Tuesday, 6 January 2015

''On the Amorality of Atheism/Agnosticism''

Such is the logical consequences of agnosticism as regards the duties more properly called religious. Its logical effects on the observance of the moral law are also fatal. We maintain that in the great mass of mankind, were agnosticism ever universally accepted, its effect, moral and social, would be most pernicious. Individuals of the average human type canna machine madof matterot lose the belief in an all-seeing and infinitely holy and just God without being exposed to commit many crimes which they would not have committed if they had not persevered in that belief. If God does not exist, no one is able to point out any sufficient principle of morality, which he can prove that man is absolutely bound to abide by. Of course certain actions will be more becoming than others, because more suited to rational nature. If a man is a man of good taste he will so far forth abide by these actions and abstain from their opposites. But suppose he does not care to be a man of taste, what is to oblige him to it? On that supposition, no one has a right to blame his fellow-man for enjoying life as he sees fit. What is man, if you take God away? What else but a machine made of matter, held together by material forces? What shall oblige me to have more respect for that machine called man, than for another called ox or sheep or monkey, which anatomy proves to be constructed on quite a similar plan and to be made of the same organic elements? Why is it a greater crime to destroy a man-machine than to destroy a monkey-machine? Unless there is an immaterial Divine Spirit, there cannot possibly be an immaterial human soul, and if there is not an immaterial human soul, our so-called freedom of will is an illusion. But if our freedom is an illusion, moral responsibility is an empty name, and if that is an empty name, nobody is to be blamed, however erroneous may be the misdeeds by which, in the opinion of men, he sins against the dignity, as it is called, of man. These and the like are the practical lessons which logically follow from agnosticism. How can they be put into practice without giving free rein to the most revolting vices in the mass of men? - Natural Theology, Bernard Boedder S.J.

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