Condie in 2008?

I hope not.

In an interview with editors and reporters in the office of the editor in chief at The Washington Times, she said she would not want the government “forcing its views” on abortion.

If a government shouldn’t force its views in order to protect the most vulnerable among its people, when should it force its views? If a government isn’t there to protect people, what is it there for?

Miss Rice said abortion should be “as rare a circumstance as possible,” although without excessive government intervention. “We should not have the federal government in a position where it is forcing its views on one side or the other.”

Where does this kind of thinking stop? Should we not force our views on people who want to shoot up courtrooms? Should we not force our views on people who like to bind, torture and kill others? Who does the government think it is to interfere with their lifestyle choices?

Whatever.

23 Responses to “Condie in 2008?”

  1. Creeping Jenny Says:

    I’m always a bit baffled as to where people get their utter moral certainty on the topic of abortion. Do you think there are conclusive reasons for believing that a 3-week old fetus is a person with rights? If so, why? If not, do you really think we’d be justified in dragging in the ham-handed arm of the law to regulate things, rather than trusting citizens to make informed moral decisions?

  2. Elle Says:

    Clearly a three-week old human fetus doesn’t have rights. If they did, it would be illegal to kill them. The law should be sufficient evidence for that.

    Would it be a justified use of the law to protect humans? Of course. If not, why not allow people kill their three year olds as long as they are fully informed about the moral decision they are making?

  3. Creeping Jenny Says:

    I understand the moral certainty about the wrongness of killing three-year-olds, who clearly think, conceptualize the world, and feel pain. I understand banning third-trimester abortions, since third-trimester fetuses are pretty clearly persons with minds. It’s not at all clear to me that three-week-old fetuses are the type of entity that should have legal protection, though. And I have very little sympathy for people who want to ban the morning-after pill because it prevents embryos from implanting.

    There’s got to be some better rationale than saying it’s obvious that life begins at conception, but that’s usually the only rationale I hear. Plenty of things are obvious to others that are not obvious to me, it seems. (Maybe I’m a sociopath? But I like babies and fluffy bunnies, really!) There’s certainly a slippery slope argument that gets tossed around too, but there’s an argument with the same form that proves that everyone in the world is bald, which suggests that the form is invalid.

  4. Elle Says:

    In order for me to understand where you’re coming from and address your question constructively I need to know when you believe life begins, if not at conception. Then I’ll need to know which lives you believe are worth defending, which aren’t and why.

  5. Creeping Jenny Says:

    I don’t really know when a thing stops being an embryo and starts being a person. There are obvious answers on both sides of the divide: an embryo with no specialized cells looks to me to be clearly not a person, and an 8-month-old fetus looks to me to be clearly a person. It gives you a neater and more compact philosophical theory, of course, if you decide that the living thing is a person right from the moment it’s concieved. But it’s also wrong to stop listening to the reality of things in order to wind up with a neater and more compact philosophical theory, and I’m pretty sure that in the reality of things, you need a mental life to be a person.

    If I had to pick a point, I’d put it at the end of the first trimester when the neural system becomes responsive. But I’m not entirely sure there’s a point to pick. It looks like the old Greek puzzle to me: one grain of wheat is not a heap, and 1,000 grains are, but if you start piling grains successively, there’s no one grain that makes it a heap.

  6. Josh S Says:

    “I’m always a bit baffled as to where people get their utter moral certainty on the topic of abortion.”

    I agree. I’m always baffled at how RoevWade advocates such as your self are so absolutely certain that an unborn child is not a human being and thus we are under no obligation to, say, not dismember it as to proceed merrily ahead with your macabre practices with absolutely zero qualms.

    “It’s not at all clear to me that three-week-old fetuses are the type of entity that should have legal protection, though.”

