Saturday, 6 December 2014

Good and Evil Are Still 'Opinions'

Dennis Prager, speaking from the religious right says:

"If there is no God, the labels “good” and “evil” are merely opinions. They are substitutes for “I like it” and “I don’t like it.”

This is a misjudgement on a number of levels - most notably (and this should be trivially obvious), belief that God exists is also an opinion, and one that, if held, still requires views about ethics and morality to be constructed in accordance with that belief (as you've probably noticed, a lot of religious people disagree on moral and ethical matters). So whether you believe in God or not, terms like 'good' and 'evil' remain within the realm of human opinion, because we don't have the capacity to proffer anything other than personal opinion based on personal interpretation.

To even hold the view that God is good, one needs a mobilisation of conscience-related experiential qualities; from a psychological framework, to engagement with other humans, right through to wider socio-personal familiarisation and the faculty of conceptual reasoning. As history has shown, those human experiential qualities have brought about mixed results - and that's putting it mildly.

* Photo courtesy of Carnage & Culture (Dennis Prager's Blog)