Transcending Satanic Desires, continued
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion Article from


Stephen Kaufman, M.D., Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

Transcending Satanic Desires, continued

People almost always regard themselves as good and decent. While they usually recognize that they sometimes make mistakes, on balance they generally conclude that their actions are appropriate and just. Those widely seen by peers as being obnoxious or mean-spirited might acknowledge that they are held in low regard, but this rarely changes their fundamental view of themselves. I think that our tendency toward favorable self-perception relates to our human need for self-esteem. Consequently, this need for self-esteem can make it difficult for us to recognize when we are harming others.
There are likely several reasons that humans crave self-esteem. As Iíve discussed in greater detail in my book Guided by the Faith of Christ, I think fear of death is an important factor. If we regard ourselves as good and decent people, we can have a greater sense that God (or whatever one might call the divine) will love us and protect us during this life and reward us with a good afterlife.
The remarkable human capacity for self-delusion makes it is quite easy for us to interpret our harmful activities as justifiable or even admirable. Consider how the Nazis depicted their persecution of Jews as a glorious campaign to promote the Arian race, when it truth it was largely motivated by a desire to shift blame for the humiliating Treaty of Versailles (which ended the first World War and held Germany morally and financially responsible for the war) and a desire to steal the honest fruits of Jews labor. (See The Nazi Seizure of Power by William Sheridan Allen.)
We will have great difficulty recognizing our actions as evil as long as doing so threatens our self-esteem. Christianity offers a means by which we can acknowledge our sins. Iíll explore this next essay.

Go on to: Transcending Satanic Desires Ė The Need for Forgiveness
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