Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Relating Religion and Immorality

In that last post I objected to the moral crime of spending other people's money without their consent ($14 trillion in debt passed to future generations) while, at the same time, trashing their property - including their agricultural land, killing and sickening many in the process.

I suggested that this makes us poor (temporal) neighbors.

I would like to note that neither of these moraal crimes have anything to do with scripture. People are not going to the Bible to justify the deficit, nor are they quoting scripture to justify the act of poisoning future generations and trashing their homes and property.

These moral crimes have perfectly secular roots.

Sure, there are religious people who deny that we can harm future generations because they deny that there will be any future generations to harm.

Repent! The end is near!


These people deny their victimization of others simply by denying the existence of those victims.

But they don't make up enough of the population to blame religion for these moral crimes. It doesn't justify the conclusion that "This is all the fault of religion and if we got rid of religion we would not have these problems."

Yes, we would.

Even of one were to put into scripture, "Thou shalt rob the accounts of thy children and thy children's children and destroy their property and their health and kill many so as to provide for thine own comfort and happiness," we would need to ask why people invented such a religion.

We would have to ask what will happen when they leave religion behind. What is to stop them from replacing one stupid rationalization for evil that claims the existence of God with another stupid rationalization that does not?

A lot of evil is being done in America in God's name. Homosexuals are denied marriage, children are trained in irrational stupidity, science classes fail to teach science because of troublemakers defending their myths, and the government instructs its citizens to think of those who do not trust in God or support a nation 'under God' as anti-American. This latter instruction effective bars atheists from public office.

In other parts of the world the evils done by those who claim scriptural justification are truly horrendous - competing with many of the most barbaric cultures of human history.

When you give people with a medieval mindset and morality access to weapons of mass destruction, you should expect huge doses of misery and suffering to follow.

However, this does not change the fact that there are great evils having nothing to do with religion or scripture.

Focusing too much on religion gives these other evils a free pass.


Anonymous said...

While I agree with your sentiment, I don't agree with with the idea that we have a moral obligation to those that *might* someday exist.

Does a woman have an obligation towards the child that does not exist, making abortion immoral? Or does it create the duty to have as many children as possible? The votes of the not-yet-living must surely outnumber us all, if they are to be considered as having a legitimate voice.

We didn't ask for lots of things, including the last generations debt. From the day we're born we exist under rules we had no say in, duties we didn't ask for, and rights we didn't request.

If you don't exist you don't have rights.

Alonzo Fyfe said...

We do not have an obligation to those who might someday exist.

We have obligations to those who will exist.

Value exists as a relationship between states of affairs and desires. Desires that will not exist will not create value. Desires that will not exist create no value.