Monday, April 5, 2010

Is religion selfish?

Share |
The answer to that question is supposedly – ‘morally yes, but practically no’ when a person uses religion in order to attain some benefit. The problem with this understanding is that it lacks a theory of values. Consider the notion of selfishness – defined as a primary concern with one’s self interest, which is what? This is where most people stop thinking. But we must ask – What constitutes our self interest? Is rape in our interests? And we have to renounce rape because its against the law right? (selfless conception). Or is there some objective standard to say that rape is bad. This objective or ‘enlightened’ self interest concept invariably leads one to conclude that self interest is good if one has objective interests or values. i.e. It matters neither whether you profess to do something for others (i.e. non-self) or oneself, the issue is why you do it. Does the value have legitimacy. So you ask – what is the basis for prescribing the basis of any value – objective or subjective. I would suggest that it is your nature as a human being.
It is easy to identify the moral validity and illegitimacy of some values because their actors are so pathetic that their actions could only be construed as good or bad. i.e. We are not going to bad-mouth Warren Buffett for working hard, nor for giving billions to a non-profit foundation. The flipside is that we would regard the deception or abuse of people as repugnant because its universal application could only result in a degeneration in social values. But what of moral greyness?
What of a productive person who compromises his values in order to attain a big order? What of capable person who accepts a idiot guy because she fears never meeting another guy? Is this moral greyness? Is it simply a bad choice?
Andrew Sheldon
Post a Comment
Attention all atheists!!
In fact anyone who has had an interesting encounter with a Christian which involved manipulation, deception or blatant rationalisation. This is research or material for a forthcoming book. I am not suggesting that all Christians are criminals, dangerous or threats to society, but I am suggesting that Christianity is a basis for moral inefficacy. There is a reason why Christian nations are always at war. There is a reason why former Christians (or children of Christians) have a tendency to drift into cults and extreme religious groups. Thank you for any life experiences you can recall. ----------------------------------------------- Andrew Sheldon