Diary Of A Hollywood Refugee

Friday, December 10, 2004


Do we invent our moral absolutes in order to make society workable?
Or are these enduring principles expressed to us by some transcendent or Godlike authority?

Lets examine this from various viewpoints:

1) Immanuel Kant, who history has apparently judged as the greatest of secular philosophers, addressed moral reasoning very much as a theologian. He believed humans, "are independent moral agents with a wholly free will, capable of obeying or breaking moral law". "There is in man a power of self-determination, independent of any coercion through sensuous impulses."

Nature, Kant said, is a system of cause and effect, whereas moral choice is a matter of free will, absent cause and effect. In making moral choices, in rising above mere instinct, human beings transcend the realm of nature and enter a realm of freedom that belongs exclusively to them as rational creatures.

2) Adam Smith - In "The Theory of Moral Sentiments" Adam Smith asked a fundamental question: Why do we regard certain actions or intentions with approval and condemn others?

First to understand Smith, you need to understand that at the time, that some people believed the only standard of right and wrong was the law and the sovereign who made it while others believed that moral principles could be worked out rationally.Smith took a completely new direction, holding that people are BORN with a moral sense, just as they have inborn ideas of beauty or harmony.(hmmm, interesting).

He believed that "our conscience tells us what is right and wrong" and that is something innate, not something "given us by lawmakers or by rational analysis." He also believed we have an inate ability to "sympathesize" so he felt that these "natural senses of conscience and sympathy ensure that human beings can and do live together in orderly and beneficial social organizations"

So our morality is the product of our nature, not our reason.

That would imply that our sense of a transcendental code of morality is explained by God's implementing it into the nature of our souls when He created us.

To that we look to Romans 2:15--"Which shows the work of the law written in their hearts,their conscience also bearing witness ". Wait it gets better!

If youre an aethist then are you not a moral being? Are you not capable of living a morally driven life of love and service to others? If you don't believe in God...can you not live a moral life?

And if you do live a moral life, without a belief in God, then where does your sense of what is morally right and wrong come from?


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