    There is an old saying, “err on the side of caution.” If you believe that there is any reasonable possibility that three-week old fetuses are the type of entity that should have legal protection, then they should have it. Let me make an analogy:

    Suppose I present to you seven cardboard boxes. I tell you that one of them contains a man, and the others are empty. I then hand you a machine gun and tell you that I will give one thousand dollars to pump the box of your choice full of lead. Would you be morally justified in taking me up on the basis that there is some uncertainty as to whether or not you would kill a human being?

    Let me ask it more directly: Is establishing a small amount of doubt concerning an entity’s moral worth a sufficient basis for completely annihilating its rights? In a court of law, putting a criminal to death requires proving beyond a reasonable doubt that they are, in fact, guilty. Why do the unborn not have this same consideration? Why do we not have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they are not human before we can have them dismembered and thrown in the garbage?

  7. Josh S Says:

    “I’m always a bit baffled as to where people get their utter moral certainty on the topic of abortion.”

    Excuse me, shouldn’t the certainty go the other way? In court, we can’t send criminals to death row until we are certain that they have committed a crime. It seems eminently reasonable that one should not take the life of a fetus until one has ascertained beyond a reasonable doubt that the life is not truly human and does not have the moral worth of a fully grown adult.

    “Do you think there are conclusive reasons for believing that a 3-week old fetus is a person with rights?”

    Do you think there are conclusive reasons for believing that a 3-week old fetus is not a person and has no rights? In America, we always believe that the burden of proof is on the accuser, not the accused. In this case, the fetus is the accused, and you are the accuser. Unless you can absolutely prove that a 3-week old fetus is not a person and thus has no rights, you are committing a heinous crime by advocating its destruction. Killing and destroying when one isn’t even sure what one is killing and destroying is utterly foolish. I would much rather be guilty of erroneously protecting the lives of non-humans than mistakenly advocating the summary execution of innocent humans.

  8. Elle Says:

    I think I’m going to have to side with Josh here and suggest that the burden of proof is on those wishing to kill to prove that what they are killing is not actually a person.

  9. Chaz Lehmann Says:

    I’m crushed. Condy is functionally pro-choice. I’m really crushed. I was ready to start printing the Condy in ‘08 bumper stickers.

  10. Creeping Jenny Says:

    “I’m always baffled at how RoevWade advocates such as your self are so absolutely certain that an unborn child is not a human being and thus we are under no obligation to, say, not dismember it as to proceed merrily ahead with your macabre practices with absolutely zero qualms.”

    Where did I claim such moral certainty (or support for Roe V. Wade, for that matter)? I’m just asking questions, because nobody else in the entire abortion debate seems willing to do so. Please direct your vitriol appropriately in the future.

    “If you believe that there is any reasonable possibility that three-week old fetuses are the type of entity that should have legal protection, then they should have it.”

    Would you say the same of animals? Because if I’m going to admit the possibility that an entity like a 3-week-old fetus, which does not have a developed nervous system, deserves legal protection, then I’ve also got to admit that a dog, which has a much more developed nervous system, is worthy of legal protection.

    You may claim that the dog is different because it lacks human DNA. But there’s nothing valuable about human DNA in and of itself. If the stuff is any indicator of value, it’s because things with human DNA tend to have other characteristics that make them deserving of our concern. Like human mental lives, which depend on having functioning human brains. Which very young fetuses do not appear to have.

    “Do you think there are conclusive reasons for believing that a 3-week old fetus is not a person and has no rights? ”

    No, but I believe the lack of developed nervous system is a very good reason (as good a reason as many of the others we use to establish that something should not get legal protection).

  11. Creeping Jenny Says:

    Re: the cardboard box and criminal analogies.

    In both analogies, it’s built into the example that there is some human being whom my actions are putting in danger, and that what makes it wrong to shoot, and at least morally risky to deliver a “guilty” verdict. But in the abortion case, whether my actions are endangering a human being is exactly the point being disputed. So neither analogy really seems that apt.

  12. Josh S Says:

    “Would you say the same of animals?”

    It is manifestly obvious that animals aren’t human. People have rights on the basis that they are human, not on their cognitive ability. Otherwise, it would be illegal to kill animals that have more cognitive ability than a newborn infant, i.e. most adult mammals.

