When a child enters public school in the U. S. today, and his parents belong to a church which discriminates against gays and women and is against abortion, that child immediately is exposed to competiting ideas. Inclusiveness and anti bullying are taught.
Later, the child will encounter another idea that competes with his/her church. The child’s class or a club may engage in community volunteer work, helping at a shelter of raking leaves for the elderly. This is an idea called a social contract.
The concept of a social contract, articulated since the mid 1800′s, has become common to the public. I’ll define social contract as an implied agreement for mutual benefit between an individual or group and the community as a whole.
In a previous generation, it was assumed taking care of the less fortunate was the job of the church, government, family or neighbor. This was different than what is happening now.
Today I saw post was about a young man, about 18, explaining why he is not religious. He sees the less fortunate as a part of society that needs help until it, in turn, helps others. This is the mutual benefit of the social contract.
He sees his life as dedicated to carrying out this social contract. Whatever time and money he has will be devoted to this. What he wrote struck me as a product of our current educational training and contemporary social values.
He sees religion as having no role the ideals of the social contract.