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← Moral Clarity and Richard Dawkins

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Comment 50 by brighterstill "Morality is a social construct: WE MADE IT UP. It makes us feel good to live by it and it is conducive to our continued, feel-good existence. There is nothing wrong or illegitimate about this. Just because we invented it, bit by painful, bloody bit, over millenia of living together, with the result being what we see around us today, does not mean it isn't worth following."

Not entirely true, as pointed out in comment 54 by Zeuglodon.

"Distinct moral codes can almost be considered like species: they compete for resources (adherents) and try to reproduce (indoctrinate, educate). They share genes (ideas) and sometimes try to destroy each other. Some are better suited to different environments and they are often regionally distributed"

I don't think they're distinct. They may have components that cause them to distinguish themselves, often attached to signifiers of identity that have little worth beyond that (eating with a particular hand, seeing Christ as God and God's son simultaneously or God's son alone, etc), but there is a lot of commonality amongst different religions.

The analogy with species is useful, but breaks down in several ways. A species cannot radically alter itself in response to its environment. Religions do this all the time. They keep their signifiers the same, but their emphasized beliefs and actual idea/talking point set can change from week to week. Species cannot exchange genetic material by definition. Ideas from different religions (and other sources) are modified and co-opted.

Wed, 23 May 2012 02:09:13 UTC | #943029