    “But there’s nothing valuable about human DNA in and of itself.”

    Only if you accept the basic tenets of atheism. However, this kind of thinking led to Stalin’s purges in the Ukraine and Pol Pot’s extirmination of 2/3 of the population of Cambodia. Frankly, I don’t believe that atheism can serve as a foundation of a just society. Theistic ethics and atheism are radically opposed; no society can accept both as equally valid. Either man is created in God’s image and has rights based on that, or man has no natural rights; rather, they are simply given to him by the society in which he lives. Even Kant realized that the foundation of ethics completely crumbles if a higher power is denied.

    “it’s because things with human DNA tend to have other characteristics that make them deserving of our concern.”

    Why does cognitive ability merit our concern? The Communists in China, Cambodia, and Russia were quit convinced that one’s merit was based entirely on one’s usefulness to the state. Africans eat monkeys and apes, while the Japanese and the Eskimos eat whales. However, none of them eat babies. Asserting that cognitive ability infuses a being with rights is just as arbitrary as asserting that their genetic make-up does.

    “So neither analogy really seems that apt.”

    The analogy is apt because you are simply uncertain as to whether or not you are about to kill a human being. You are reasonably certain that you aren’t, but not 100% certain. Certainly the number of people who disagree with you is incredibly large.

    The problem with your logic is that it was the same reasoning often used for the Holocaust and American chattel slavery. The slavery of Africans was justified by many on the basis that Africans are not as highly evolved or as truly human as white men. Germans used similar justification for extirminating Jews in WWII. When you create your own morality and ethics out of thin air, it doesn’t take long to rationalize away the value and worth of a whole class of people that you find inconvenient.

    So the unborn aren’t smart enough to deserve life. That’s a pretty sad argument. I hope you never have a child with Down’s syndrome, because his life wouldn’t be safe in your hands.

  13. Josh S Says:

    Elle, your comment system keeps eating my comments. I’ll just reiterate a few points:

    1. Cognitive ability is as arbitrary a standard as DNA. If cognitive ability mattered that much, we would regard the Eskimo taste for whale as a horror akin to eating babies, since adult whales are much smarter than human infants. If it’s OK for Africans to eat monkeys, is it OK for us to eat babies?

    2. Your ethics are clearly grounded in thoroughly atheistic presuppositions. Atheistic and theistic ethics are 100% incompatible, as Kant recognized. If ethics are something we create out of thin air, then there is no ultimate rule for them, and we can define away anyone’s rights that we wish as long as we have power.

    3. Americans in the 19th century didn’t believe black people were fully human. Germans in the 1930’s didn’t believe Jews were fully human. Thus their actions were morally justified, as they didn’t have a sufficient intellectual basis for extending rights to those people.

    4. Establishing someone’s value based on their “mental life” or “contributions to society” leads pretty quickly to a world where it’s okay to exterminate anyone that is more of a burden than a blessing on us, ranging from the homeless to the mentally handicapped to the elderly. Why isn’t it legal for me to just shoot winos in the face? They don’t do anything but lie in the street and throw up on themselves. They’re useless. They must not have any worth.

  14. Elle Says:

    Sorry Josh and Jenny. For some reason the comments on this thread keep finding their way into my spam filter. Keep commenting - I’ll keep checking and approving your comments and see if I can figure out what the deal is.

    Stoopid spam.
    “I don’t want any SPAM!”

  15. Creeping Jenny Says:

    Frankly, I don’t believe that atheism can serve as a foundation of a just society

    *Sigh.* I really need to write a long essay about this that I can just refer people to. I’ve read a decent of theistic and a lot of non-theistic ethics, and concluded that the former is ***Happy Monkeys!!*** approximately as often as the latter is. A tradition that’s given us the doctrine of double effect to rationalize killing, mental reservations to rationalize lying, and natural law theory to rationalize its own prejudices really has no business casting stones. Invoking God to justify one’s own certainty seems to make people feel confident, but also seems to have no relation to truth. (Leibniz invoked God to prove tha the world was composed of monads.)

