Comments about ‘Science linked to morality’

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Published: Thursday, Oct. 10 2013 7:10 p.m. MDT

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The Scientist
Provo, UT

Well, of course. This is patently obvious.

Fred T
PHOENIX, AZ

This is really 'moral relativism' when scientifically applied with no God based moral standards.
The 'morality' will ebb and flow with the changing winds of modern life.
Sounds nice though...

Ranch
Here, UT

Oh no!! Religions isn't the source of all things moral? Woe is me, woe is me!

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

When a person learns how to think in staid of what to think morality will be lost with the books you read and the people you are with.

Hank Pym
SLC, UT

A high degree of correlation between Science & morality is due to Critical thinking and deductive reasoning.

Mister J
Salt Lake City, UT

"Morality is doing what is right regardless of what you are told. Religion is doing what you are told regardless of what is right." -- Anonymous

"...role of religious moral imperatives... emerged only as an addition to our natural instincts for cooperation and empathy." - Bonobo and the Atheist by Frans De Waal

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@Fred T – “This is really 'moral relativism' when scientifically applied with no God based moral standards.”

It’s simply not the case that without a belief in God all morality will be relative (which I take you to mean no more solid than whims or popular attitudes).

Objective morality is based on reason, sympathy and our evolved capacity for empathy, and is grounded in human well-being (and conversely, not causing meaningless suffering). And there have been objective ethical schools of thought throughout history that do not rely on a belief in a celestial “law giver” – see Buddha, Confucius, Aristotle, the Stoics, Spinoza, Hume, Kant, JS Mill, and in recent times folks like (the dubious) Ayn Rand, Peter Singer, Michael Martin, and Sam Harris.

Conversely, if you still believe God (the Bible) is our only source of absolute morality I would urge you to read the book again – the Bible is full of moral relativism. As one of many examples: Slavery – bad when the Egyptians were doing it to the Israelites, not so bad when the Israelites were later doing it to all of their neighbors.

Contrariusier
mid-state, TN

I can't resist pointing out here that all morality is relative. Yes, even the Ten Commandments

No graven images -- unless you're a religious artist.
Remember the sabbath -- even Jesus himself said this one was relative.
Honor your parents -- what if your father is a murderer? Should you still honor him?
Don't kill -- unless you support the death penalty. Unless you're killing in self-defense. Unless you want to start a war with another country.
No adultery -- What's your definition of "adultery"? According to the Bible, a man who divorces and remarries is an adulterer.
Don't steal -- Taxes, anyone?
False witness -- No, honey, of COURSE those pants don't make your butt look fat.
Don't covet -- Please, a large part of our society is devoted to "keeping up with the Joneses". Ambition is seen as a GOOD thing.

Somebody please tell me -- where is all this NON-relative morality that people keep talking about??

Gildas
LOGAN, UT

This article is sparse on details of the study, so apparently comes to some unjustified conclusions.

The problem appears to be that there are far too many variables, when it comes to the study of people, to arrive at any reliable, tidy little theory. Hence sociology, for example, cannot be an "exact science" and arguably not a science at all. There are other fields, of course, regarded as pseudo-scientific and yet great "faith" is placed in them.

I think that some "comments" here are based on just such a neat division of people into scientific and religious. That doesn't work with some of history's best scientists, modern and earlier scientists; I did a study on this and found it to be instructive.

My own observation tends to confirm one of this study's findings, though: the difference between "religious" and "scientific" people is connected with whether one has faith, primarily, in God or in man. The fallibility of man has been, and continues to be, well demonstrated, although that does NOT mean that the scientific method, when strictly followed and where the subject permits, is of no value. Quite the contrary.

EternalPerspective
Eldersburg, MD

If morality is relative, why is crime continously increased dramatically from the days of “social liberation” of the 1960s to rapid advancement of worldly disciplines today? Is that merely population relativism saying the more people occupying a space, the greater the probability for crime?

There are absolutely many consequences evident that negate moral relativism. More unhappy people exist today who self-medicate with anything from illegal drugs to prescription drugs to over the counter drugs and other addictive substances.

Many are addicted to virtual experiences where in their minds, they become someone else, but in reality, they haven't moved an inch toward self-improvement or serving others. Then there are the general tendencies to be selfish, self-absorbed, self-indulgent with seeking power, money, violence, fame, and all sorts of things that boil down to worshipping idols and philosophies in the world today.

The greatest trick the devil ever did pull off was to convince the world he didn't exist. Today he has done much more as now he persuades many of faith to disbelieve. Everything is interrelated, yet also easily rationalized away by so called enlightened thinking. Hence, endless debates go nowhere and God remains real.

