It makes sense if the ideas correspond with, or inspire our own world view. The view we develop in our own authority. I agree that we are internalizing beliefs and values under pressure of our social environment, but we can break free of that cage and translate the advice of dead people into our own frame of reference.

I* was reared in a Protestant family (great-great grandfathers, grandfathers, and 9 uncles were missionary or reverend) but decided to leave the church and its beliefs after I discovered my own authority. I tried to develop my own ‘credo’ ever since. We are born free. We are entitled to choose our own ideologies. We have to resist to ideologies and corresponding power structures that threaten this freedom of thought. We are not entitled to force anyone else to follow our ideologies.

Many principles, values and norms in that personal faith correspond with the advice of dead people, but only after critical reflection. Even for the atheist humanist I try to be, there is much wisdom in religious books and their exegesis. ‘Do to others as you want them to do to you’. This rule implies active altruism. Written down by a very dead person, but fitting into a very modern humanistic frame of reference.

*Dutch, 71, white male.

Friend of life and beauty and foe of spoilers of life and beauty. Golden marriage. Grandfather. Pianist and micro poet. Dutch, European.

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