Saturday, December 31, 2011

Religion's Failure as a Source of Morality

A number of my posts have explored the skewed, twisted nature of religious morality.  In particular, I have taken pains to make clear that religious morality is not morality at all but a combination of authoritarianism and fear of punishment.  True morality is predicated upon the avoidance of harm--not the pleasing of authority figures.  I recently came across a quotation from Bertrand Russell that sums up the moral confusion of religion on this point:

"Clergymen necessarily fail in two ways as teachers of morals.  They condemn acts which do no harm and they condone acts which do great harm."  Bertrand Russell

This quotation is very useful.  It not only sums up the absurdity of "religious morality" in short, pithy way, it also shows (once again) that everything that is wrong with religion was pointed out before any of us were even born.  Yet, religion persists because of the ways in which it dishonestly manipulates the marketplace of ideas.

See also, Religion and Morality VII.

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