    The positive case for atheistic ethics takes longer to make, but I will take it up at some time in the future.

    Finally, I think the question about abortion is independent of whether or not one believes in the Bible. Nowhere in the Bible is it asserted that human life begins at conception (I don’t really like putting it that way, actually; seems to run over important conceptual distinctions, but that seems to be the idiom/slogan so I’ll use it.) The best argument from religious orthodoxy looks like appeal to authority to the Pope, and that’s not available to Protestants. And nothing obviously prevents an atheist from deciding that DNA is of utmost moral importance.

    ***This comment has been edited.

  16. Creeping Jenny Says:

    Why does cognitive ability merit our concern?

    Ooh, I did a really bad expository job on this. Let me give it another whack. It’s not that I think that the smarter the animal, the greater its right* to life. I just think that in order for anything to have a right to life in the first place, there’s got to be somebody home inside. A corpse has human DNA, but it doesn’t have rights the way I do. There’s just nobody home inside the corpse. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that a human being born with absolutely no brain lacks rights, because there’s no possibility of causing them either pain or happiness. But a person with Down’s syndrome obviously does have somebody home inside. And at the rate infants learn, it would be highly bizarre if there wasn’t enough of a person there to have rights.

    At some level, there is always uncertainty as to whether a person has somebody home inside or not, and your erring on the side of caution principle seems generally good to me. (Terry Schiavo’s husband is sure in no position to judge whether she’s mentally there or not; you’ll hear no disagreement from me there.) But I think I’ll strengthen my claims and say that a three-week-old fetus is pretty clearly not a thing with somebody home inside, since to have anything like a mind, you’ve got to have something like a brain. (This now makes me a Roe V. Wade advocate, I suppose, so you should direct your vitriol at me after all.)

    *Note: Elle and Josh have both made it clear to me that the my use of the word “right” is a tad confusing. I mean the moral and not the legal sense.

  17. Simon Says:

    Since I’ve already contributed enough to these debates, I’ll add only a few things.

    First, Josh, you might want to stick to things you know. Kant’s grounding of the metaphysics of morals is completely incompatible with your understanding of the source of morality. Regardless of Kant’s arguments regarding the the necessity of God, he argued that morality must have its source within us. That is, the moral law must be a law that each individual, through his own capacity for autonomy, gives to herself. If morality were merely commanded by God, and had its source in God, it would be inconsistent with our autonomy — and provide the wrong kind of moral motivation. So don’t get all self-righteous with your claims about atheistic and theistic ethics — and certainly don’t be calling on Kantian moral theory to aid your claim.

    Second, you’re argument referring to white-Americans’ views of black slaves and german-nazi views of Jews is just ridiculous. You’re right that they did not BELIEVE these persons were full-fledged persons, but that does not mean they were justified in having that belief. They had absolutely no rational basis for their beliefs, and were thus wrong. THere is absolutely no analogy with embryos because there are debatable grounds as to whether they should be treated as persons.

  18. Keith A. Says:

    [Note: This comment went through several revisions, but no fnal checking for coherency, as I ran out of time. I can only hope it makes sense. Thanks for taking the time to try and unravel it.]

    Jenny,

    You are right that the Bible doesn’t say anything about life starting at ‘conception’.

    Jeremiah 1:5 states “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

    Now, not everyone was appointed to be “a prophet to the nations”, but I think it would be doing a disservice to the text to not apply the first part universally. So, yes, the Bible doesn’t say life begins at conception in the womb. It says life begins prior to the womb.

    As for the ‘atheistic’ vs. ‘theistic’ forms of ethical nascency (topical pun intended), theistic ethics are based upon the idea of an absolute and (technically) unchanging moral code set up and judged by a theos (duh, right?). Thus, going against such a code would incite that god(s)’s wrath at some point. The idea is that the one who set up the universe is the one best to decide what is right and wrong. Thus, disagreement is rather silly, and there is no appeal to change the code.

