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.
Posted by Michael A. Lowry at 05:52