Thursday, October 1, 2015

Reason & Morality

The idea that "reason" gives us unaided access to morality has the potential to lead to as dangerous a fervor as the most fundamentalist religiosity. It gives the air of scientific certainty to what remains a human, fallible process in often murky waters. Any ethical philosophy that fails to admit that we are limited, and morally broken creatures groping in the darkness is bound for disillusionment or destructive ends. Mao and Stalin thought they had discovered the truth of what was good and right, by unaided reason. Do we need religion to have morality? No. But it is not clear to me that irreligious moral philosophy has adequate metaphysical girth to maintain sufficient existential weight. And it seems clear that ANY morality capable of both motivating while also discomforting is going to be no more certain nor free from corruptibility than any religion or religious ethical philosophy.

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