    Atheistic ethics tend to be based upon societal concerns and practicality. The idea of what is right or wrong is based on what provides the greatest benefit. Sure, the state can tell you what is best, but if you disagree you may later be vindicated and change how the state views things. While you may societally be held accountable for your actions, you get to decide what is personally right or wrong according to your own criteria (because it felt right, because The Man said it was wrong, because Mommy said so, because that’s how I interpret it, because they hurt me, etc.). Why is it wrong to murder, for instance? Because I don’t want to be murdered myself? No, because some people want to die and we still don’t allow it (or self-murder, either). Because the law says so? Well, that law still requires a basis outside itself, even if obedience is fine for you. Because if it were okay, then society would collapse? Well, that is substantially better (and is itself based upon a logical assumption; do we really know society will collapse? No, but it makes logical sense). I think, though, that basis starts to lack when we get into detailed moral concerns or examine some situations fully. It also is a good start for basing ethics and value on expediency and greatest benefit (like killing 50 people to save 1,000,000).

    Certainly, many people take the theistic concept of ethics and then distort it to their own ends, usually misleading many people into following the piss-poor morality (I argue, though, that in doing so they ignore God and are acting on an atheistic premise). As well, it begs the question, which theology is correct? Which knowledge of God is the true one? Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, etc., all have different moral codes. But, just because people disagree, doesn’t mean that one of them isn’t right. If God exists, He should be able to reveal Himself.

    Atheistic ethics, however, is always based on the self. We have to be trained not to do things, taught that something is wrong, instilled with an exterior foundation for morality, but if we later find no reason for believing it is right/wrong, then we only technically have to obey. Force is about the only thing keeping us in check, and we always have the option to try and change the moral view of society so that, while we were once wrong, we can now be right. Sure, murder was wrong in Germany, but the leadership in the society changed its views. Sure, using narcotics is wrong in the U.S., but Columbia doesn’t seem to think so, nor Afghanistan. Maybe we can get that changed here. I mean, I’ve always wanted to try cocaine, but The Man says I can’t, so I don’t. Oh well, better go start writing petitions.

  19. Simon Says:

    Keith,

    Morality, understood from a secular point of view, need not be based merely on subjective feelings and preferences. You mention one account of morality from a secular point of view: utilitarianism. The driving idea is that no one’s happiness is more important than another’s, and thus the right thing to do is to maximize happiness.

    Now, i reject utilitarianism, but that doesn’t mean I reject a secular account of morality. Other leading theories take their inspiration from Kant and Aristotle, respectively. I happen to think Kant’s insights are quite appealing — and notice that morality is objective and universal on his account. Murder is wrong not because of personal feelings, or because the law says so, or for other reasons you put forth. Rather, murder is wrong because it violates the respect due to the victim, given that she is a person with instrinsic worth and dignity and, as such, must be treated always as an end in herself and never merely as a means.

    In fact, I find this to be a more compelling account with regard to moral motivation than a theistic account. Why should I refrain from murder? Because some God tells me so and threatens me with eternal hell if I do commit murder? Or should I refrain from murder because it is the right thing to do given that all persons should be treated as ends-in-themselves, and never merely as a means to my own ends?

    You need not be convinced — but know that you are not giving due consideration to a great deal of theorizing about morality from a secular point of view.

  20. Keith A. Says:

    Simon,

    But, then, on what basis do humans have value? I haven’t read the full breadth of Kant (really, I’ve barely read a paragraph, I’m sure), but on what does he base the intrinsic value of a human being? I see the hate, destruction, and violation to which all humans so merrily subject each other and themselves. They see no value in humanity, not intrinsically. If that is so, where is it? How did Kant find it?

