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Thursday, June 08, 2006

The moral delusion of the agnostic

Bob miraculously reinvents the wheel from scratch.

ag·nos·tic: a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and prob. unknowable; broadly: one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god.

Ok, broadly, that defines me.

Until I see evidence that is more than just adrenalin surges, day dreams, heresay passed down a long line of story tellers, and/or personal feelings as proof that God or some god actually exists, I'll stay that way.

However, you and your claims to moral superiority can go back to the rear of the classroom. To claim that religion is needed to give us proper and acceptable rules to live by -- or whatever you may label them -- is nothing more than advertising hype by church leaders and their dedicated followers.

I don't claim to speak for any athiest or any other agnostic, but I have rules of conduct and a code of ethics as evey bit as valid as any to be attained from religiouly taught "morals".

What Bob fails to understand is that Christians can only make a claim to moral superiority because their moral advantage over the agnostic is infinite. The agnostic possesses no morality of his own, let alone one that he can rationally apply to another individual. Bob is, quite likely, what most of us would consider to be a good and decent human being, a moral man, but it is no coincidence that his "rules of conduct" and "code of ethics" is identical to the Judeo-Christian morality of the society that spawned him.

With very, very few exceptions, no one ever sits down and seriously attempts to construct an individual morality. Instead, they absorb their rules of conduct and sense of morality from the dominant culture, then use their lack of faith to justify ignoring those elements that thwart their more powerful desires. This is why nearly every agnostic and atheist takes high-minded exception to the moral strictures against promiscuous sex, but not those against murder or a failure to be charitable.

Indeed, were Bob an agnostic in an Islamic culture, he would subscribe equally easily to polygamy, the execution of homosexuals and the stoning of sexually active women. "When in Rome..." is the sine qua non of the agnostic and the atheist alike. There are few godless martyrs in the pages of history; it is amusing that two of the names most often cited as such by atheists were an ordained priest and a devout Catholic.

The evidence provided by post-Christian cultures such as Scandinavia and England increasingly demonstrates that Bob's assertion is incorrect and that religion is indeed required to provide a moral base for society, as irreligious men such as Socrates* and Voltaire have recognized for centuries. It is not an accident that the rise of Western civilization took place within Christendom, nor that the abandonment of Christianity should coincide with a decline towards barbarism, brutality and bad art.

*Yes, I know Socrates denied the charge of atheism. I didn't buy his denial, obviously, neither did 280 Athenian jurors. His words notwithstanding, he managed to produced both an Alcibiades and a Critias, to say nothing of Plato.

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