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Out of Date Morality

September 16, 2010

Our moral code is out of date

By Yaron Brook and Onkar Ghate

(CNN) — Human progress requires good ideas. Consider how just two fundamental ideas have ushered in the modern world. Rewind a scant 600 years, and modern science doesn’t yet exist. Men and women live and die in squalor and filth, largely ignorant of the germs that ravage their bodies and of the natural laws that govern the universe, instead imploring an alleged supernatural force to help them navigate this vale of tears. But thanks to minds such as Galileo, Sir Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur and Charles Darwin, this is not how we face the world today. They taught us our method of knowing: careful, mathematically precise observation, step-by-step inference and generalization, and systematic, evidence-based theory building. They had the courage to challenge entrenched authority, toss aside superstition and defy popes. As others followed the trail the first scientists blazed, human knowledge advanced dramatically. Thanks to a second idea, this explosion of knowledge broke the confines of the laboratory and ivory tower. Another daring group of thinkers challenged political authoritarianism. Kings and aristocrats were swept aside to make way for the rights of man. This idea gave birth to a new nation, our beloved America, in which the individual was free to think and pursue his own happiness. A new person arose: the industrialist.

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This wonderful example of pseudo-intellectualism is at best profoundly naive and at worst arrogant and intentionally deceptive. The very notion of a progressive, ever evolving morality demonstrates not only a misapplication of the theory of evolution, but also a wholesale ignorance of morality itself.

“If morality is about the pursuit of your own success and happiness….” Who defines morality like that?? Morality is an ethical structure that exists for the continued existence and betterment of a society. To ignore that society or supplant your own wants and desires for the needs of the society is the very antithesis of morality.

The self centered consumerism they are trying to pass off as some new form of morality isn’t nearly as new as they would like you to think it is. In fact it is every bit as old, if not older, than the ethical codes they are critiquing. The morality they are trying to “move beyond” didn’t arise in a vacuum. It was a direct response to the very same failed philosophy of life these two guys are arguing for. The earliest “law makers” didn’t come up with their ethical systems off the top of their heads they were reacting a self centered way of life that they saw with their own eyes only led to destruction. (And being a crazy Christian I would add that God had a pretty big hand in things)

It’s should come as no surprise to see people expose ideas like this and attempt to pass them off as “new” or “progressive”. History is cyclical because we are so often ignorant of it and thus doomed to repeat it.

It’s one thing to make an argument that we should be more like John D. Rockefeller instead of Mother Theresa. (As repulsive as that thought is) It’s another thing altogether to be so naive, ignorant, or just plain stupid to think that you came up with that brilliant idea yourself.

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