Monday, 10 November 2008

I Like Religions Because -

- they tell me that as I don't believe in an invisible magic friend I have no moral compass and cannot distinguish between right and wrong. Unlike these worthy chaps who are fully trained staff members of their religions. Bless them.

Read this five page story by Herman Melville and this Emo Phillips joke with an open mind:

Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, "Don't do it!" He said, "Nobody loves me." I said, "God loves you. Do you believe in God?"
He said, "Yes." I said, "Are you a Christian or a Jew?" He said, "A Christian." I said, "Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?" He said, "Protestant." I said, "Me, too! What franchise?" He said, "Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?" He said, "Northern Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?"
He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?" He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region." I said, "Me, too!"
Northern Conservative†Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?" He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912." I said, "Die, heretic!" And I pushed him over


haddock said...

Jesus, I assume, came under your definition of a "fully trained staff member".
He was a builder, he threw out the moneylenders when he got annoyed with them, the gentle Jesus meek and mild was a Victorian Sunday School invention.. Then, as now, you didn't get money grubbing financial types to do anything by asking nicely. (as Brown is about to find out)
Christians don't believe in an invisible magic friend.... it is the non-believers who believe/don't believe that.

William Gruff said...

A bad day Haddock?

James Higham said...

Lot of misinformation is believed.

Sackerson said...

Although I readily accept that non/anti-religious people often have a strong moral sense (especially a respect for truthfulness), I think the force of morality depends on some notion of a deity. It makes sense to me that you cannot derive an "ought" from an "is", unless there is a concept that unites the two (a Creator who is also a Lawgiver).

Absent a unifying concept of this kind, morality is merely descriptive, i.e. people tend to feel that a certain action is right or wrong, which may be explained away by reference to their emotional makeup, or upbringing (Bertrand Russell described it as what Nanny told you), or some Darwinian explanation (populations that accept certain behavioural rules have a greater tendency to survive and propagate their genes).

Of course, one or more of those non-theological explanations may happen to be correct - but then the "ought" becomes no more logically compelling than other desires and compulsions. And then we stray into Beyond Good And Evil territory, no doubt.

And no, I don't have the answer; I'm just trying to explore the ideas in a sort of philosophical way.

By the way, traditional Christians would dispute that God is invisible (Moses saw Him from behind and was blinded); they would draw a sharp distinction between religion and superstitious magic (witches are not to be suffered to live); and to think of Him as a friend should be regarded as a very perilous presumption!

James Higham said...

The same fundamental mistake people always make is to assume that the devotee equals the religion itself. Where was a brawl ever written into the New Testament gospels or even associated literature?