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Thor's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Thor

I agree with pretty much every single statement Prof. Dawkins makes in the article above, but I am also aware that this is THE perfect way to get the "there are no morals without Jesus"-crowd to come crawling out of the sewers.

I salute your courage, Professor, in taking a necessary further step: attacking one of the many ways in which so-called "Judeo-Christian morality" still forms and defines our culture.

Not all of it is bad, mind you. Just as one can find wise counsel and helpful advice in all human traditions of thought, be they religous traditions like Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism (hell, maybe even in Islam, though I am doubtful) or in more secular traditions as Stoicism, Epicureanism, Confucianism etc... one will, of course, find some useful ethical tales in the Bible.
(and yes, I know that categorizing Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Stoicism into either "secular" or "religious" is not a straightforward proposition - personally, I couldn't care less which way they fall)

But the arbiter of what is useful and what isn't must be factual knowledge about the way this world works (i.e. science, and in this specific case various branches of psychology, evolutionary biology and neuroscience - all that which informs us on how we humans function) AND a thorough examination of our own conscience with ethical principles that are informed by the all-surpassing achievement of the Enlightenment: the idea of human rights.

If anyone is interested in knowing more about the way in which even thoroughly secular people often unquestioniongly accept moral principles of 2000-year old middle-eastern sky-gods I recommend Michel Onfray's "Atheist Manifesto: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism, and Islam".

Thu, 29 Nov 2007 12:55:00 UTC | #87613