This is the fourth in a series of five posts on morality. They are aimed at countering the usual religious claims for a god-given morality with current scientific understanding of how the morality of our species arose. Also, they at tempt to justify a non-theist objective basis for much of the moral decisions we make. The first post (I: Religious confusion) discussed some of the problems religion has in its understanding of morality and the second (II: Objective morality) argues for a non-theist objective basis for morality. The third post (III: Moral intuition) discussed moral intuitions. This fourth post discusses the role of religion in human morality.
Religion certainly claims for itself a special role when it comes to human morals – and even some non-religious people accept that claim. This is largely because historically religion has played a central role in disseminating moral teaching and resolving moral disputes.
Posted in agnosticism, atheism, belief, Bible, Christianity, creationism, culture, diversity, faith, god, human rights, intelligent design, religion, science, slavery, supernatural, superstition, theology, tradition
Tagged Jared Diamond, morality
Scientific research is a very creative and personally satisfying process. However, researchers often find that the inevitable specialisation and concentration on limited aspects of reality can lead to a lack of understanding and appreciation of discoveries in other fields.
Since retirement I’ve appreciated the opportunity to read more widely. I find myself returning to subjects I haven’t considered for decades, or have neglected. I’m learning about the amazing discoveries humanity has made (behind my back) in the meantime.
I was encouraged to check out, and summarise, what I have been reading by the reading lists blogged by Damian and others. The number of books I have got through (in four years) shocked me – perhaps I’m a bit obsessive, or maybe its just the freedom retirement has given me.
I can recommend most books on the list – but definitely not every one (guess which).
Posted in agnostic, agnosticism, atheism, Behe, belief, book review, Christianity, creationism, culture, Darwin, Dawkins, Dennett, diversity, evolution, faith, god, Harris, intelligent design, Krauss, religion, science, Shermer
Tagged Atkins, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Barbara Forrest, Begley, Behe, Blakeslee, Books, Brian Greene, Brockman, Brookmyre, Carrol, Dacey, Doidge, Ellerbe, Goleman, Goodenough, Gould, Gross, Hitchens, Jared Diamond, Kandel, Lawrence Wright, Matt Ridley, Mayr, Miller, Norris, Ofray, Pascal Boyer, Peter Ward, Petto, reading list, Rees, retirement, Ridley, Sacks, Sagan, Smolin, Sobel, Stenger, Tyson, Wallace, Wilson, Wolpert, Zimmer