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The Forum > Article Comments > Why fake morality is the best kind > Comments

Why fake morality is the best kind : Comments

By Michael Gard, published 20/3/2007

What the world needs is fewer people who ‘know’ that their own exquisite altruism and self-sacrifice will save us all.

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There's always the danger of being caught out with permanent loss of credibility. This particularly applies to greenhouse holier-than-thou types. I see that a major Australian energy company is to seek 'carbon credits' overseas on account of lack of interest locally. Or maybe they can pay piddling amounts for inconsequential carbon reductions with not too much scrutiny. If it is looked into and found wanting then they will lose face. That's the danger in fake morality; an unabashed ratbag has got less further to fall than a hypocrite.
Posted by Taswegian, Tuesday, 20 March 2007 9:53:33 AM
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You've gotta love writers who make comments like the following with a straight face...."If I may indulge in a little philosophical hyperbole, the search for an authentic morality may actually be the biggest question there is, both for individuals and nations. At the very least, it is a particularly pertinent question because of the way high-profile thinking Christians are currently marching away from morality.

Take the former Bishop of Edinburgh, Richard Holloway, author of Godless Morality, and Australia’s John Carroll, author of the recently published The Existential Jesus: both argue that the church’s folly is to see its primary roll as moral arbiter for the rest of us. If my reading of both of them is correct, neither would have any truck with Stephens’ implication that God is a necessary - or even particularly useful - part of one’s moral universe."

This is a joke Michael. A far left ex Scottish episcopalian bishop and an existentialist/postmodernist sociologist are your 'high profile thinking Christians'? When you try and appeal to authority, maybe you should find better authorities. (Even ignoring that Carroll's work doesn't really address your question).

You haven't made an argument for decoupling morality and God, you have merely said in essence...other people agree with me and those other people are not exactly the cream of the crop.

The absurdity and dishonesty of postmodernism is well highlighted by your comments....
"Arguing about truth and right will get us nowhere."
Is that true? If not, then arguing about truth and right will get us somewhere.....If so, then, your article will get us nowhere...Your choice.
Posted by Grey, Tuesday, 20 March 2007 10:52:36 AM
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What a great article.

There appears to be a significant link between "morality" and the hip pocket nerve for most people. How many people actually put their hand in their pocket for morality or environmental concerns. Sure, they donate to World Vision or WWF but how many are prepared to forgo an unearned income to preserve some bush or the habitat of a little furry critter!
Some time back it was "ethical" and "moral" to kill indigenous peoples who stood in the path of "progress" as it still is in some countries today. Some religious persuasions consider it "moral" to kill converts to another religion so how can you evaluate a moral ethic.
It seems to me that the only way to engender morals is to consider your children's future. Unfortunately some people do not have children, therefore they base their morals on their own self-serving immediate gratification interest. No God or God delusion has ever had any lasting impact on morals, look at the hypocrisy of most churches. It is mostly up to the secular, rational people who are not biased by an ancient out-of-date tome or controlled by a "Holy Roller" to come up with the good ideas for moral boundaries.

At least these days truth is more easily found because of the diversity of communication we have access to.

All you free thinkers out there, keep the good ideas coming.
Posted by Guy V, Monday, 26 March 2007 10:57:02 AM
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An interesting article. Would love to read the comments of more posters. I guess ethics and morality appear to be relative. Philosophers have wrested with this issue for eons.

I feel for Mark as an ‘urban, liberal, leftist, greenie’. As someone somewhat like that I’ve been accused of being a ‘do-gooder’, never could work out why that is so bad. I thought the whole Christian ethic was about ‘doing good’, but that’s probably too simple, not paying regard to the ‘Lord’s mysterious ways’.

It is easy to understand why say a Christian would regard something as 'moral'. Because it is God's law, whom we must love and please so we can make it to Heaven. If you do not believe in a deity who is going to reward you for good behaviour, then why be good? And what is being 'good' anyway?

That's really the question isn't it: why be good if you don't think anybody would know and you might not reap a reward? I'm still trying to formulate a plausible response to this one for my kids. That is one that will not be followed by fake vomiting noises on their part.

No wonder organised religion is so popular. Much easier to keep those restless masses in line! The bible as we know it is a book cobbled together, frequently translated and heavily edited from a range of writings by the early (Catholic) Church fathers for just that purpose. A very dear friend who knows that book very well keeps trying to explain to me that that may well be true, but the translating, editing etc has been inspired by God. But then so is the selection of the Pope and his decrees I cry. The problem is she thinks that that is hogwash!

Mark, I guess you’re right. It is all about power
Posted by yvonne, Tuesday, 27 March 2007 6:57:39 PM
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