Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

Confusing the Issue

Posted by Adam Graham on June 16, 2007

Charles Hulbert’s Letter to the Editor shows a confusion in terms:

For the graduate Kaylan Vogele, practice what you preach. In your comments made June 4 you said, “It’s really hard today, it seems, to have a strong sense of what morality is unless you’re coming from a religious background.” Then you said: “People need to understand each other’s perspective a little bit more. People, I think, need to be more willing to actually learn about different world views …”

Before you learn about different world views, learn about the views of our own society. I am not a religious person in any way. Yet you say I have no morals simply because I don’t believe in religion. When I was in high school, students would get drunk at lunch, students would go smoke a joint when they were snowboarding and students would get so intoxicated that they throw up or pass out. Almost all of them believed in a religion of some sort and probably practice it in some way or another. I have done none of these examples, and yet you say I have no morality.

I think both Vogel and Hubert are confusing the issue. The issue is not whether people without religious faith can be moral people. Obviously, you find one decent law abiding agnostic and that argument has ended. The real issue and the meatier debate is over whether morals in society can be maintained apart from religion.

And that I believe is not possible. There’s no doubt in my mind, we’ve seen a general decline in morality in recent years. Sadly, much of this has been due to the Church letting down standards in many cases. Still, I would caution that Hubert’s asusmption that his high school classmates practiced their religion is just that-an assumption. High School (and college) years are a time when many drift from their moral bearings. But let’s be clear, our society’s problems are not helped by the church’s refusal to be counter-cultural.

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