Morality and Religion

Twitter discussion of religion and morality between Allen Stairs and Keith Frankish. With contributions from Howard Wettstein, @cathyby, and others.
Allen Stairs @AllenStairs

Sad irony that people distrust atheist for "moral" reasons. Listen up, folks: MORALITY DOESN'T DEPEND ON RELIGION

11/12/2011 05:27:46 WIB
Keith Frankish @keithfrankish

@AllenStairs I agree of course, but, still, I suspect humanists may be a bit too sanguine on this point.

11/12/2011 05:50:20 WIB
Allen Stairs @AllenStairs

@keithfrankish BTW: I think *religion* needs to recognize this point as well.

11/12/2011 05:54:03 WIB
Keith Frankish @keithfrankish

@allenstairs it's the supererogatory element I'm thinking of -- can a humanist make sense of, or even admire, saintliness?

11/12/2011 05:56:38 WIB
Keith Frankish @keithfrankish

@allenstairs You don't need religion to be a good human being; but maybe you need it to aspire to be more than that

11/12/2011 05:58:06 WIB
Keith Frankish @keithfrankish

@allenstairs won't a humanist see such aspirations as delusional?

11/12/2011 06:00:52 WIB
Allen Stairs @AllenStairs

@keithfrankish Think, for example, abiout Buddhist compassion. Doesn't depend on supernatural beliefs, nor is it "commanded"

11/12/2011 06:04:12 WIB
Keith Frankish @keithfrankish

@allenstairs so hum/st can say it's not rationally required, but still good? But why still good (rather than neutral)? 1/2

11/12/2011 06:09:54 WIB
Keith Frankish @keithfrankish

@allenstairs good b/c it's more of same? but more of a good isn't always a good. 2/2

11/12/2011 06:10:48 WIB
Allen Stairs @AllenStairs

@keithfrankish But sometimes it is. I don't see the need for a *principle* for admiring, e.g., heroism or acts of extraordinary kindness

11/12/2011 06:14:11 WIB
Keith Frankish @keithfrankish

@allenstairs not a principle, but a *reason*. What is it? Not duty. Not virtue in Aristotelian sense. Utility?

11/12/2011 06:17:32 WIB
Allen Stairs @AllenStairs

@keithfrankish Why is a reason needed? I don't feel the force of the demand. Many of the examples speak for themselves, as it were.

11/12/2011 06:19:48 WIB
Allen Stairs @AllenStairs

@keithfrankish And how would adding religion help? How would that explain thigs any better?

11/12/2011 06:20:21 WIB
Keith Frankish @keithfrankish

@allenstairs the religious person can value saintliness for its aspiration to a superhuman ideal

11/12/2011 06:23:05 WIB
Gerald Hall @ghall49

>@keithfrankish @allenstairs @sdv_duras My sense of morality involves enlightened self interest and a sense of social contract: Golden Rule.

11/12/2011 06:24:48 WIB
Keith Frankish @keithfrankish

@allenstairs religious person is equipped with sources of value that are not human centred, not worldly

11/12/2011 06:25:38 WIB
Allen Stairs @AllenStairs

@keithfrankish And the secular person can't do that because...??? (I assume "superhuman" needn't carry metaphysical weight)

11/12/2011 06:25:48 WIB
Allen Stairs @AllenStairs

@keithfrankish Perhaps so. Doesn't entail that secular folk can't admire the supererogatory. They can and do, with no apparent irrationality

11/12/2011 06:26:29 WIB
Keith Frankish @keithfrankish

@allenstairs They can *like* it, I guess, just as they can like mint tea. But can they recognize it as a moral good?

11/12/2011 06:32:25 WIB
Keith Frankish @keithfrankish

@allenstairs And should they even like it, if they think it's delusional? Dawkins seems to think religious folk need curing.

11/12/2011 06:33:21 WIB
Allen Stairs @AllenStairs

@keithfrankish Off to get a bite to eat. But I deeply don't get it. They'll see the supererogatry as supererogatory rather than obligatory

11/12/2011 06:35:27 WIB
Cathy B @cathyby

@keithfrankish Took Allen out, but might humanist admire fasting as might admire rock climber, admire effort while seeing no point in goal?

11/12/2011 06:41:55 WIB
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Keith Frankish @keithfrankish 23/12/2011 11:02:59 WIB
Updated discussion of religion and morality, with Keith Frankish, Allen Stairs, Howard Wettstein, @cathyby, @miriksmit, and others