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The Only Religion That Is Good Is That Of Benevolence


Do not do to others what you would not like to be done to yourself. This is the cardinal principle of the ideology of benevolence.

This sentence is powerful insofar as we recognize in the other a possible self. The problem arises from the non-recognition of the self in the other. Thus, if we admit that the other is fundamentally different and that this difference is an incompatibility of otherness, then we grant ourselves the right not to apply this rule to everyone.

Racism, sexism, speciesism, etc. are all illustrations of the denial of the empathy that one could spontaneously have for beings that present certain differences. The lack of capacity to recognize the other as oneself explains many of the ills. If the cardinal principle were applied more rigorously, there would be greater general respect.

The relationship with nature can also be improved by applying this rule. Recognizing nature and its elements (the sea, the forest, etc.) as people in their own right would help us to increase our respect for them. Personifying or even divinizing an element such as the sea for example, is not a heresy. It allows us to improve our relationship with the world. If we admit that there is a consciousness in nature and that we apply the cardinal principle, it is then impossible to pollute or abuse nature.

Recognizing that sentience and intelligence take different forms is a sign of the expansion of our own sentience.

If we are accustomed to treating people with respect and dignity, we can easily improve our relationship with the environment if we place ourselves in a new perspective. It is not easy to see an injustice when we directly or indirectly benefit from it. Nevertheless, if we make the effort to put ourselves in the shoes of all the entities that cross our path, be they human, animal, vegetable or natural, we could diminish our irreverence towards those whose dignity is daily scorned. By recognizing life and intelligence in all its forms, we become emissaries of peace.

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