Thursday, May 10, 2012

An incredibly stupid thing, a smart person said

Rabbi Marc D. Angel:
‎"The real issue here is not “marriage equality”—but how the moral foundations of society are established. If decisions are entirely in the domain of human beings, then a civil society can make whatever rules it wants, without reference to any Divine authority. The problem with this approach is that it essentially undermines a Divine foundation for morality, and leads to a subjective human-made morality that ultimately has no clear boundaries. Once God is removed from the equation, everything is—or can be, or should be—permissible." 
News flash: A subjective and human-made morality is the only kind of morality there is because all morality is based on how we human beings choose to accept and understand and interpret the sources of morality we have, in turn, chosen to accept.

Furthermore, "Once God is removed from the equation, everything is—or can be, or should be—permissible." is the sort of fallacious statement you expect to hear debunked in a first year philosophy class. Over 2000 years ago, Plato demonstrated that God and morality are not connected. The terminal flaw in Angel's argument becomes apparent with one question:

Is gay marriage wrong because God said so, or did God say it was wrong because it is?

If God said gay marriage is wrong because it is, it follows that morality is independent of God. He saw it was wrong, and ruled it forbidden. Presumably so can we because the standard exists apart from God.  On the other hand, if gay marriage is wrong only because God said so, it follows that morality is arbitrary.

Note: This is just an example. To the best of my knowledge God has never expressed an opinion on gay marriage.


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