Yesterday, Mother's Day, I didn't go to church. Instead, I made breakfast in bed for Colleen with my kids. We cut tulips and apple blossoms from our garden, and brought in some pancakes for Colleen. She was ecstatic, and then we napped until noon. Glorious.
Later on in the day though, we got out, and stopped by a park. As Colleen and I sat and watched our children play, she asked me (I'm gonna kinda paraphrase), "So now what do we do. I just don't know what we are supposed to do now with our kids. Raising them in the church was fairly straightforward, and well defined. It would generally promote morally straight people. Now how am I meant to teach them high moral principles?"
Another friend of mine had a similar discussion with me recently as well. He told me that had it not been for the religious framework of the Church, he could have turned out pretty poorly, including various rather criminal and dark activities.
I've never really had those tendencies. For him, he feels that pull towards the dark side is always there, and if it weren't for the church's framework, he would heed the call.
I wasn't sure what to tell her about that. I began by talking about how we might take a humanist approach to it. I cited how I seemed to have read that the humanities taught in liberal universities were after all, created from the great humanists such as Socrates and the Greeks.
She immediately reminded me that those great Greeks were also pedophiles who made their tutored young boys repay their instruction by bending over.
I'm not sure what to say to her about that. I am convinced that a person can live a moral life without the moral frameworks that religious frameworks provide.
I think of the completely wrong frameworks that some provide, and I cringe a little bit at that.
I did find an interesting blog about this though. It seems this isn't an easy answer.
Also, I read another article that talks about how defining an ethical and moral framework for humanists and folks who don't believe in a god as an area of major concern.
Perhaps this is the next step in my journey.
Religion and Self-Deception - I just finished The Folly of Fools: The Logic of Deceit and Self-Deception in Human Life (Basic Books, 2011) by Robert Trivers, a Professor of Anthropology...
2 weeks ago