Quotable thoughts about morality and religion

I didn’t know who William Lane Craig was before I saw him debate a philosopher friend of mine. Out of touch, that’s me. He’s a theologian who’s well known in circles that care about that and Greta Christina recently wrote a terrific (as always) piece about him and his moral stance in regards to genocide in the bible. He was for it.

he said that as long as God gives the thumbs-up, it’s okay to kill pretty much anybody. It’s okay to kill bad people, because they’re bad and they deserve it… and it’s okay to kill good people, because they wind up in Heaven. As long as God gives the thumbs-up, it’s okay to systematically wipe out entire races. As long as God gives the thumbs-up, it’s okay to slaughter babies and children. Craig said — not essentially, not as a paraphrase, but literally, in quotable words — “the death of these children was actually their salvation.”

The whole thing’s worth a read so make sure you do that if you haven’t already.

Bruce Gorton has a short post at Times Live, noting her work on this topic then suggests that the view of morality which makes Craig approve of the bible’s genocide stories could be extended to make the Nazis morally right, too. What an appalling and troubling idea.

it is kind of ironic that we have a God based moral objectivist arguing that it was okay for the Israelites to do the exact same stuff that made the Nazis repugnant.

Those belt buckles were adorned with the words “Gott mit uns” after all.

This particular idea that morality is God based, or gods based, is so enduring not because it is particularly true, it endures because it soothes the ego. People fall for it because the implication is that those who have faith are more moral than those who do not, and those who have the right faith are the most moral of all.

The truth is though, that morality does not come from some God but from us, and it may well not be objective. We haven’t got much of an idea of where morality comes from, but as it stands we can be pretty sure that its source should not mean us having to make excuses for genocide and infanticide in what amounts to a land grab.

Thoughts?

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