RE: Religion and evidence

From: Richard Brodie (
Date: Thu 19 Jan 2006 - 18:48:45 GMT

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    Kate wrote:

    <<I assume you'd be prepared to say that killing the guys with the "wrong" morals/god is morally unacceptable. (So would I, needless to say.) So you're not a hardline relativist/subjectivist about morals. In other words you do believe that there is some sort of criterion against which we can judge morality, even if that's not an absolute criterion like "God's will".>>

    I'm reluctant to kill a bottle of Scotch, let alone people with different dietary habits from mine. The term "morality" carries with it a lot of black-and-white, right-and-wrong baggage and invites people to judge one another, usually with woefully incomplete information. I'm pretty sure the Bible warns against that, but people seem to do it anyway.

    <<In which case, judged against whichever criterion you have chosen, you will either agree or disagree with eating meat. Even if you say that eating meat is a morally neutral action, this contradicts the vegetarian position.>>

    Oh my goodness. It simply isn't a weighty enough issue for me to bother agreeing or disagreeing. You may as well ask me if I agree with checking out of the supermarket in line three or four.

    <<That's really all I meant. I am open to the idea that it is me who's wrong about vegetarianism. I just don't see how we can both be right.>>

    You can't both be right. However, it is possible that neither of you is wrong.

    Moral positions are not right or wrong unless you believe there is a Word of God. They are just positions.

    A more workable system, to me, is to be clear about my values, and the values generally shared by humanity, and act accordingly. I value life and justice so wanton killing is right out.

    Richard Brodie

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