Here is an excerpt from an hour-long conversation with the author of What It Means to Be Moral: Why Religion Is Not Necessary for Living an Ethical Life, Professor Phil Zuckerman. Professor Zuckerman explains how God-belief is an impediment to being a moral person.
Who Is Professor Phil Zuckerman?
Professor Zuckerman teaches at Pitzer College. He’s written several books and works at educating students and the public about secularism.
Here is a bit from his bio page:
Phil writes a regular blog for Psychology Today titled “The Secular Life,” and he also writes for the Huffington Post. His work has also been published in various scholarly journals, such as Sociology Compass, Sociology of Religion, Journal of Contemporary Religion, Deviant Behavior, and Religion, Brain, and Behavior.
In 2011, Phil founded the first Secular Studies department in the nation. Secular Studies is an interdisciplinary program focusing on manifestations of the secular in societies and cultures, past and present. Secular Studies entails the study of non-religious people, groups, thought, and cultural expressions. Emphasis is placed upon the meanings, forms, relevance, and impact of political/constitutional secularism, philosophical skepticism, and personal and public secularity.
Religion Keeps You From Being Moral
I hope you enjoy this clip.
And here is the transcript of the video:
Morality only works in a godless universe. Even if there was proof that God existed, even if we could all agree what this God wills — like we somehow got the exact same email every morning in every language telling us exactly how we ought to behave — that now destroys morality. Because morality now becomes a matter of blind obedience. We are now simply following the orders of a more powerful being.
Anytime you simply follow orders you’ve abdicated your moral conscience. You have given up the hard work of moral deliberation. You have simply resigned yourself to a robot-like or doglike state of following orders. When you add a threat of hell or a promised reward of heaven that makes things even worse. Now you are simply not just finally blindly following commands but you’re doing so to save your own ass.
None of that is morality
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