Why Right and Wrong?
I had an interesting conversation with a friend recently. He is in the introductory ethics class here at Mines, and the class has apparently been looking at the philosophy of God and religion. One part of our conversation that has stuck with me was the relationship between God and morality.
The argument is that there are two possibilities: either things are wrong because God said they are wrong; or things are wrong because they are wrong (harmful, unutilitarian, ect.), and God has told us they are wrong.
I’m a fan of the latter simply because I’m really really not a fan of the former. I don’t think God has told us to do things simply because He wants to be in charge and in control. We wouldn’t have free will if that is what He really wanted.
The alternative, that God tells us to do things because He doesn’t want us to harm each other and ourselves, has its own problematic implications. Why do we need God at all if we could figure out what is right and wrong all by ourselves? What do we gain by sitting and listening to a sermon, when we could just as easily gain the same benefit from sitting in an ethics class?
I’m starting a new series, this time on why I would bother to be a Christian. I hope you enjoyed the last series on community, and I might write one more on that before getting into this new series, if anything new comes to mind during break. Enjoy your time off!