Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Reflection On Morals

Need God even exist for moral precepts to have intrinsic meaning and value?

If one finds morality irrelevant without God, he is actually making a scathing indictment of His moral precepts. How so? The implication of morality only being relevant if God exists necessarily implies that morality is merely arbitrary in the sense that it can in principle only be good because God deems it such. But if it is only arbitrarily good and not intrinsically good, how does this make God good?

Whether God exists and whether morality ultimately comes from Him, I think the overarching importance of morality is not for the sake of making God happy but rather is ostensibly for us in order to have more fulfilled and peaceful lives free of unnecessary drama!

It puzzles me that many implicitly seem apt to believe God's precepts are nothing but obstructions to their happiness but that in the end, their obedience (translation: suffering) to said precepts will open up a treasure trove of rewards.

But I think this is silly. I believe the reward is the obedience to said precepts as they are intrinsically meaningful and valuable and as such will lead to fulfillment and peace devoid of needless suffering. Now if one does not agree with my assessment that obedience itself leads to fulfillment and peace, he is making a mockery of God's chosen precepts by either reluctantly following them or simply following them as a means to amass rewards for “stellar” behavior. Of course if he is not following said precepts, he will certainly be judged, will he not?

But I don't believe God would be heard saying, “I'm so happy you are following My moral precepts for the sake of being obedient to Me!” Rather, I think He would say something like the following: “Here are My immutable moral principles which lead to peace and fulfillment. I don't want you to follow them for My sake. Rather, I want you to ponder their value and significance such that you might feel compelled to follow them for your own sake!”

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