May 4, 2011

Morality: Is Something Good Because God Says it’s Good or is it Just Good?

By: Editor TRT


Peter Singer - Global Atheist Convention 2010



I found an interesting philosophical video that dispels the myth that you cannot have morality without God. This video was posted on the blog Debunking Christianity.  If you get a chance it is a worth while blog to look at.

Dr. Peter Singer, is an Australian philosopher who is the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne. He specializes in applied ethics and approaches ethical issues from a secular, preference utilitarian perspective.

Dr. Singer starts out with the question, “Is something good because God says it’s good or does God say it is good because it is in its nature good?”  This is an interesting question to say the least.  Singer also questions that most of us have in the back of our mind.  Questions like, If God is the standard for morality why does God ask us to do horrific things like stone people to death because they worked on the Sabbath? Singer also demonstrates that God does not set the standards for morality but man does.  He uses the example that today’s Christians pick and choose which scriptures to follow based on what they deem, not God, what is right and wrong.  This blog points to this very fact in the Francis Nye, November 24, 201 post Man Claims Discrimination: Sunday Day of Rest.

Dr. Singer also makes some interesting comparisons between Western industrial nations.  He points to the fact that most secular European nations are more moral than the Christian US.  These European nations have less crime and less disease per capita than the US.  He attributes this of course to man deciding what is moral and not God.  That some how man is better qualified in this department.

There is a point in the video that I found especially provocative when Singer makes the statement that societies operate on a sort of quid-pro-quo doctrine.  That people found it is more beneficial to the whole of society to work together as opposed to against one another and that this is why societies develop a morality system that works.

Finally there is an interesting back and forth Q&A session near the end.  One person asks Dr. Singer if he believes there is more virtue in the West than the East.  The answers are interesting and enlighten to say the least and I don’t want to spoil the video for you so check it out on your own. Ω TRT

What are your thoughts on this situation?  Please let me know below in the comment section.

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