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The Curse of Faith

May 11th, 2008 | by Steve O |

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  1. 3 Responses to “The Curse of Faith”

  2. By rube cretin on May 11, 2008 | Reply

    Einstein quote:-

    “A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.”

  3. By Craig R. Harmon on May 11, 2008 | Reply

    That would be great except for the fact that (a) man tends to be tribal, which means that he views those not of his tribe with suspicion rather than with sympathy; that (b) many have little to no education and what education they do have may not tend to counteract (a) and (c) I disagree with the social ties test altogether as it is exclusive of an even greater number of other people than (a). A religion whose tenets taught that all creatures are of equal worth and entitled to equal dignity would be ideal. My own understanding of Christianity is along these lines. To wit: all human beings are traceable directly to the first two who were specially created by God and therefore there can be no room for valuing any human being either above or below any other. Corollary to this is Paul’s assertion that, in Christ, there is neither Jew nor gentile, slave nor free, male nor female, indicating that he makes no distinctions among human beings so that neither should we. Take that out of the mix and I don’t see how sympathy, education or social ties are any greater guarantee of ethical behavior than is religion. What it comes down to, in my opinion, is this: each individual makes decisions based upon a standard he believes in. The source of that standard is irrelevant.

  4. By Craig R. Harmon on May 11, 2008 | Reply

    I guess what I’m saying is, in my opinion, man IS in a poor way and denying it is a recipe for pretending that all we need to depend on for producing ethical behavior is sympathy, education and social ties, without fear of punishment. After all, how different is restraining lawlessness with the threat of punishment here during this life and encouraging lawful behavior with plaudits in this life from threats or promises of future punishments and rewards. Einstein was clearly a brilliant physicist but as an ethical philosopher… The shoemaker should stick to his last and the physicist should stick to his quarks. As an observer on human behavior and its constraints, I don’t think much of him.

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