Consider this quote in the same context as the two most recent posts—that is, as though their interdependent nature makes them belong together in the same message. As wise social animals, we likewise recognize the interdependent relationship we share with all other humans. Even lone wolf-types cannot escape the need for other people, or other animals. They will not accomplish much and will barely subsist. Only through the use of tools, mostly designed and produced by other people, will they survive. Even to resort to thievery requires someone from whom to steal.
“…to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others,” states the basis of good human morality, and the tendency to overlook that and add pretexts to it is what devalues faith-based morality. Justice, fairness, tolerance—all are close kin to moral virtue, at which monotheism (single-god faith) is a screaming failure.
To acknowledge our innate interdependency requires a nod to evolution, which avoided providing us with claws, fangs and tusks, and gave us a tool-making brain instead. That brain enables us to learn and understand concepts such as relationships, autonomy, the importance of tolerance, and behave accordingly, and recognize and denounce the immorality of those who act to advantage themselves from others’ broadmindedness. Unless ourselves feel inclined to such actions, we sense the unfairness of them as wrongdoing. Even those guilty of such misbehavior must avoid acknowledgement of that sense, which must arise from the homeostasis built into our bodies.
If that connection can be established, it would explain a lot about what makes us human. Our self-awareness does inform us in many ways that aid self-maintenance, and about how we stand in our relationships with others. For that to be so alerts us to the natural origins of morality, and ought to give scientists full confidence in the notion that morality belongs to science, not faith-based religion.
Homeostasis, the regulating process that keeps us stable and able to endure a wide variety of variable circumstances, can get overwhelmed by stress when called upon to exceed its limits for long periods of time. That ongoing stress can lead to illness and death makes this a matter of serious concern very much relevant to human concerns about freedom, behavior, well-being and more. A well-developed set of tested secular moral values could be derived from this, that, if universally applied, could lead to the onset of world-wide sanity. We affect each other greatly, perhaps in more ways than most of us realize.