A colleague and friend of mine is a Unitarian Universalist and we recently had an interesting conversation about the human condition. We were discussing one of the recent shootings in the U.S. and reflecting on several of the violent acts committed this year, including the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh.
She said the only way she can cope with her sadness is to believe that everyone is born as a good person, and environmental factors (how they are “nurtured”) ultimately triggers these people to act violently. I told her that I believe we are all born with an evil/sinful nature and she was completely shocked. I even felt that I lost some of her respect for believing something that seems hopeless.
I’ve briefly read about Unitarian Universalism and it seems they draw their beliefs from a variety of sources. Here are six sources posted on their website:
We receive inspiration for our lives from a variety of wisdom sources:
- Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life
- Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love
- Wisdom from the world’s religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life
- Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves
- Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit
- Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature
Does anyone have experience or knowledge about this belief system? Any advice for how to explain evil?