Alexander The Great

December 1, 2007

Is Basic Morality Human and Transcendant?

Filed under: Ethics,Science,Terrorism — alexanderthegreatest @ 8:47 am

I heard about something – maybe a scientist can comment? I heard in Italy, they did an experiment testing Roman Catholic Physics. Apparently they dropped a feather and a lead ball the same distance inside a vacuum, and they both hit the ground at the same time. But the really interesting thing is, they did an experiment in Medina testing Islamic Physics, same setup, and, shockingly, they got the same result. So the conclusion is that physics, or at least thingsScience and FSM, Parterns in Truth like gravity and acceleration, exist outside the realm where different people can choose to believe different things.

Now I personally find it kind of hard to believe a western thing like fission could possibly work in Muslim hands or hearts and minds; there’s no way Pakistan could ever detonate a nuke!  I mean, there’s Christian Biology and then there’s Atheist/Pagan Biology, right? How we got here, how long we’ve been around, and whether “some greater intelligence” designed the appendix, stuff like that, aren’t there two scientifically equal explanations that you get to choose from? Isn’t that what democracy is all about, what makes America great?

To the scientists, my question is how do I set up a “scientific experiment” where I eat some mushrooms and then the Flying Spaghetti Monster reveals to me some truth about the universe, and then make people legislate based on this revelation. Like, I dunno, God hates music in the key of F, and people who listen to such abominations can’t serve in the military?

My question to everyone is this

Should a person’s beliefs in theological realms be held to the same standard as a person’s beliefs in other fields, like history, calculus, or the already mentioned acceleration due to gravity, in situations when those beliefs have consequences to others?  If it’s unquestionably true that a holocaust of 11 million people happened at Nazi hands in the late 1930s and early 1940s, is it also unquestionably true that life is precious?  I realize that “there is no god but God, and Allah is his name,” and even that the Koran is so true that law in parts of the world declares that anyone who insults the Koran must be put to death.  Is the moral belief that a woman (or man or child) cannot be assaulted, the Koran tells us a husband may beat his wife lightly for not listening to him.
Are these ideals of human rights and freedoms, of speech for example, universal in the way that physics is?  Or is it appropriate that we treat them as if they’re as plastic as the human brain?  The idea that dieing to defend the faith is the best thing that could happen to you, and that you’ll be greeted into eternity by your 72 virgins leads people to make video tapes, their last testament, saying into the camera “We love death more than the infidel loves life” just before driving a car filled with explosives into a school – is this (extremist, literal reading) belief a universally true or false one, like whether gold can be made from hay?

If we believe that the most basic human rights are universal, that women should be allowed to drive if they’d like to (Saudi Arabia), that petty criminals should not be punished with amputaton (Saudi Arabia), that unreligoius speech must never be punished by death (Pakistan, Dark Ages Europe), we have to put this politically correct notion that speaking critically of another person’s theological beliefs is tabboo.

According to the Polk County Ledger, “If it ever comes to the board for a vote, I will vote against the teaching of evolution as part of the science curriculum,” Lofton said.  “I don’t have a conflict with intelligent design versus evolution,” Sellers said. “The two go together.”

We’re bulding a culture of ignorance.  People – and we’re not talking only about polemic senators, school board members, we’re talking about real, every day people – are being taught to distrust science, at least when it’s convenient.  This blurring of the edges between science and sorcery leads people to to do amazing things.  There’s a similar culture of ignorance in parts of Sub Saharan Africa, where tens of millions of people a year die from AIDS.  The only access these people have to information about contraception is generally through the priests who tell these people condom use is a sin.  44 % of Americans are sure Jesus will return to end the world within the next 50 years.  Our president is one of them – is it a coincidence that Global Warming doesn’t bother Mr Bush?  This belief, held with great certainty, is a very dangerous thing.



  1. I would have to disagree with you. Religion (Christianity at least) doesn’t teach us to distrust science. On the contrary. Christianity teaches us that life is precious. In fact, it is the Christian argument that evolution (in the strictest terms) devalues human life by saying that we were a cosmic accident and that there can’t be a supreme moral law or a clear delineation between right and wrong because, after all, we are just animals who have somehow gained intelligence and formed a mutually beneficial society.

    It is the Christian teaching that God created each and every one of us with a purpose and thus, we are all important. So life is universally precious.

    It is not the Christian belief that Jesus is returning that prevents Christians from (over) worrying about global warming (as you used in your example). It is the belief that God us big enough and smart enough not to have created a world that would be so easily destroyed. But it’s still disingenuous to argue that Christians aren’t worried about global warming. I’ve never been to a Christian church or met a Christian preacher who didn’t teach that we are stewards of God’s creation and should do our best to take care of the world we live in.

    Comparing religion to sorcery is hardly a fair comparison. Science and religion are not mutually exclusive and the only people trying to make it that way are the scientists…the very people who should be seeking the answers no matter where the questions lead. There are many theories that can explain how God and the theory of evolution can co-exist. Why do evolutionists insist that it’s so dangerous for people to want to reconcile scientific evidence with religious belief?

    The scientist says the Universe was created from the unexplainable phenomenon of the Big Bang.

    The preacher says the Universe was created from the unexplainable phenomenon of a Higher Being.

    I don’t see that much difference.

    Comment by Jason A Clark — December 1, 2007 @ 12:21 pm | Reply

  2. I don’t see where the notion comes from, of global climate change and God having created an easily destroyable world? This is something humans have been working very hard at since the 1800s at least, with all of the intelligence and ingenuity God saw fit to provide the human race with.

    If you’ve never heard of a Christian who didn’t teach of stewardship of God’s Creation, I suggest you learn about Anne Coulter, who has gone on the record saying, and I quote: I take the biblical idea. God gave us the earth. God says, “Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It’s yours.”

    I don’t know why promenant Christians are so anti science. You’ll have to ask Galileo about that one. Or St Thomas Aquinas, who taught that heretics should be killed outright. Or St Augustine, who thought they should be tortured instead, laying the foundations for the Inquisition. Or the Royal Society who Darwin presented his theory to. Or the bigots who use a faith we both share to hide behind with their own personal prejudices. Ever wonder how it came to be so convenient that God hates all the same people his fanatical spokesmen themselves hate.

    I don’t see any Christians (besides myself) agreeing that all life is important by any means: none are condemning the Church Of Thank God For Dead Soldiers. Or the Christo-Fascists who’ve hijacked modern medicine between stem cells (shame that is borne by all Americans) or abstinence only education, which clearly is hurting America.

    Comment by John — December 3, 2007 @ 10:27 pm | Reply

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