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Humane Religion Magazine

May - June 1996 Issue

THE DOMINION OF LOVE

PETER V. ROSS

No line of Scripture carries more truth and more significance than John's pronouncement, "Perfect love casteth out fear".....

What inspires a bird, in the face of chance and danger, to sally forth and gather food for its young? Obviously it is that relentless surge of love. Imbued with love, all creatures lose their sense of fear.


IMBUED WITH LOVE, ALL CREATURES LOSE A SENSE OF FEAR


 Anyone familiar with animal life, wild or domestic, can multiply instances of devotion, perhaps surpassing human faithfulness. From the high example set by his friends in the forest, men are today learning a willingness to substitute the camera for the gun.

A right word from mothers to their sons at an early age might soon put hunting and fishing, as a sport, out of fashion. Some day the Golden Rule will be given universal application, and we shall act toward the lesser creatures as we would have them act toward us.

A ZOOLOGIST’S VIEW OF ALTRUISM IN ANIMALS

Semantic distinctions between animal and human behavior often obscure fundamental similarities; a discussion of morality will be pointless if we allow our language to be distorted by a denial of benign motives and emotions in animals.

Animals show an enormous spectrum of emotions and different kinds of relationships. It is only fair to reflect this fact in a broad array of terms. If animals can have enemies they can have friends; if they can cheat they can be honest, and if they can be spiteful they can also be kind and altruistic.

Quoted From GOOD NATURED; The Origins of Right and Wrong in Human and Other Animals by Frans De Waal. Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA. 1996.

 They will respond. Then will the two races cease to prey on each other. Animals will even cease to bark and bite among themselves [in fulfillment of Isaiah 11:7-9]. The persuasiveness of love will have been more fully set in operation.This is the dominion which is given over the animal kingdom; not the dominion of terror, but of love.

Excerpted from an editorial in THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE JOURNAL, October 1942. Vol. LX, No. 7.

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