Courtesy of a friend and the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (and I would hasten to add Sanity), I received a link to Bent Spoon with a great, short interview with Peter Boghossian, professor of philosophy at Portland State University. Sometimes we expend a lot of energy to say what can be summed up in a few words. I certainly do. But I was trained as a rabbi so I have an excuse.
One popular argument people use to justify faith is that, without God, the world would take a downward spiral into immorality and anarchy. How do you react to this?
…Morality exists despite religion, not because of it. The hijacking of morality by religious clerics is one of the greatest scams of history.It’s never been clear to me what the relationship is between a god and morality. What does God have to do with morality? If the universe was created by a being that we call “God,” how does this necessitate that we should behave in certain ways? I just don’t understand this move.
If one wants to claim that God is imbued with certain characteristics, like kindness and charity, then I want to know how someone knows this. Perhaps there was a being that created the universe but it doesn’t care one iota what we do with ourselves. Again, the relationship between God and morality can’t be accepted by fiat. Just as one can’t accept by fiat that God created the universe and now it doesn’t care about us.
Anyone who thinks that there is a connection between morality and religion, God or anything supernatural is seriously disconnected from reality.