Saturday, November 14, 2009

Well this is fucked up

If you ever need an example of why basing morality in rigid laws set down thousands of years ago is absolutely retarded, read this piece from answers in genesis.
Apparently, since we are all going to die anyway, you shouldn't lie to protect Jews from Nazis. Delightful, isn't it?

I'd add something else, but frankly, I can't think of anything that would help show exactly how screwed up this is. It really stands for itself.



    At least theists believe in something greater and better than themselves (This maybe the drink talking... considering I have atheists and agnostics in J&C)

    Wait, why am I reading your blog when I could be working on J&C?

  2. Of course my twitter was right. It's on the interwebs, and the interwebs are always right (except when they disagree with me).

    Also, I do believe there are things greater and better than myself. Mostly because the thought that I could be the best the universe has to offer is pretty ridiculous.

  3. Much more sober than I was previously...

    The nature of the morality is a difficult one. If we use the metaphor of Watchmen, you can look at a moral dilemma in three ways. You can do what Rorschach did and say that there is black and white and no grey. Once you set up your moral code you have to stick to it. I am not saying you have to go with the harsh judgements Rorschach did, but keeping with the same absolutes. If lying is wrong you may not lie, or face the judgement.

    The moment you start getting away from that moral conviction of black and white everyone has their own place to draw the line, though most will agree Rorschach's absolutism is too far. Most will be like Niteowl, judging on a case by case basis what is right and what is wrong based upon the causes, events and one's own moral code. He might be willing to lie to save a life, but not willing to kill to save two lives, for example. But then you can run full gambit down to Ozymandius who was willing to slaughter millions to save billions, considering it a net gain, an idea so horrible few would even think of it.

    Ultimately in life every person has to deal with their own consciences. This is why people tend to hang onto religious laws that appear outdated. Many Church of England vicars will say that there can be righteous lies, righteous wars even (not the crusades... wars of defence), but then on the other side of the pond a bible thumping baptist will say it is wrong based on the same evidence. Ultimately it doesn't matter as long as each is happy with the choices he has made. And if there is a God, which I believe there is, he will be the judge and we cannot tell what his decision will ultimately be, we can only try to do what we think is best, what we hope is best and pray we don't get burnt in hell for it.

  4. Hmm, discussing morality while sober? Crazy enough to work.

    Yes, morality is a complicated issue, and there are rarely any easy answers. I've gotten into way too many morality arguments only in the last week to believe otherwise. A theist might believe that what is moral is ultimately known or determined by God. Of course, an atheist such as myself cannot resort to that position.

    My own perspective is that morality is not a fact of the universe, that it's something that originates in the human mind. More specifically, that humans are social animals and morals are a way to improve cooperation, so morality is, ultimately, whatever helps humans live and work with each other to the greatest extent possible. A concept such as a rigid moral law that does not take into account the consequences of the action when issuing condemnation is ridiculous from that point of view.
    A different perspective, one in which morals are rules to be followed to the letter, in which something being moral or not does not depend on the consequences of the action but on being on the "good" list or the "evil" list, need not have any problem with rigid, unchanging morality.

    I guess my point is, we all have our moralities, and we have to base them on something, be it a religion, a philosophy, or an instinctive reaction, or something else, or a mix of all of the above. The extent to which you can argue morality with someone with a different basis is limited. So, in defence of my original post, showing that a moral system has as a consequence something more or less universally regarded as evil is one of the few resources you have. Short of arguing against the basis itself, which I do elsewhere.