive. Each set of instructions is only valid for the time period in which they are given.
There are a few instructions that mothers give that remain valid over the centuries (i.e., always ware clean under cloths, always wash your hands before you eat, always treat others the way you want to be treated and stay away from strangers.
All of the Ten Commandments that Moses delivered three thousand years ago are still valid; however, most of the laws that men made three thousand years ago to insure the survival of the tribe are not relevant today. If you follow today's instructions on refrigeration and good hygiene, you can eat pork, milk, cheese, eggs, beef and any other combination of food without fear of getting sick and, at God's cosmic level of supervision, I don't think He really cares.
Everything we do and are exposed to has changed with technology and technology has changed the everyday dangers that we have to deal with. Our mother's instructions reflect today's dangers and, I think, any religion worth practicing should also.