Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

Patrick H
Gormley


RIGHT AND WRONG

People cause a lot of trouble over different ideas of right and wrong but the truth is here.

Either something is wrong in itself no matter how good the consequences will be or something may be wrong in itself but good because it has mostly good results.

If you accept the first then you will have to teach things like lying and killing and pre-marital sex are wrong and are never right. This philosophy is just a bigoted power game full of double standards. For example, if the act not the results matters then it is wrong to lie to save a life. If lies are so bad then it is wrong to let anybody believe anything that is wrong and so they should be told the truth even if it drives them to suicide. But nobody who claims to believe in the philosophy ever practices or teaches it consistently. All it is good for is injustice and hypocrisy and deceit.

So that leaves us with the view that the end justifies the means when the end is worth the means. For example, if an abortion of a baby that has developed into the personhood stage will save the motherís life the abortion should be performed. No theory about the rightness of acts from the consequences intended by them seems to be perfect. All we can do is accept that no matter what moral code we have there will be casualties so we have to accept the one that has the least.

Objections to consequentalism:

a) If you promise your father on his deathbed that you will erect an expensive gravestone over his grave you have to do it though the money would be better spent on his grandchildren. But your father cared about his grandchildren and if they need the money you know you can keep the money for them with his blessing and that he would release you from the promise.

b) If a family will die if I do not send them medicine that is not as bad as murdering them. But consequentalism says it is.

As always it depends on the circumstances. If the family could survive without it if they tried hard enough then it is not murder. But if the medicine is the ONLY way to save them AND YOU KNOW THAT then it is certainly murder to neglect to send them the medicine. Results do not make you a murderer, intent does.

c) Consequentalism is too demanding for if your life savings can do more good in the Third World you have to give them away.

But even absolutist ethics infer that we should give them away for an ethic that does not claim to be for the best is not an ethic at all but a nonsense. Absolutism frowns on wealth believing that sacrifice with simplicity is the duty of every person but consequentalism encourages wealth under the right circumstances.

Humanism does believe that there are many times that it is best just to stick with the rule because if we discard rules altogether there will be no happiness. We need rules but plenty of exceptions too when they are warranted. One of the reasons we oppose religion for it says that loving God or obeying him is an absolute duty. God represents absolutism. Liberals say that obeying God only means we do things that any reasonable person would consider right. But the fact of the matter is that if God comes first as they say then we can count ourselves lucky that God's demands overlap with humanistic morals. If they didn't overlap it wouldn't matter for God comes first and if he wants you to sacrifice your babies then so be it.