brothercyst: passing thought on the moral poverty of religion

Sunday, July 30, 2006

passing thought on the moral poverty of religion

Back in New York.

Was in airports for days, seemed like. And in Maryland. Basilica. National Cathedral or something.

Organized religion represents a moral failing. It relieves the adherent of the responsibility of making moral judgments and distinctions. Actual judgments, that is, not just checking the rule book.

You have a book that tells you, "This is right, this is wrong." (Or, more accurately, you don't really even read the book, you just obey sanctified middlemen who says, "The rule book says this is right and that is wrong," even if their interpretations of the rules are questionable.)

Because the book lays out the rules, you don't really have to observe the world.

There's no reason to observe actions and their effects and consider consequences and contexts and process that information and conclude "This is beneficial/right/good" or "This is harmful/wrong/bad."

And continue observing and constantly revise your conclusions based on new information.

In an ideal world, that's what would happen - every person would be actively engaged in meaningful moral reasoning.

Of course, that would be exhausting. And many people have limited intellectual faculties.

That's why we have organized religion.


Ned said...

one thing to consider: how do we measure the accuracy of our moral reasoning if not against a rulebook? I'll be the first to agree that a bureaucratically backed religious manual is a hard drive at best, an artifice at worst, but then what are our judgements based on? At some level the only thing we can judge our moral decisions against are our pre-moral intuitions, which argues for a much more "primitive" approach to human questions.

The Philosophers' Magazine

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