Reflections by Gerald Trumbule
Every once in a while, I find myself reflecting on my place in the universe. To refresh my sense of self, I like to watch Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot. We talk about the view from 30,000 ft., but the view from 35 million miles is the one we should keep in mind.
And then, for good measure, I re-read Cenk Uygur's The Liberation of Meaninglessness, which I reprint here for your convenience:
Misjudging our own importance is a form of exceptionalism. We think we are different from everyone or everything else, for example, we think: the sun revolves around the earth, we have Manifest Destiny to explain our genocide of the natives, we alone have a soul, or consciousness, we alone go to heaven.
We believe in the sanctity of human life. We believe our rights come from God, as in "God-given rights". We believe we are "endowed" with these rights, and nothing else is so endowed (although some have started to believe that all life may be endowed).
If you are an atheist, the "rights come from God" argument won't work, and getting endowed would be done by ....?
I think our rights only come from our assertion that we have rights and only to the extent that we are willing to back up that assertion if these self-proclaimed rights are threatened. Some say that they will fight and die for these rights when others would attempt to take or reduce them. Who has the rights gets decided by who has the force. The law of the jungle prevails. This is the nature of the universe - the way it really is - naturally.