Good Minus God: Does morality depend on religion?
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
19-12-2011, 03:14 PM
Good Minus God: Does morality depend on religion?
I came across this Op-Ed piece by the philosopher Louise Antony today and wanted to share it. I think it's a particularly clear and lucid contribution to the age-old discussion.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/201...minus-god/

Excerpt:

Quote:[L]et’s take a cold hard look at the consequences of pinning morality to the existence of God. Consider the following moral judgments — judgments that seem to me to be obviously true:
  • It is wrong to drive people from their homes or to kill them because you want their land.
  • It is wrong to enslave people.
  • It is wrong to torture prisoners of war.
  • Anyone who witnesses genocide, or enslavement, or torture, is morally required
    to try to stop it.
To say that morality depends on the existence of God is to say that none of these specific moral judgments is true unless God exists. That seems to me to be a remarkable claim. If God turned out not to exist — then slavery would be O.K.? There’d be nothing wrong with torture? The pain of another human being would mean nothing?

Think now about our personal relations — how we love our parents, our children, our life partners, our friends. To say that the moral worth of these individuals depends on the existence of God is to say that these people are, in themselves, worth nothing — that the concern we feel for their well being has no more ethical significance than the concern some people feel for their boats or their cars. It is to say that the historical connections we value, the traits of character and personality that we love — all count for nothing in themselves. Other people warrant our concern only because they are valued by someone else — in this case, God. (Imagine telling a child: “You are not inherently lovable. I love you only because I love your father, and it is my duty to love anything he loves.”)

What could make anyone think such things? . . .

BTW, something I learned from this article is that atheists are no longer the most reviled group in the U.S.! Who knew? Smile

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 5 users Like cufflink's post
19-12-2011, 05:45 PM
RE: Good Minus God: Does morality depend on religion?
(19-12-2011 03:14 PM)cufflink Wrote:  I came across this Op-Ed piece by the philosopher Louise Antony today and wanted to share it. I think it's a particularly clear and lucid contribution to the age-old discussion.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/201...minus-god/

Excerpt:

Quote:[L]et’s take a cold hard look at the consequences of pinning morality to the existence of God. Consider the following moral judgments — judgments that seem to me to be obviously true:
  • It is wrong to drive people from their homes or to kill them because you want their land.
  • It is wrong to enslave people.
  • It is wrong to torture prisoners of war.
  • Anyone who witnesses genocide, or enslavement, or torture, is morally required
    to try to stop it.
To say that morality depends on the existence of God is to say that none of these specific moral judgments is true unless God exists. That seems to me to be a remarkable claim. If God turned out not to exist — then slavery would be O.K.? There’d be nothing wrong with torture? The pain of another human being would mean nothing?

Think now about our personal relations — how we love our parents, our children, our life partners, our friends. To say that the moral worth of these individuals depends on the existence of God is to say that these people are, in themselves, worth nothing — that the concern we feel for their well being has no more ethical significance than the concern some people feel for their boats or their cars. It is to say that the historical connections we value, the traits of character and personality that we love — all count for nothing in themselves. Other people warrant our concern only because they are valued by someone else — in this case, God. (Imagine telling a child: “You are not inherently lovable. I love you only because I love your father, and it is my duty to love anything he loves.”)

What could make anyone think such things? . . .

BTW, something I learned from this article is that atheists are no longer the most reviled group in the U.S.! Who knew? Smile

Short answer - An emphatic NO!

Atheists, The Tea Party, Congress - we keep great company...Sad

"Like" my Facebook page
Brain Droppings Blog
[Image: images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT16Rq3dAcHhqiAsPC5xUC...oR0pEpxQZw]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
20-12-2011, 12:28 AM
RE: Good Minus God: Does morality depend on religion?
Of course I think most on these boards would agree one doesn't need religion for morality. In fact, I believe the Bible is rife with amoral behavior. Anyone who claims to get their morality just from their religion I would give a wide berth.

Be polite.
Be efficient.
Have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like ConditionYellow's post
20-12-2011, 03:30 PM
RE: Good Minus God: Does morality depend on religion?
The comments on the article are also a fascinating read. A lot of thoughtful, lengthy posts.

My Blog
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-12-2011, 09:30 AM
RE: Good Minus God: Does morality depend on religion?
Hey, Cufflink.

His argument is faulty (full disclosure, I just read the quote).

I can ask, if humans had no lungs, then not breathing would be OK? It's irrelevant because humans do have lungs. IF God exists, he gave humans lungs and morality and IF God doesn't exist, he never gave humans either; THEREFORE, no, if God doesn't exist, then slavery wouldn't be OK.

It's a very Hobbesean notion. The idea that without the rule of law man's life is nasty, brutish and short. The difference here, again, is that the way this person set up their argument, morality is either inextricable from humanity by God's decree, or it's not at all caused by God. Either way, slavery is never OK.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-12-2011, 09:31 AM
RE: Good Minus God: Does morality depend on religion?
I thought this horse was dead?

[Image: dog-shaking.gif]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-12-2011, 09:46 AM
RE: Good Minus God: Does morality depend on religion?
(21-12-2011 09:31 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  I thought this horse was dead?

I'm assuming you mean that it is dead for a few members of this forum. Since many more join pretty much daily, no topic is really ever dead.

Idiot: : a foolish or stupid person
— idiot adjective
See Republican Candidates.

Keeping realism alive, one honest offensive comment at a time!
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Clint Barnett's post
21-12-2011, 09:52 AM
RE: Good Minus God: Does morality depend on religion?
It's just in the less than a month that I've been here, I've seen at least 3 multipost threads on the subject.

[Image: dog-shaking.gif]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-12-2011, 08:21 PM (This post was last modified: 21-12-2011 10:07 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Good Minus God: Does morality depend on religion?
I don't see how one can fully appreciate morality while one believes in a postmortem preservation of identity. Thinking there's a potential reward for your charity disqualifies you from experiencing the full benefit of your charity. I don't see how you can be good while anticipating some personal benefit from being good.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes GirlyMan's post
21-12-2011, 09:16 PM
RE: Good Minus God: Does morality depend on religion?
KC, if the horse was dead, I wouldn't be dreaming of killing Christians. Wink

If scripture, then Lucifer. Otherwise you get an infinite loop.

[Image: klingon_zps7e68578a.jpg]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: