Moral Landscape Question
Posted: 13 October 2010 04:11 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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I was wondering if anyone could comment on the following two questions?

1. If morality is determined through a utilitarian concept which can be measured through scientific inquiry than why is religion out of bounds for being a vehicle to better living? After all in 2003, an analysis by Smith, McCullough, and Poll of over 200 social studies found that high religiousness (at least weekly church or synagogue attendance) predicts lower risk for depression and drug abuse, fewer suicide attempts, and more reports of life satisfaction.

2. Sam Harris states that religion is “unhelpful” because it bases morality and how one should act more on the next life rather than this current one. Yet, why is this always bad? After all the early Christians were able to concern themselves with those who had smallpox, and various other diseases because they were more interested in their next life rather than their present day one? The Roman pagans ran to the hills while the Christians faced the present dangers facing their society.

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Posted: 02 April 2011 08:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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... After all in 2003, an analysis by Smith, McCullough, and Poll of over 200 social studies found that high religiousness (at least weekly church or synagogue attendance) predicts lower risk for depression and drug abuse, fewer suicide attempts, and more reports of life satisfaction.

Religion as a social glue is probably helpful based on humans need to feel needed, and having friends to turn to will keep one out of trouble. Just having people expecting one to show up for an event could mean the difference to some people. The error is assuming that religion is any better at this than say, a bowling league, or a book club.

2. Sam Harris states that religion is “unhelpful” because it bases morality and how one should act more on the next life rather than this current one. Yet, why is this always bad?

Not always BAD, but that is not saying much. Often it IS bad. Nobody agrees on what admission to the next life requires, but we should be able to agree on what is good for this life, through science for example. Emphasizing the afterlife over life is a waste of energy.

After all the early Christians were able to concern themselves with those who had smallpox, and various other diseases because they were more interested in their next life rather than their present day one? The Roman pagans ran to the hills while the Christians faced the present dangers facing their society.

Can you be more specific, maybe cite a source or example?

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