Archive for philosophy

Further Thoughts on Ethics, Post Jesus

Posted in Ethics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2008 by carriedthecross

When I was a Christian, I would oftentimes become frustrated while attempting to understand a moral sentiment put forth through biblical text.  Why in the world would God make absolute morality so ambiguous?  When Moses wrote, “thou shalt not kill,” did he mean “thou shalt not kill” or did he mean “thou shalt not kill without just cause?”  What about abortion? War? Poverty? At times a golden nugget in Scipture would pop out that seemed to make things clear, but there was always a level of ambivalence that I felt was never fully appreciated by the mass of Christianity.

Upon looking to my struggles through developing a proper hermeneutic of Scripture to find a moral system fair to the text, and the supposed author of the text, I cannot help but laugh.  Wading through the waters of religious dogma to discover an absolute morality seems so much easier than developing a moral system beyond a conception of a divine transcendent being which by necessity decrees certain actions “good” and certain actions “bad.”  When I left Christianity–in fact, in my preparation to leave Christianity, even–I recognized that I would somehow need to construct (or not construct, perhaps) a new moral system.

So where to begin? Well first I had to assess if in fact there was morality.  Without Christianity, is moral nihilism the path to go?  Or perhaps there is morality, but it is subjective.  Maybe there is still some sort of objective morality existing independent of humanity.  What a mess!  As I collected my thoughts and began to sift through the arguments and counter arguments, I found myself most convinced by the though of Spinoza (there is nothing that is inherently ‘good’ or ‘evil’), Hume (moral values simply correspond to our social engrained sentiments and passions) and more recently Bernard Williams (actions are described as “good” or “bad” not in a universal sense, but through individual passions and social construction).

In other words, no objective morality exists.  Continue reading

Reasons I Remained Faithful (for so long)

Posted in Atheism, Christianity with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2008 by carriedthecross

 A re-post from something I put up on de-Conversion a few days ago.  Worth reading are some of the personal stories various people left in the comments section…. 

It’s now been more than a year since I intellectually gave up Christianity and six months since I publicly renounced my faith. They say hindsight is 20/20, and true to form, it seems incredible to me that I was a Christian for seven years. Those seven years now seem like an eternity to me, overshadowing the previous fourteen. Maybe it is just because they are the most recent seven years or maybe because the last third of my life has been the most formative to who I am. Regardless, it is still almost unbelievable to me that for seven years I prayed, I studied the Bible, I attended church, I spoke proudly about my ‘relationship with Christ,’ I preached and I witnessed to those around me.

So why did I remain a Christian for so long? What is it about the Christian metaphysic, which I now find so distasteful, that hooked me? This is a question I have been pondering for a while now, and though my list is more than likely not exhaustive, I’d like to record some of the prominent reasons I remained faithful for as long as I did.
Continue reading