Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Holiday Discussions

I was reviewing my profile for this blog and realized I said something over there about philosophical discussions. Then realized I don't have many as part of this blog. So, here goes. Philosophy for discussion.

Some say morality today is crumbling. The evangelicals preach we are in the end times. The days like Noah. Intellectuals say we have evolved our definitions of morality to a higher level where religion and religious theory is no longer needed to bring a sense of morality to our lives. Not only have our definitions evolved, we as humans have evolved and are able to determine for ourselves what is right and what is wrong.

Doing my research I read this article. (link) Morality/Ethics: A Philosophical Discussion of the Basis for Contemporary Moral Choices. Don't read it, you'll hurt yourself. I just put the link there to impress everyone with the fact that I had that much time to waste. It outlines the 3 main approaches taken on morality today with the premise that religion, religious texts and other religious influences are ignored.
  • Utilitarianism - seeks the greatest level of happiness for the largest group of individuals with each decision made.
  • Deontology - humans have an innate understanding of right and wrong and will use this understanding to ensure basic rights of individuals are kept.
  • Social Contract - An agreement exists between individuals and society whereby the individual follows societies rules in exchange for society's protection of the individual's property and rights.

Okay, all that sounds reasonable, but there are questions that gnaw at the back of my mind.

  1. Why are religious based morals taken out of the picture?
  2. Are we heading toward a time (more likely are we in a time) when religion is a novelty?
  3. What sort of argument could be made that would intelligently place religion back in the mix of society's morals?

Well, if nothing else, bring this up to that family member you really don't want to talk to, but are forced to see at Thanksgiving dinner. It's gurarnteed to drive them away and in the process make you look like a genius.