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← Moral Clarity and Richard Dawkins

QuestioningKat's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by QuestioningKat

This guy sees only his model for morality and doesn't realize that morality is dependent upon human interactions and social situations. His model is flawed. I have so many difficulties with this article.......

First to claim that someone actually has a foundation in morals based upon the Bible is overlooking modern psychology. I think of this as the basement of the house, the unseen and unaware motivators of our lives. These are beliefs like "I am an unworthy person." "Life is scarce and good things are hard to come by." "I am superior and entitled to whatever, I like." "Nobody dares challenge me."These motivators come from our upbringing, our biological nature, our experiences, etc. Most likely we are not aware of these actual views. Instead religious put on a first floor of "God's holy character" and hope to control these undercurrents.

In daily life, the common understanding is that personal integrity and logical consistency come from an alignment between the foundation, the first floor, and the roof of your ‘moral home.’

No it comes from a more automatic place. The basement uses the first floor to justify actions. If the first floor is not in alignment with our understanding of psychology and human nature, some actions will become warped. If a first floor has a moral that homosexuality is wrong, but the basement has stuffed back homosexual tendencies, what comes out of the chimney is something less than authentic, maybe injured, maybe a half life, maybe angry.... If the first floor says homosexuality is biologically based and can be found in various life forms, you are free to be who you are. Actions on the roof will be content, productive, psychologically balanced... because they are in alignment with actual truth supported by factual evidence.

In this model the first floor of God's morality becomes a filter to allow possibilities that are in alignment with a moral system that was actually humanly determined by ancient beliefs of uneducated and unaware men of the day. A humanist morality is much superior since we have allowed our views to come under the scrutiny of modern psychology, science, and actual human interactions.

The author has confused a philosophical understanding that there is "no right and wrong" in the universe with the more concrete understanding that we can actually do wrong to other people. People help people and people also harm people. To say that Dawkins has no morality is ignorant and arrogant. The author assumes he understands a topic which he has no grasp of understanding. He can't get past his idea of the first floor.

"Similarly, sometimes atheists point out immoral behavior among Christians and say “this behavior is inconsistent with your (and our) ethical system, which makes you a hypocrite.” Christians can respond by saying, “Yes, that is bad behavior, and we resolve to change our lifestyles.” But if they respond, “But our ethical standards are the same here, so really, we agree” then they’ve missed the point.

The difference here is that the religious seek forgiveness from an outside source while atheists need to take responsibility to correct the situation and give proper credit if someone does something beneficial. A religious person could ask for forgiveness for beating his wife and all would be good with the eyes of the church. An atheist will recognize that something is not well with this individual and much more needs to be done at a human level.

Yes religious and non-believers can have the same ethical standards, but the religious limit their views to a concrete first floor and do not question whether or not these standards are in fact truthful, psychologically sound, respectful, and actually fully beneficial to humanity.

Tue, 22 May 2012 11:46:07 UTC | #942802