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Is it a moral imparative to consider one's faith may be wrong?


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Speaking politically, when someone has absolute faith in a religion and it's moral authority, is it amoral for that person to use their political influence to (via voting, position of office, etc) towards coercing others to live in accordance with their view of absolute morality without considering they could be wrong?

I am not saying that to support the same morals politically that one holds religiously is de-facto amoral - you can still oppose abortion, assisted suicide, premarital sex, stem cell research, theft and the coveting of thy neighbor's ass on moral grounds... but when we impact the freedoms that other people get to exercise in their brief time on this planet what are our moral obligations in weighing the impact we have?

 

I would propose that as a baseline (which is not a description of the above) that it is amoral to limit the freedoms of other individuals thoughtlessly and arbitrarily without due consideration.

 

That said, it gets sticky when we combine religious convictions with the concept of due consideration - most of us here would find it amoral to limit the freedom of women to learn to read, own property, work and vote. There are many religious leaders who have giving this a lot of consideration and painstakingly put together arguments as to why women should be limited with regard to these freedoms.

 

I personally feel that if there is a religious absolute morality, it would be self apparent and reveal itself in the form of concise, logical arguments. My feeling being that if the world works based on a divine truth, it's workings should be apparent in how the world itself works - which works fine for murder, rape, theft and the like. I also have the convenience of not being religious so I really have no idea how that would impact this consideration.

 

As for the morality, I would personally be satisfied with even religiously based political arguments (I may criticize them still of course) if the individual honestly considers "And if I am wrong about my personal beliefs*, what will my impact on others be?" and they are still satisfied. I think that's a good general consideration (not just a religious one) when it comes to political coercion.

 

That's me though, what are other people's thoughts?

 

 

* a personal belief need not be religious, just something too anecdotal to be communicated and shared with integrity. I could see a UFO and personally believe it had to be from an alien world based on what I saw, but I could never convey the information to another person verbally with enough data integrity for them to "know" it as I would know it. Thus I could still act politically as influenced by that event but I would have to consider the "if I'm wrong" part with more weight than say, the "if I'm wrong and we never landed on the moon" because while the latter would be weighed, it would have to be weighed also with the sheer amount of communal evidence supporting it.

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I think that morality is rather arbitrary, so morals can conflict without either of them being "wrong". You can certainly have extremely unpopular morals however! You can also have self-contradictory morals, so I guess that would be wrong.

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padren, I think that anybody that does not always keep the possibility that they are wrong in mind is always amoral. Whether about morality, religion or politics, unshakable "faith" in the "rightness" of your opinion is a very bad thing.

 

Since it is taken as axiomatic that;

 

1. Nobody is perfect

 

2. Nobody is always right,

 

then to not at least reasonably consider the possibility that you are mistaken is intellectual dishonesty of the higest order.

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padren, I think that anybody that does not always keep the possibility that they are wrong in mind is always amoral. Whether about morality, religion or politics, unshakable "faith" in the "rightness" of your opinion is a very bad thing.

 

Since it is taken as axiomatic that;

 

1. Nobody is perfect

 

2. Nobody is always right,

 

then to not at least reasonably consider the possibility that you are mistaken is intellectual dishonesty of the higest order.

 

I agree, but I also understand that generally, but I am curious how this is reconciled when it comes to issues of faith for people. Since most religions have what are considered undeniable absolute truths, do people generally treat those as truths, and their own personal views as fallible, or put their faith itself into that category as fallible when weighing things like political course-of-actions?

 

I assume this is reconciled to the satisfaction of most people religious and otherwise, I am curious about how different people do this.

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