Moral relativism

One complaint often leveled against atheism is that without a holy scripture to follow, atheists are  left with a set of morals that is inferior because it is relative rather than absolute. This line of argument can be easily refuted by simply pointing out the obvious fact that morality has always adjusted with the times, and that an inflexible moral code is usually worse than one that is adaptable to the time, the place, and situation.

However, there’s a much simpler way to refute the moral relativism attack.

Every holy scripture contains some bits that the religion’s adherents would prefer to overlook. Rather than throwing out the whole book though, the faithful pick and choose the passages they want to follow, carefully interpreting scripture to conform to the moral beliefs they already hold.

In this way, most religious people are also moral relativists. An atheist uses common sense and logic to derive a reasonable code of ethics. Religious people on the other hand use common sense and twisted logic to choose which parts of their holy book they wish to follow, and which they plan to ignore—all the while claiming that their morality is absolute because it originates in a higher power.


Jul, jul, strålande jul

My favorite Swedish Christmas carol is Jul, jul, strålande jul. The choir I sing in, Nota Bene, performed this song at the end of its Christmas concert on Wednesday.

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Jul, jul, strålande jul, glans över vita skogar,
himmelens kronor med gnistrande ljus,
glimmande bågar i alla Guds hus,
psalm som är sjungen från tid till tid,
eviga längtan till ljus och frid!
Jul, jul, strålande jul, glans över vita skogar!

Kom, kom, signade jul! Sänk dina vita vingar,
över stridernas blod och larm,
över all suckan ur människobarm,
över de släkten som gå till ro,
över de ungas dagande bo!
Kom, kom, signade jul, sänk dina vita vingar!

The lyrics in Swedish are quite beautiful, and I would like to share this beauty with my friends who do not speak Swedish. Because I have been unable to find a satisfying English translation to the lyrics, I decided to translate them myself. Here is my rough English translation:

Christmas, Christmas, glorious Christmas: shine over white forests,
heavenly crowns with sparkling lights,
glimmering arcs in the houses of God,
hymns that are sung throughout the ages,
eternal longing for light and peace!
Christmas, Christmas, glorious Christmas, shine over white forests!

Come, come, blessed Christmas: lower your white wings,
over the battlefield’s blood and cry,
over the breaths from the bosoms of men,
over the loved ones who’ve gone to their rest,
over the daybreak of newborn life!
Come, come, blessed Christmas: lower your white wings!