Holy crap. I just read the best analysis of all-time for why ‘nice’ religion is still a problem.
No surprise, it comes from Greta Christina.
Let’s say Person 1 thinks their hair dryer is talking to them, and is telling them to shoot every redhead who gets on the 9:04 train.
And let’s say that Person 2 thinks their hair dryer is talking to them, and is telling them to volunteer twice a week at a homeless shelter.
Is it better to volunteer at a homeless shelter than it is to shoot every redhead who gets on the 9:04 train? Of course it is.
But you still have a basic problem — which is that you think your hair dryer is talking to you.
You are still getting your ethics from a hair dryer. You are still getting your perception of reality and your ideas about how to live your life, not from the core moral values that most human beings seem to share, not from any solid evidence about what decreases suffering and increases fairness and happiness, not from your own observations and experiences of what does and does not work to make the world a better place… but from a household appliance.
And that’s a problem.
Go read the whole thing. It’s one of my favorite pieces she’s ever written.