Sunday, August 16, 2015

Better Without God

Not just good.  Better. Way fucking better than freakazoids.
We humanists can achieve a better understanding of the practices and policies that will lead to a better world because—if and when we actually engage in the critical thinking we espouse—we use reason and evidence to examine the consequences of different courses of action and how these relate to the promotion of common human interests. In other words, we give serious thought to the moral aspects of our policies and practices. By contrast, too many religious people still adhere to their religious doctrines (or to religious leaders who interpret the doctrines for them) as a guide for moral decision-making. These doctrines are not typically justified by showing how adherence to them will improve the human condition. Instead, they are justified because they supposedly reflect the will of God. In practice, this means that they reflect the musings of some semiliterate, God-intoxicated, self-designated prophet from centuries ago.

This is no way to reason about moral issues, especially moral issues that relate to public policy. As indicated, humanists do have a significantly better way of addressing these issues. We don’t look for answers in scripture. We have no holy texts. We don’t defer to some authority who will instruct us on what to do. We have no authorities. Instead, we carefully consider the objectives of a particular policy or practice, examine the relevant evidence, and then reason together. Humanists don’t look above for answers; we look to each other. Humanist ethics is far superior to religious ethics if for no other reasons than it is focused on the good of humanity and its principles are subject to rational debate, testing, and revision.

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