95:3 Evolution of Moral Concepts
95:3.1 Although the culture and religion of Egypt were chiefly derived from Andite Mesopotamia and largely transmitted to subsequent civilizations through the Hebrews and Greeks, much, very much, of the social and ethical idealism of the Egyptians arose in the valley of the Nile as a purely evolutionary development. Notwithstanding the importation of much truth and culture of Andite origin, there evolved in Egypt more of moral culture as a purely human development than appeared by similar natural techniques in any other circumscribed area prior to the bestowal of Michael.
95:3.2 Moral evolution is not wholly dependent on revelation. High moral concepts can be derived from man's own experience. Man can even evolve spiritual values and derive cosmic insight from his personal experiential living because a divine spirit indwells him. Such natural evolutions of conscience and character were also augmented by the periodic arrival of teachers of truth, in ancient times from the second Eden, later on from Melchizedek's headquarters at Salem.
95:3.3 Thousands of years before the Salem gospel penetrated to Egypt, its moral leaders taught justice, fairness, and the avoidance of avarice. Three thousand years before the Hebrew scriptures were written, the motto of the Egyptians was: "Established is the man whose standard is righteousness; who walks according to its way." They taught gentleness, moderation, and discretion. The message of one of the great teachers of this epoch was: "Do right and deal justly with all." The Egyptian triad of this age was Truth-Justice-Righteousness. Of all the purely human religions of Urantia none ever surpassed the social ideals and the moral grandeur of this onetime humanism of the Nile valley.
95:3.4 In the soil of these evolving ethical ideas and moral ideals the surviving doctrines of the Salem religion flourished. The concepts of good and evil found ready response in the hearts of a people who believed that "Life is given to the peaceful and death to the guilty." "The peaceful is he who does what is loved; the guilty is he who does what is hated." For centuries the inhabitants of the Nile valley had lived by these emerging ethical and social standards before they ever entertained the later concepts of right and wrong—good and bad.
95:3.5 Egypt was intellectual and moral but not overly spiritual. In six thousand years only four great prophets arose among the Egyptians. Amenemope they followed for a season; Okhban they murdered; Ikhnaton they accepted but halfheartedly for one short generation; Moses they rejected. Again was it political rather than religious circumstances that made it easy for Abraham and, later on, for Joseph to exert great influence throughout Egypt in behalf of the Salem teachings of one God. But when the Salem missionaries first entered Egypt, they encountered this highly ethical culture of evolution blended with the modified moral standards of Mesopotamian immigrants. These early Nile valley teachers were the first to proclaim conscience as the mandate of God, the voice of Deity.