I’m one who thinks we’re better off in 2010 in just about every way possible when compared to history – because most independent sources I’ve read seem to indicate as much . Even taking into account the current economic crisis, life is pretty good for most Americans. Like the stock market, of course there are natural fluctuations in the short term. But when we look at long periods of human history life is getting better. Crime rates, mortality rates, poverty, abuses of equal rights and other indicators all decrease over time.
We’ve apparently learned to be kinder and get along better as the centuries roll.
So my question is this: Why would I want my children to base their moral compass upon the hysterical believings of a group of ancient desert tribes who have had a long history of stirring up misery for themselves and the rest of humanity?
Of course Bronze Age morality got some things right, but those are things that almost every human society has been able to come up with without burning bushes, seer stones or talking snakes to help them.
Treat others like you want to be treated.
The greatest moral questions of the last 200 years have only been hindered by the lack of Bronze Age guidance for positive change: Slavery, Women’s Sufferage, Civil Rights, Genocide, Genetic Engineering, Gay Marriage, etc.
Frankly I feel like I can do better for my kids.
There’s a difference between giving them weak moral standards such as the 10 Commandments, church pamphlets, and scripture…and a moral compass, a strong inner sense of right and wrong devoid of pronouncements and rules. A moral compass is more powerful because it takes into account real life and all it’s gray areas.
Like the big moral questions, daily life is full of choices between the lessor of two evils or between vague positive options. There are always exceptions to rules and pronouncements that the prophets fail to foresee.
I actually think we’re better off without them. I am able to make all my moral decisions based on the inner compass of doing for others what I would want done for me. If that’s what you get out of your religion, then booyah!
I personally find it more powerful and easier to arrive at without the 2,000 – 4,000 year old debris from a group of people who still can’t get along.