    Christianity gives humans value in that we are made in the very image of God. Our likeness to Him is of such that only under very certain circumstances can it be rightly violated (execution of a murderer, for instance [Gen. 9:6]). In truth, the Law set in Scripture shows a two-fold principle. One, that God is above all others and is due respect, adoration, obedience, and honor (Commandments 1-3, for instance). Second, man is made in His image and as such we must treat each other based upon that truly intrinsic worth (Commandments 4-10, for instance). This is the theistic context from which I argue (and I think I can rightly assume Josh and Elle do, too).

    And thusly, so as to not stray too far from the true topic at hand, we scream against abortion. In the collection of cells referred to as a fetus, we see that God has set about to form one in His image. That He has already known this person before He ever began the process in the womb, we cannot look at the fetus and think “not a human” but instead “a human created in the very image of God, worth even the death of His own son”. To destroy the fetus, for us, is the same as killing any other person.

  21. Keith A. Says:

    (Oh, and to comment on the title of this post, Condaleeza Rice [sp?] told Tim Russert on Meet the Press this past Sunday that she was, in fact, NOT going to EVER run for president.)

  22. simon Says:

    Keith,

    thanks. but your argument shows exactly why this is such a troubling area for state intervention. your argument relies on a particular article of religious faith — that we’re made in God’s image, and so are embryos. We do not live in a theocracy, like Iran. We live in a constitutional democracy, in which we think people have the right to live according to their own conception of the good life, as long as they respect the right of others to live according to their conception of the good life. And, as such, the government, which is supposed to represent the people, may not appeal to articles of faith that are only held by people of a particular religious faith. The government in a constitutional democracy is supposed to appeal only to reasons that we all share: we all need police protection; we all need freedom of thought; we all need the freedom to associate with whom we wish; etc. If you’re going to scream about Roe v. Wade, you have to argue why the government has a non-religious reason to protect embryos. I’m not saying there isn’t a reason — i’m saying that the reason cannot be one based on the articles of faith of some citizens.

    Second, Kant argues that each person is due respect in virtue of her capacity to set her own ends — to reason, or rather, to live autonomously. As i would not authorize another to treat me merely as a means, I must not authorize the treating of any person as merely a means.

    You note that many people treat others horribly and do not see the requirements of morality. True. But why is that an indictment of secular morality but not religious morality?

  23. Keith A. Says:

    Simon,

    I thank you for your response.

    Kant’s argument for a person’s value sounds as though if a person has no ability to live autonomously they would, therefore, have little or no value. If this is true, it would discount numerous senile elderly, coma patients, and even my brother with cerebral palsy. Even small children would be of lesser value than adults in such a view.

    The other view of Kant I could think of would mean that a person can only value others to the extent as they can value themselves. That is, if I had little problem with being used (perhaps even expected it as a part of life) then I can have little problem with ‘authorizing’ the treatment of others as a means.

    Perhaps this betrays a misunderstanding of Kant on my part.

    As for a theocracy, you are right, we do not live in one, and I hope we don’t as that would be mixing God’s heavenly kingdom with what He has instituted here on earth. However, people’s views are always based on their beliefs, whether religiously inspired or not. Our beliefs color our decisions; why should that discount their value? At best, the value of the beliefs must first be determined before you can attack the view. And a religiously held belief, simply because it is founded in a religion, is of less value than one founded in secular beliefs? I’m sorry, if that is the case, then ALL of my views are of less value than your views, because all of my views are founded in my religious beliefs. Why do I have to support my religious views with your secular criteria? Do I have to bring in secular reasoning to bolster everything I believe in before I get to vote on an issue? Or is this only a criterion for elected officials? And why them? Once elected, do they then put aside the basis for everything they do? This isn’t a theocracy, but there isn’t one thing anyone does that isn’t motivated by their beliefs, regardless of a belief in God or not.

