Science Can Answer Moral Questions
Questions of good and evil, right and wrong are commonly thought unanswerable by science. But Sam Harris argues that science can — and should — be an authority on moral issues, shaping human values and setting out what constitutes a good life. (Recorded at TED2010, February 2010 in Long Beach, CA. Duration: 23:07)
morality: "concern with the distinction between good and evil or right and wrong; right or good conduct"
Anyone that knows me in any capacity will have some idea that I'm not religious. Infact, the best way to put it is that I'm about as religious as I am not. I'm a cop out, an agnostic with a sympathsizing ear to athestic logic. One thing I definitely am, is pro-science. Being able to apply a simple logic to the way my life unfolds is comforting to me. Science is not a beliefs system. Science is NOT religion. Science is a quest for knowledge.
Now, usually, this is well and good. On any given day I am free to go about my buisness and run my life in this capacity, generally unabated. However, it has come to my attention in the past few years that the field of science is often viewed as vehemently anti-religious in an active capacity. I really don't feel like sparking any real debate on this topic, as if science and religion were two head to head ideologies. I have strong opinions on many facets of religion, and will share them if you ask me. However, for the sake of this blog I would like to make my position on morality as a dependant on religion clear.
Religion is NOT a crutch for morality. Morality Can exist without it.
Let me start with a hypothetical. Lets say I was grocery shopping, and while I was trying to walk down the isle there were little children darting every which way and impeding my progress. I easily could push that child aside - yet do not. Now I made the moral decision to myself that it was wrong to push a child.
I did NOT need religion to help me make this moral choice. Am I to believe the only reason I might not have pushed that kid was because God says it's wrong?
I do not steal because I have a base sense of what rightfully belongs to me. I don't murder because it is essentially the ultimate form of theft. Someone's life certainly does not belong to me, and I have no right to take it away.
In fact I'll put it to you to tell me how doing things only for the sake of 'religious morality' is in itself not purely selfish. Is a person of faith making the right decisions because they are concerned with where they will end up? I pity an existence where I can not contribute to this earth for the pure sake of doing it. Every nice thing I do out of a religion-based morality is actively selfish.
If God exists and is truly omnipotent, do you think he'd be more impressed with someone who makes moral choices because he told them to, or because they honeslty feel it's the right thing to do? Now begin questioning your motivations. I have met salt of the earth atheists and evil as sin born-agains, not to mention every combination inbetween.
Morality does not equal religion. Morality and religion should not go hand and hand.
I would really love feedback on this one. I would love to know your thoughts. I'm not stating my beliefs behind a wall of anonymity, and as a consequence respect and invite any opinion on the this delicate matter; good or bad.
Much love, much respect.
Peace in the east,