God or Not #4: Morality
Welcome Carnival participants!
The-Goddess is please to host this fourth assembly of thoughtful individuals willing to participate in an experiment ultimately vital to the health and welfare of American Culture. The first step toward harmony is understanding, and we’ve got an amazing group of varied and carefully considered arguments to peruse today. I didn’t submit a post to this round, but I’ll post some of my thoughts after the introductions. Now, let’s meet our culture warriors:
On the Theist side, we begin with a short but powerful post from Deepak Chopra at Intent Blog entitied What Does Jesus Mean By "Resist Not Evil?" which takes a well-timed look at Jesus’ words and the attitudes modern Christians advocate in America today.
Christopher at Mathetes takes a look at Evolutionary Ethics and concludes that is an oxymoron.
Reverend Bill shares his Advent Questions and Prayers, wondering why Christians object to going to Church when Christmas falls on a Sunday and hoping for a less secular approach to honoring Jesus’ birth.
Foyle at Verum Serum takes the position that Atheism is ineffective in times of need for lack of an organizing principle inherent to religion in Atheism Hampers the Moral Efforts of Atheists.
Maureen at Dying in Christ rejects the possibility of morality without “God” in no uncertain terms in The Utter Depravity of "Human" Morality.
MysWizard borrows from Popes, Cardinals and Wikipedia to examine Relativism in all shapes and forms.
Pseudo-Polymath’s Mark Olsen takes us on a philosophical tour in Amateur Apologetics: Morality
And a good friend of mine, Athana of Radical Goddess Thealogy examines theist and atheist morality from a Goddess perspective in godFather, godScience, GodMother & Morality.
In the other corner,
Francois Tremblay at Goosing the Antithesis describes Christian doctrine as utilitarian code rather than morality in The Role of Morality in Religion.
Aaron Kinney at Kill The Afterlife takes an irreverent stance against the term “pro-life“ in Rudolph the Redneck Christian Terrorist.
Uberkuh takes an über-rational approach to show that a static moral code must inevitably lose objectivity in Capturing the Elusive Objective Moral Standard as posted on his eponymous blog.
Pooflingers Anonymous finds that experience is the best source of morality in his parable A Tale of Two Engineers.
The Uncredible Hallq searches for categorical imperatives in Free Will and Morality.
At The New Analytical Review, Will seems to embrace Virginia Held’s ”ethics of care,“ though he rejects the matrifocal orientation that would make such a system thrive as ”not essential to the argument“. *sigh* He makes a fine juxtaposition between Held’s theory and the empiricist liberalism of F.A.Hayek.
Finally, Kiril at Sneakeasy’s Joint shares some classic quotes about American religion in DeTocqueville’s Religion in America.
Thanks so much to everyone who participated. I think this is an important project and I have great respect for everyone who is willing to join in.
The culture wars have less to do with religion than psychology. It matters less what one believes than how and why they believe it. Any unexamined authority, whether Biblical or philosophical, that is encoded without question or examination will become a problem. The problems caused by fundamentalism might better be described as literalism. Rather than concrete, either/or thinking, we need to have the imagination to consider other points of view.
Whatever you believe, you have to be willing to recognize that none of us will know the truth until we actually die. In the mean time, we’ll all get along better if we can embrace the abstract concept that we might just be wrong. That little bit of doubt will make us all better citizens and easier to live with. It will allow us to respect each other’s differences, be tolerant of other opinions and creeds. Awareness of the possibility the one thing that will make a person less likely to throw a bomb or start a war for an idea. Our differences can unite us if we cherish them. To borrow a line from St. Paul’s Churchyard:
”The world has a surplus of irrational villains.
We are still in need of mad saints to save us from them.
I for one am not bothered if the ideas which inspire them are not my own.“
btw- Firefox was giving me fits so let me know if the links aren't working.
ETA: Firefox was adding characters, messing up links and apparently deleted the introduction to the Atheist posts. My apologies to Francois - his post is excellent and not to be missed. Sorry for any inconvenience!