An oldie but a — actually just an oldie

People always look to the past to validate present actions. We look to the Bible to tell us what’s right and what wrong. We look to the Constitution. We look to our ancestors. But just because something is old doesn’t mean it’s good. The world is ever changing and our approach to life needs to change with it.

The people who wrote the Bible had no conception of modern problems and neither did the framers of the Constitution. You could argue some things are timeless and absolute, but that to me is just plain lazy. That mindset ignores the complexities of reality.

Example: Climate change is bad. Deforestation is a big contributing factor. Therefore people who cut down trees are bad and should be condemned.

It’s easy to place blame on them and shame them for being morally deficient.

But, what if those people are cutting down trees to pay medical bills for their family? What if, because of circumstances they were born into, they have no other option if they want to survive.

The Bible says not to plant two kinds of crops together or wear blended fabrics. So chances are we’re all heathen or heretics.

Similarly ridiculous “rules” can be found in the Constitution. But the Constitution has evolved as society evolved. And so have interpretations of the Bible.

We try to find answers in ancient texts because it takes responsibility out of our hands and places it into the hands of an immaterial body. It makes sense though. That’s how things work. It’s harder to believe the opinion of a single person than it is the opinion of century/millenia-old collectives. And yes, there is a reason these ideologies are so old, it’s not completely arbitrary. But the reason many of them survived and thrived was because of their ability to adapt with a changing world not fight it. What happens when our interpretations fail to change as society changes? (much of this is a big idea from Homo Deus). From our days as hunter-gatherers to the present, the prevailing belief systems always matched the technologies and cultures of the time. Those that failed to adapt were forgotten or simply exist as memories of primitive societies.


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