Tag Archive | Morality

Christianity doesn’t even meet its own moral standards

Cross SunlightFollowing on from my recent post about how Christianity falls into moral relativism, I was confronted with another well-worn apologist gambit that I was intending to address anyway – the claim that atheists don’t have any objective basis for morality, and therefore have no right to criticise Christianity. This is a bit different, as it rests on a claim about the subjectivity of atheism, not the objectivity of Christianity, so I thought it would be worth dealing with it separately.

In fact, for the sake of argument, I’m going to accept that atheism has no objective basis for morality, but Christianity does. I think I’ve pretty effectively demonstrated that this isn’t true, but you either agree or not, and there’s no point in rehashing those points. Even accepting these points, an atheist has a powerful response, by appealing not to his own morality, but Christianity’s. Read More…

Interview with Dr Joe Wenke

Joe WenkeWhile I was working on my review of his book, I was lucky enough to be able to ask Joe Wenke (pictured right) a few questions about it, including what he was trying to achieve and how he felt about the stories he was satirising. So here, as a sort of bonus track, are my questions and his answers.

Was there a particular thing that inspired you to write the book?

As I explain in “The Genesis of You Got to Be Kidding!” a piece that I originally wrote for the Huffington Post but which is now included as an afterword to the book, the way I got the idea for writing the book is kind of strange. I woke up one morning, and the first thing I thought of was that I would read the Bible and when I found something funny, I would write about it. I had never had that thought before, and I don’t know why I woke up thinking the Bible was funny, although it is hilarious. Read More…

The church speaks about moral issues

MicrophoneThe Church of England has been wading into all sorts of issues recently that seem to be a little outside what might be considered their area of expertise. I’ve been puzzled by that, and I’m very privileged and deeply honoured to have been granted an interview with George Parr, spokesman for Justin Welby, on the subject of these recent political and moral pronouncements.

NB: This may not actually be true. No guarantee is given that the person I spoke to has anything to do with the Church of England, is called George, or even exists at all. Read More…

How not to persevere: a case study from the Church of England

Wedding RingsThe Church of England has hardly been shy of expressing an opinion on same-sex marriage, having fought against it tooth and nail, describing the very idea as an outrageous imposition which destroys marriage as we know it. But this week, having been soundly defeated in the Lords despite some outspoken criticisms of the bill, the good old CofE has suddenly started to make rather more accommodating noises.

Obviously, I welcome the fact that the church has belatedly recognised that they’re fighting a losing battle, and that the will of both houses is clearly in favour of the legislation. But if it’s a vital issue of morality and fundamental definitions of terms they believe are Christian ones (as they’ve consistently argued), it would be utterly bizarre to relax your opinion and stop fighting based on a simple matter of popularity. It makes me wonder what Bible they’re reading. Read More…

It’s all in Plato – Genocide, Morality and the Euthyphro Dilemma

It’s all in Plato, all in Plato: bless me, what do they teach them at those schools!

C.S.Lewis, The Last Battle

A lot of the Christians I know love this quote, spoken by Digory Kirke in Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia. I can see why – it’s often used to illustrate a claim that Christian theology wasn’t invented from scratch in the 1st Century, but can be seen as a logical progression from some well-worn Platonic ideas developed centuries earlier.

That’s true in some cases, but Plato’s just one philosopher, and he said a lot of things that are rather a long way from Christian ideals. For example, he also thought infanticide was not just acceptable, but an advisable state policy. And he developed a line of discussion, known as the Euthyphro Dilemma, which continues to cause serious moral difficulties for religious beliefs of all stripes. Read More…

Posthumous Honesty – Poll Results

It’s been a while since I last posted. I’ve had a lot going on in real life, which will probably make for interesting blog material before long, but for the time being, I really ought to deal with the poll I set up some time ago.

The scenario that I set up specified that you knew you would die tomorrow, and had the opportunity to leave messages for others, if you wanted, to tell them exactly what you dislike about them. My reason for setting the poll up was that when I considered the possibility of being able to do such a thing, I couldn’t work out how I felt about it. I didn’t think I’d do it, but I couldn’t say why, as there didn’t seem to be any good reason not to. I wondered if it might be that I thought it would reflect badly on me in some way, which was why I specified that you would suffer no negative consequences. Read More…

A chance to be honest

I’m currently away on holiday for a while, so if you can bear with me, I’d like to try out a little experiment.

A while back, I read a very interesting book called “Do You Think What You Think You Think?” which takes the reader through a number of questions and scenarios to discover whether your moral and philosophical beliefs are consistent and coherent. As it happens, mine pretty much are, barring a couple of minor points.

One exercise which rather caught my imagination revolved around what makes us who we are, and attempted to give some insight by asking the reader to choose between some rather Sci-Fi options. I like this idea, and I’d like to see if I can use a similar concept in the hope of discovering something interesting. Read More…

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