Thursday, September 22, 2005

Naturalistic Religion Thinks Moral Certainty is Wrong

Beliefnet reports that a fledgling religion known as Universism has named Todd Stricker as its new executive director. A native of Chicago, Stricker has plans to make Chicago the national headquarters. From the article:
University of Alabama-Birmingham medical student Ford Vox started Universism in 2003, saying that Christianity, Islam, and to a lesser extent other world religions are harmful because they attempt to impose their own version of moral certainty on others.
Through the Internet, Universism has recruited 8,000 atheists, deists, freethinkers and others who rally around the notion that no universal religious truth exists and that the meaning of existence must be determined by each individual.
Apparently, Mr. Vox thinks it's wrong to impose one's version of moral certainty on others. I wonder if he's certain about that. And if he is, how is what he and his fellow "believers" are doing different from the world religions they are protesting? In the case of actions taken by some Muslims, I think the charge of trying to impose a certain view on others sticks. However, for reasons I offered in a previous post, I don't think that Christians or other religious people seeking to persuade others of their views constitutes their "imposing" their perspective on others as though by force.

The truth of the matter is that every worldview gives rise to prescriptions concerning human conduct, including Universism. Its premise that no universal religious truth exists leads to the conclusion that each individual must determine the meaning of existence for him or herself. A corollary of this belief is that it is wrong for me to try to get you to adopt my interpretation of life. But that's the very thing Mr. Vox and his associates are seeking to do every time they attempt to convince others that their philosophy of life is superior to others.

You can learn more about Universism at their website.


DAVID C. PRICE said...

Excellent analysis!

Mechphisto said...

However, there is a difference, as you point out, in imposing and persuading.
When Universists create Web sites and forums and hold discussion groups, they may be trying to persuade.
But when some religious groups try to get prayer in school, put "under God" in the Pledge, involve religion in government issues or in publicly funded schools, that IS imposing a belief.
One can chose not to vist a Web site or attend a discussion group, but a citizen can't easily avoid religiously centered judges and students can't avoid praying in school, saying the Pledge, or attending discussions on ID without significant peer abuse and ridicule.