Today, I want to talk about this:
The greatest tragedy in mankind's entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion. – Arthur C. ClarkeMany, perhaps most, people in the world today actually believe that morality originated with God, that the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) invented morality. These religions have asserted, quite explicitely, that morality is impossible without God:
On the other hand, the Church has ever affirmed that [morality and Theism] are essentially connected, and that apart from religion the observance of the moral law is impossible.– Catholic EncyclopediaIn other words, this is no joke, nor is it Atheists' inferiority complex.
Let's see if we have this right:
- Jews, Christians and Muslims invented morality; and
- Atheists not only have no morality, they can never be truly moral.
These examples merely illustrate that religious people and Atheists are flawed, that they don't live up to their own standards. That is, religious people and Atheists are human, nothing more, nothing less. It may be interesting to the historian, but to the philosopher it is almost irrelevant.
The Roman Catholic Church's assertion is much more profound that this. It's one thing to know the difference between good and evil, yet be lured into evil deeds. But the Roman Catholic Church, and in fact all Abrahamic religions, make a much deeper claim: They assert that Atheists can never be truly moral. They claim that any morality found in an Atheist is merely copycat morality, learned by example from being immersed in a Judeo-Christian or Islamic society.
So let's summarize from yesterday and today:
- Religion rejects facts simply because they're unpleasant or disagree with religious axioms.
- Religion claims that Atheists can't have true morals.
And one final thought: Notice that, for both of the points above, it is the religious people who are the problem. Most Atheists have nothing against religious beliefs per se, unless they're harmful or discriminatory (although scientific techniques may be put to work on beliefs that seem implausible or that violate the physical laws of the universe). And an Atheist would never claim that religious people can't be truly moral, that Atheists are inherently more moral than a person of faith. Yet this is the Roman Catholic Church's official position regarding Atheist morals.
Tomorrow: The true origin of morality.