Contrariuserer
mid-state, TN

@EternalPerspective --

"If morality is relative, why is crime continously increased dramatically from the days of “social liberation” of the 1960s to rapid advancement of worldly disciplines today?"

Actually, US violent crime rates have been FALLING for decades.

There goes your theory.

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

@Gildas;

You bet that man is fallible. Since "god" was invented by man, he too is certainly fallible, and since religion is also based on the ideas of man guess what that makes religion?

Fallible.

Gildas
LOGAN, UT

@ TN

Graven images: read the 2nd commandment and 3rd together in context. Don't worship the works of your own hands is the message.

Remember the sabbath: Jesus both remembered and kept the sabbath, though not as the Pharisees commanded.

Don't "kill": the Hebrew word in the original is MURDER.

No adultery: your view is almost right but un-Christian laws say otherwise or are not enforced.

Don't steal: Ditto

False witness: AGAINST thy neighbor.

Don't covet: Agreed. Your humorous comments often point out that our society, and our laws, fall short of the ten commandments.

Gildas
LOGAN, UT

@ RanchHand

You bet that man is fallible. [Quote]

There we agree RanchHand, but God is not an invention of man.

We live in a man-made society that mocks beliefs that are obviously true, and
mandates views that are ridiculous.

Contrariusiest
mid-state, TN

@Gildas --

"Don't worship the works of your own hands is the message."

Ehhhhhh, no.

"You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below." (Exodus 20:4)
-- period, end of commandment. You shall not make images, period.
-- incidentally, the Muslims take this one much more seriously than most Christians do. They have NO representative religious art.

"You shall not bow down to them or worship them" (Exodus 20:5)
-- AND you shall not bow down to images either.
-- Stained glass windows? Statues of Jesus? Paintings of saints? Crucifixes?

And I left this one out before -- “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God" (Exodus 20:7)
-- what counts as "misuse"? If I say "My God!" have I "misused" the name? How about when Jesus said those same words -- was he misusing it?

"Jesus both remembered and kept the sabbath"
-- Jesus himself said that keeping the Sabbath was relative.

continued next post!

Contrariusiest
mid-state, TN

continued from previous post --

"The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath." (Mark 2:27)

"If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath." (Matthew 12:11-12)

"Don't "kill": the Hebrew word in the original is MURDER."
-- So how do you define "murder"? Here's a hint: any restriction on "killing" immediately makes this commandment relative.

"un-Christian laws say otherwise or are not enforced."
--- oooooo, you really believe that all remarriage is un-Christian? That's rather extreme of you.

"False witness: AGAINST thy neighbor."
-- Define "against". Warning again: any restrictions on that "false witness" immediately make it relative.

"Don't covet: Agreed. Your humorous comments often point out that our society, and our laws, fall short of the ten commandments."
-- It's not just a matter of "falling short". Our society sees ambition and acquisitiveness as actively GOOD things.

pleasantgrove
PLEASANT GROVE, UT

The fact that some things are moral and some are immoral proves to me there is a God. He is God based on His ability to be perfectly moral.

Gildas
LOGAN, UT

@ anyone interested

I don't think God called them "The Ten Commandments", even if we do, so I don't know if there have to be ten.

I do believe, at any rate, that the second and third commandments are inextricably connected: Thou shalt not make graven images; thou shalt not worship them. Look, the Lord, in designing the temple and the Ark, included the forms of angels over the Ark of the Covenant which contained those "Ten Commandments", and designs of palm trees etc in the temple itself.

So it is clear that the commandment concerning "graven images" referred to objects of worship, the idols of men and women, the idolatry of mankind of their own paltry creations. No one, then, should have thought of worshiping the angels or the palm trees, that embellished the temple.

We need to use some common sense in understanding these commandments which are, even now, absolutely basic to godly living.

The Scientist
Provo, UT

"We need to use some common sense in understanding these commandments which are, even now, absolutely basic to godly living."

Which means even believers understand that "common sense" and the intuitive, human morality endemic to us is more fundamental and has priority over religion.

Contrariusiest
mid-state, TN

@Gildas --

"I don't think God called them "The Ten Commandments", even if we do, so I don't know if there have to be ten."

Errrr....I don't think you're going to get many people, Christian or not, to agree to calling them the "Nine Commandments". ;-D

But in any case, you're just adding even more ammunition to my argument about moral relativity. You can't even agree on the absolute number of commandments!

Since you haven't even tried to rebut anything else in my most recent two posts, I'll let it rest there.

Morality is relative. Even the Commandments.

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