    And in the realm of what makes a person human or not, we get even messier. We have cognative ability vs. exiting the womb vs. human DNA vs. nervous system vs. conception vs. some combination of the former and/or latter vs. God’s image vs. almost anything else you can think of as points of genesis for individual humanity. People can make any sort of rationale for why any one of those is good. Conception: if left alone, the cells will most likely carry to term and then become an adult; thus we err on the side of caution so as not to destroy a human. Nervous system: we know the fetus is a human fetus, and with a nervous system it is likely to feel pain and thus must be treated as a reactive human, prior to which killing the cells could illicit no human-like response. Cognative ability: what sets humans above animals is our ability to think, thus only the ability to think sets a person as a human and not a mere composition of cells, like an animal that looks like a human. Human DNA: deoxyribonucleic acid is the building block of living beings and thus anything with living (note, a corpse’s DNA degrades over time; living beings replace dead cells and thus the DNA) DNA is whatever that DNA says it is; thus, donkey DNA makes a thing a donkey, oak DNA makes a thing an oak, and human DNA makes a thing human.

    All of these views result in various points along the sliding scale of “what is human”. All of these views are also easily countered by another because they are little more than subjective, relative appeals to importance. One may find DNA convincing, another the nervous system, and another would require both. There is no reason here that that is universally shared. And, are any of these truly capable of defining what is and what is not human?

    The simplest would most likely be DNA. Many wish to combine that with birth, cognative ability, or even simply a nervous system (pain response, etc.). Birth is easily countered by simply comparing the child post- and pre-natal and then sliding it further back and back. Cognative ability could also exclude people like my brother. Pain response is counterable by those who were born without one (I know of a one case where a child’s eyes were sown shut because she kept poking them, then simply ripped open the stitches because she couldn’t feel it). Okay, presence of a nervous system, functioning or not, and human DNA. But why that? How is a nervous system that doesn’t function correctly value-imparting? It functions well enough to operate the heart, lungs, etc., okay. But why are those what determine humanity? Is it the conglomeration of such things combined with the human DNA? Is a fully formed human heart of more humanity-bestowing value than one that isn’t?

    Religious faith…simply because a person has a basis for something in religion doesn’t discount them being wrong. God exists, He created us in His image, and we have value based upon this. This being true, we must act accordingly, regardless of whether it fits with or against the views of another. Obviously you deny it as being true, but your denial is of no value to determining what is true and what is false.

    You note that many people treat others horribly and do not see the requirements of morality. True. But why is that an indictment of secular morality but not religious morality?

    Secular morality is based on personal perception. My appeal to human worth is my own appeal, not another’s. I don’t want others to treat me poorly, so I don’t get to treat them poorly. Or, I believe most will simply run-roughshod over me, so I will do the same to them, first if I can. Or, I don’t care that much about myself, so I don’t care about others. Or, I only want to make others happy, even if isn’t always good for them. But I have no reason to hold to any particular point of view because nothing holds me to it. And I cannot hold you to a particular view because secular morality is too relative. How do we judge one over another (certainly one view is better than another, but then again I am judging them according to my personal moral views)? Why is Kant’s morality better than Utilitarianism better than Objectivism or whatever else is out there. Do we determine one as better because we reason it to be better, it just logically seems to be? Because it holds the best utility? Do we apply the ethics’ abilities for determining value to decide which is the best? Or perhaps we need to use a different determinative, because this isn’t an ethical question? But, because it does control how we derive our ethics and are motivated to perform, isn’t it an ethical question?

    Religious morality makes an appeal to an outside source that is the same for everyone. Not everyone may hold to it, but that doesn’t change the fact they should. You, for instance, obviously do not hold to a morality based upon any religion. You should, however, still act accordingly to how God says you should (I believe some of it is in-built in the form of conscience). You mostly won’t, which means you’ve done something wrong. In fact, by not making your ethical appeals to God’s ethical code, you’ve already made a mistake. But how do we decide which religious ethic is best? By whichever is true. If it is false, then it is of no value. And how do we determine which is true and which is false? That is left to God’s revelations, a bit much for this comment as it drags on long enough already and discussing yet another topic would be excessive. Perhaps the Great and Intolerant will kindly make a separate post dealing with that issue on her own.

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