Religion and Skepticism vs. Morality

Reader comment on: Andrew Klavan on the Long Game

Submitted by Harry Binswanger (United States), Nov 9, 2012 22:49

Klavan says: "only the existence of a God in whose image we are created can support the notion of moral truth at all." No. If God existed, there could not be a morality--only prudential calculation of how to propitiate Him. Mindless subservience to a superior power is hardly what it is to see what's right and dedicate oneself to it.

There is a fact of reality that grounds morality. You are a living organism. it is the stark alternative of your own life or death that gives rise to the entire phenomenon of good and bad. (See "The Objectivist Ethics," in The Virtue of Selfishness)

If morality required inventing deities, why would we want to have a morality? We don't say "we need to accept a belief in lead turning to gold because only that can support alchemy." But morality isn't alchemy, it isn't supersitition, it isn't just taboos. We do care about saving morality--because it is

an urgent, practical necessity. The absence of morality from men's lives would have disaterous consequences here on earth, for our very survival.

E.g., Honesty is not good because some external (made-up) authority demands it, but because it is destructive to your life for you to deceive yourself or others. It really is. Man has a nature. Given man's nature, certain principles of action are pro-life and others anti-life. we must choose between them. That's what makes a moral code necessary.

Wider: the alternative is not religious faith or post-modern nihilism. The alternaive is both of those vs. objective knowledge and objective moral values, based on man's life qua man as the standard of moral value. The alternative is not the Pope vs. Timothy Leary--but both of them vs. any rational, principled man--like, for instance, the Founding Fathers. Or, like the heroes of Ayn Rand's novels.

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Title By Date
⇒ Religion and Skepticism vs. Morality [302 words]Harry BinswangerNov 9, 2012 22:49
Resources [30 words]MaxNov 9, 2012 17:12

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