The concept I’m about to try to impart is simple, though maybe asking of a little bit of sophistication to understand, but it’s absolutely revolutionary—or at least it would have the potential to be in a partially idealistic world (that is, a world idealistic enough that a good idea could change everything, but not idealistic enough that things still need to be changed).
Think of any particular group of people that tends to be disparaged. Blacks? Jews? Men? Muslims?
As long as the people in question don’t belong to that group by choice—say, for example, that they all exclusively have something genetically in common, or they all live in the same geographical area, or they all inherited their religion from their parents—it’s illogical to blame or fault them for their shortcomings or perceived shortcomings. (It may seem contentious that people inherit religions, but if the majority of people with parents of X religion end up being members of X religion, then being of that religion wasn’t really a deliberate choice, for the most part.)
The very fact that all of the people from that group have the same negative or perceived negative trait in common, or not even all of the people but that there exists a statistical tendency in the group, necessarily implies that the causes of that trait trace back to the same things that cause the group to have the very traits that place it into that group, and those are things that (as we’ve defined earlier) are congenital and therefore out of the control of the people of that group.
For example, say there’s a race of aliens in the Andromeda galaxy that think that humans are just awful, crude, barbaric, selfish, evil, etc. The very fact that humans tend to be this way and the alien species doesn’t, implies that there are overall factors in the human context—be they environmental, genetic, cultural, or whatever–that statistically cause humans to be that way. Otherwise there would be nothing to stop the statistics of human traits and the statistics of the alien traits from being the same, just due to the nature of statistics.
One might argue that if the problems are cultural then they’re our fault, but it makes no sense to blame a culture since that’s an abstract concept; it only makes sense to blame individuals, and as long as the culture is the reason (hypothetically, let’s say it’s the sole reason) for them being that way, then that implies that if one of those aliens were born on our planet he’d probably turn out just as selfish, evil, etc. as humans. Similarly, if a radical feminist who who wants to kill all men were born as a man, she’d probably embody the traits of men that she despises.
Of course there are philosophical issues surrounding the question of whether anyone “could have been born” as someone else: whether that implies a soul that exists pre-birth, whether such souls exist, and not to mention whether people/souls actually do choose what context (such as race, species, gender, culture, or religion) they’re born into. But my bringing up the idea that someone “could have been born” in a different context (as a different race, etc.) is merely a tool of thought or thought experiment, an intermediary concept to bring us closer to the real nugget here which is that any statistical variation between groups implies variation in their engendering contexts or natures. The individual presumably does not choose this context or nature (such as his having been born in the Milky Way galaxy, or of his humanness) and is therefore not at fault.
While my reasoning doesn’t depend on it, if you believe in the concept of oneness—that we’re all ultimately one consciousness differentiated only on a surface level—then that brings you that much closer to the concept of faultlessness. It means that a man is the radical feminist who hates him, the human is the alien who despises humanity, the black guy is the white supremacist, just simultaneously living in another experiential context that causes him to act however he does.
One thing worth delving into is the case where a group of people is grouped together by the choices of living persons. For example, the group called “cops” is the group of all people who were attracted to that profession and chose it. So if a lot of cops are bullies, you can theoretically still place blame on them (notwithstanding the aforementioned concept of oneness) because they may have chosen to become cops because they’re bullies. While statistically a certain number of individuals may grow up to be bullies, there’s no statistical accounting for which individuals did and why.
Or is there? You could conceive that the bullies being bullies is just a slightly outlying example of the default nature of humans that, relative to the Andromedans, is barbaric, evil, etc. So as long as a superior species exists, where most or all members of the species are basically good-natured, you can say that any or at least most people who are “bad apples” grew up to be bad applies because they were unfortunate enough to be born humans. Similarly if there’s an even holier intelligent species somewhere in the cosmos, even those few faults or outliers the Andromedans have can be blamed on the fact that they happened to be born Andromedan. So basically, the very possibility of a perfect race proves that everybody in the universe is innocent.
Unless there are souls and the choose the context it’s born into. But even if that’s the case, it’s probable that they choose to be put into challenging and possible corrupting contexts for the sake of growth or some other noble purpose, rather than that they’re just bad-natured souls.
Note that my bringing up souls and oneness in this essay doesn’t mean my argument is a basically mystical argument; these mystical considerations are merely asides. The fundamental argument remains strictly rational. Likewise, my bringing up of aliens is merely an example. It could just as easily apply to, e.g., males versus females.
Now, going back to the belief that we’re all ultimately of one consciousness, it bears mentioning that in this case we can forgive the individual who has a negative trait or does a negative thing that doesn’t necessarily trace back to a factor of the group they were born into, because if we’re all one then that necessarily means that we would likely do exactly the same things they did/are doing if we had metaphorically walked a million miles in their shoes.
If you don’t believe that, that’s fine. There’s still the rational fact that it makes no sense to blame an entire group of people, or an individual within a group of people that expresses that group’s negative trait(s), where being in that group isn’t a choice. And there’s the even further argument that if there’s even the possibility of a perfect species in the cosmos, then every bad apple in every other species is necessarily the hapless product of having been born into a less-than-ideal context; either that or the perfect species deserves no praise and only condemnation because they could have been a less-than-perfect species doing less-than-perfect things, but that would be slightly absurd, and we might as well default to positivity.
And not only should perpetrators of evil deeds be forgiven (at least if they did it because of their race, sex, religion, species, etc.), we should have compassion for them and their having been afflicted by such ugliness. This way we all support each other, and doing so will speed up our evolution as a species by a thousand-fold. Perhaps, with all the healing that would subsequently take place, utopia could actually be reached.