Monday, November 19, 2007

Rhology and Christianity's misanthropic "morality"

A Christian blogger calling himself Rhology has discovered us, and is currently posting like mad in this comment thread with the usual run of "no morality without a God" canards. It's interesting to read, mainly for the way in which Rhology argues, which involves telling us what we think (mainly, that we don't believe in right and wrong), and just stating his assumptions, responding to challenges to those assumptions mostly by restating them. He demands we explain in detail what our basis is for deciding whether a situation is morally right or wrong, but does not himself provide a similarly detailed explanation for the basis he uses. It is sufficient for him to say, in essence, God lays down the law, it's all in the Bible, and that's all I need.

In repeatedly asserting the superiority of his "worldview," he never actually gives an example of any circumstance where theistic morality would present a person with the ability to more accurately assess the right or wrong of a situation than a reason-based, secular morality. Is there any example Rhology can give where a Christian, using only the Bible as his moral guide, could more reliably decide when a situation is good or evil than an atheist could just by rationally assessing the situation using his poor, imperfect brain? I'd love to hear it.

Rhology's vaunted "worldview" is chock full of deeply misanthropic presuppositions. Human beings are entirely evil and depraved, for one, with nary of hint of innate goodness. There is no difference in Rhology's mind between being good and being perfect. One cannot be good at all unless one is perfect. Therefore, no one can be good, and we all need God. It's a rather jaw dropping assertion, to be sure, and one that flies in the face of what anyone who actually, you know, interacts with people in the real world knows.

But it's a necessary premise for Rhology's arguments, because without that deep-seated misanthropic basis for his "worldview," he would have to entertain the notion that maybe people can think for themselves, and reach a consensus morality sufficient for the success of our species and our society on our own. (In Aristotle's words, that virtue arises from the proper application of reason.) If people can decide amongst themselves what's right or wrong, then God looks less necessary. And Rhology cannot countenance that. So human reason must be denigrated at all costs. Rhology does this by trying to deride reason-based morality as nothing more than one's "personal preferences," as if everyone on Earth lives in a vacuum and just makes this stuff up. He cannot comprehend that human moral precepts are based on our shared experience of living together as a social species, and learning through endless trial and error what works for us and what doesn't. There are things about human nature at a fundamental level that Rhology's Christian indoctrination has rendered him incapable of understanding.

So hop on over to the thread and have a read, and pitch in if you can find more flaws in Rhology's "worldview" than I and some other commenters already have. He's an interesting example of how a too-dogmatic adherence to Christianity's authoritarian teachings can cripple one's understanding of — let alone respect and empathy for — his fellow man.

1 comment:

  1. Been there, done that (on his blog).

    After you press him a bit, out comes the TAG (Trascendental Argument for God).


    Example here


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