A middle-aged man dreaming of the day when he can stop begging for scraps and write for a living.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Religion and Morality

This has been coming up a lot lately, so I decided to put it down somewhere I could easily reference it. This observation is in no way new or original, only the phrasing is uniquely my own.

Did you ever do those obnoxious math proofs in school? Add X number plus Y number to get Z result. Now show the proof.

Did you ever get points knocked off because your proofs contained errors, even though you arrived at the correct result?

In morality as with math it's entirely possible to come up with good answers for the wrong reasons. And like those math proofs, you can't actually be sure you got the right answer because it doesn't add up. That's why I don't trust morality that isn't grounded in reality. People can and do claim their gods demand all sorts of things. They demand sacrifice, they demand worship, they demand obedience, etc. Occasionally people hit on useful things like "love thy neighbor as thyself." But just as often they use it to justify bad things like "homosexuality is an abomination" and "I do not suffer a woman to teach."

If you want to convince me that a morality is valid, you have to show me the work. Show me that the morality is rooted in reality and not simply claimed to be the wisdom of a god.

1 comment:

Peter White said...

Your ideas fit nicely with modern ideas of ethics and morality. Religious morality is unable to deal with moral dilemmas like the trolley problem or the prisoner's dilemma.