We only need secular laws to provide justice and our own ethics and morality. Gods provide no specific rules outside of religion, just a false sense of authority, and what happens when interpretable religious rules conflict with more sensible secular laws that are interpreted by secular courts? Which to follow? Stoning whores or throwing gays off of rooftops are examples of “religious rules” and prescribed punishment.
That’s true, but we need a philosophy behind the laws. In the West we have secular humanism – respecting the dignity of the individual, and universal justice.
I think that in their zeal, religious people can sometimes forget about these values.
The difficulty is that justice is a very elastic concept – treating people as they deserve can mean a lot of things. I think a more reliably humane definition of fairness – distributing benefit and harm so that all concerned can be satisfied – is “maximum benefit and minimum harm available to each person”. In other words, nobody has to throw gay people off buildings, there are other ways to treat people than that.
One problem is their judgemental angry God, and that’s always been a problem. People take it into their heads to carry out God’s imagined punishment on people they don’t like (unmarried mothers (Ireland), gay people (Iraq), liberated women (everywhere)).
The option for (2) is open to atheists, if they had a canonical set of detailed and rigorous philosophies as a guide to living….
Why would an atheist ever need anything religious as a guide to live by? We have much better standards available to us. There is no need to return to any dark age ideology. I fail to see what philosophy that could even be.
That’s what philosophy is supposed to be there for, in my opinion. I can understand the pursuit of pure knowledge, etc., but it is also supposed to be a kind of guide for life. It’s just not that great at doing that job, perhaps since the ancient Greeks.
I fail to see what philosophy that could even be.
We have secular humanism, and it seems to me our laws are based on that.
That’s what philosophy is supposed to be there for, in my opinion. I can understand the pursuit of pure knowledge, etc., but it is also supposed to be a kind of guide for life.
That’s an extremely narrow view of a narrow set of branches of philosophy. “How to live your life” may be an added benefit from some works of philosophy and certainly a lot of useful practical advice can come from ethics, but you are just applying your own approach to every facet of human understanding. Religion is not a “guide to how to live”. It is a “belief system” which also happens to have sets of rules that people follow or ignore as much as they desire or can. I saw a bottle of alcohol under the sink of almost every single house I visited in the muslim world and pornographic websites are most popular in the evangelical regions of the US. Philosophy is not a “guide on how to live your life” but answering questions. It is nothing more than answering questions, especially when dealing with the philosophy of knowledge, meta-philosophy, aesthetics, logic, philosophy of science and critical thinking (there are so many more examples). You should try to expand your point of view beyond filtering all information of all aspects through the same ideological concept. Instead of overgeneralising about philosophy and other belief systems, why not familiarise yourself better with works of philosophy or better yet get a good introduction to philosophy and read it. Instead of creating highly idealized versions of religions, consider acquainting yourself with all aspects of religion, not the stuff that fit in with your “thriving” meme. The world doesn’t need yet another person framing a religion in a totally fictional light nor does it need more people trying to limit philosophy for some dubious reasons.
The cannon of philosophy are the works you find in a library. They are there waiting to be read. It is not summed up in one ancient book and it most certainly cannot be interpreted through one single perspective.
This reply was modified 9 months ago by PopeBeanie. Reason: bq fix