On moral relativism

Choices are terrible things. We have to think about them.

And judging by the opprobium heaped upon moral relativism, few people want to have to think about morals. Amazingly, to me at least, one reason given for rejecting “Darwinism” is that it leads to moral relativism.

It seems to me the opposite is true. Religion may preach absolute morals as “god-given” facts, but in practice religious morals change with the times and with the comings and goings of different sects. Once contraception was seen as immoral, now only the Catholic Church clings to this position, on the flimsiest of Biblical justifications.

Contraception, abortion, slavery, female priests, homosexuality, stem cells, assisted reproduction – you name it, you can find reasons to oppose or support it depending upon which quote you choose or creed you support.

By contrast, science holds out the promise of moral absolutism. As we come to understand exactly what fetuses are capable of experiencing, and how “natural” homosexuality is, we can make judgements based on facts, not interpretations of ancient and contradictory texts.

Of course, science can change as it gets closer and closer to the truth, and there’ll always to be scope for debate. But those seeking absolutism should turn to science, not religion.


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