History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Morality and god

May 27th, 2010 · No Comments

Why morality doesn’t need God
Added: Thursday, 27 May 2010 at 03:04 PM

If God is not, everything is permitted.” Or so they say. Except they’re wrong. Dangerously so.

This dictum – that without some absolute divine authority, then morality is at best arbitrary, at worst, annihilated – is unsheathed and bandied about all-too-often these days.

Recently, it’s reared its seditious head in response to the trial of an ethics-based complement to scripture in NSW. The church has pulled out all the stops to block the ethics class, and one of the reasons posed is that ethics without God is hollow, that teaching secular ethics is like teaching English without books, maths without numbers, science without observation.

But the notion that God is required in order for morality to have any real clout is demonstrably false. In fact, if you want a comprehensive, robust and flexible ethics that can address the problems we face today, then you need to explicitly look for a morality without God.

This is because the subject matter of morality is very much grounded in the real world: morality deals with real people, real issues and has to navigate real conflicts. And the real world is a complicated place where not everything is as it seems. One of our best tools for understanding the real world is the humble question “why.” But often you have to ask “why” more than once to get to the answer.

In theory this is a correct argument, but in practice the damage done here is ongoing and destructive. Nietzsche’s appeal to scientists is concealed and deadly.
This idea, it should be said, was clearly present in Kant! You still have to explicate morality, and scientism/Darwinism can’t do that.

Tags: ethics

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