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I know they don't see it as moral, so that only leaves two choices: immoral or amoral. Oftentimes I can sense a tone of hostility when on the subject of religion, so if I had to answer my own question, I'd say they think it's immoral. But I could be wrong, and that's why I'm asking.

asked Jan 14 '12 at 22:12

Collin1's gravatar image


edited Jan 15 '12 at 12:20

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦

Belief in religion generally involves evasion, and evasion is immoral.

To the extent that belief in a particular tenet of religion is an honest error, and not the result of evasion, it is amoral on the part of the person holding the belief.

(Jan 15 '12 at 08:51) anthony anthony's gravatar image

Moral actions guide us toward life and happiness. Immoral actions guide us to death and unhappiness. In that sense, religion on the whole is immoral.

For an action to be amoral, it would have no effect on life or happiness. Religion doesn't fall in that category. Religion is destructive, to mind, body and soul.

Having said that, there are also parts of religion that are good and moral. And while many people pick-and-choose which parts of their religions they subscribe to (in part simply to be able to survive in the world), the fact that such picking-and-choosing is necessary should be an important clue regarding its overall morality.

answered Jan 15 '12 at 00:41

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Rick ♦


I'm sure you're aware of this and simplified the answer deliberately, but this view of moral/immoral seems to rely (ironically) on a God's-view perspective. Knowledge is contextual, and it's knowledge that makes an action or belief moral or immoral.

As an example outside of religion: if a man successfully projects benevolence and good character, it is not immoral to have a friendship with him even if he is in fact a manipulative misanthrope, and friendship with him, in fact, leads one towards death and unhappiness.

The question really is whether religion can be the result of an honest error.

(Jan 15 '12 at 09:24) FCH FCH's gravatar image

I agree. As you said, I simplified my answer.

(Jan 15 '12 at 16:07) Rick ♦ Rick's gravatar image

The short form of the question is: "Do Objectivists see religion as immoral or amoral?"

That is not, however, the central question that Objectivists ask. Objectivists ask: Is religion harmful or beneficial to man's life? Does "life" mean only this life, on earth, or does it include some kind of alleged afterlife? If the latter, what is the evidence for it? Since man needs to rely on reason to live on earth, does religious belief aid or hinder man's use of reason? Is the harm or benefit of religion merely personal and private, or does religion have consequences on a vast historical scale spanning many centuries and millennia? Has religion's actual historical record been favorable or unfavorable to man's life, considering the whole range of issues, including the Inquisition centuries ago and the very similar religious influence just a decade ago in the 9-11 attacks?

When one asks those sorts of questions, one's evaluation of religion should become more clear.

If is is claimed that one's own religious belief "isn't really that bad," one should ask why. Is it, perhaps, because one upholds a heavily Enlightenment-influenced version of religion? If so, try separating the influences. One will find that the elements of rationality are the root of the good, and the elements of irrationality detract from it and undermine it. One should also consider how much longer the elements of rationality can continue to survive as they continue to be extinguished one after the other by religious "purists," i.e., those who understand and uphold religion in its most consistently man-denigrating essence.

answered Jan 15 '12 at 12:59

Ideas%20for%20Life's gravatar image

Ideas for Life ♦

The common objection against religion has to do with its preaching of altruism.

answered Jan 14 '12 at 22:17

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doesn't irrational eventually always lead to immoral ?

(Jan 15 '12 at 12:31) Danneskjold_repo Danneskjold_repo's gravatar image

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Asked: Jan 14 '12 at 22:12

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Last updated: Jan 15 '12 at 16:07