Read Godless Morality: Keeping Religion Out of Ethics by Richard Holloway Free Online
Book Title: Godless Morality: Keeping Religion Out of Ethics|
Edition: Canongate Books
Date of issue: March 1st 2000
ISBN 13: 9780862419097
The author of the book: Richard Holloway
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 917 KB
Read full description of the books Godless Morality: Keeping Religion Out of Ethics:(3.5) A clear, convincing and compassionate case for why the Bible should not be the basis of societal morality. You might assume this would come from one of the New Atheists, but nope – Holloway was the Bishop of Edinburgh at the time he wrote this. His arguments are along the lines of: Christians have been too quick to codify context-specific rituals and traditions into blanket law; we have a tendency to pick and choose what we want the Bible to say (emphasizing the parts about sex and ignoring the bits about the poor and social justice); we’ve gotten it wrong before when it comes to morality (slavery is just the beginning); and, in general, we try to oversimplify the diversity and mystery of human life. This was written in 1999. The most helpful chapter is about homosexuality, while those about the legalization of marijuana, abortion and bio-ethics feel rather dated. There are many brilliant statements, but the practical application part isn’t as successful.
Some favorite lines:
“mature people try to learn to live with contradictions rather than insisting on neat resolutions.”
“this is the origin of morality, this need to find some kind of balance between instinctive and intentional life, between the drive of the species and the consciousness of the individual.”
“scripture was made for humanity and not humanity for scripture. We should not, therefore, have to torture [contort] scripture into self-contradictory positions, when it no longer conforms to our experience of truth and value. It is much more honest to abandon it”
“Morality is more an art than a science and it calls for a certain versatility from us”
“most human disagreement is between opposing goods rather than between right and wrong.”
“We assume that our pleasures, because they are ours, are more benign and less problematic than the pleasures of strangers.”
“Human nature has a tendency to hedonistic inflation, to turn good or neutral things into bad by using them excessively.”
Read information about the authorRichard F. Holloway (born 26 November 1933) is a Scottish writer and broadcaster and was formerly Bishop of Edinburgh in the Scottish Episcopal Church.
Holloway was educated at Kelham Theological College, Edinburgh Theological College and the Union Theological Seminary, New York City. Between 1959 and 1986 he was a curate, vicar and rector at various parishes in England, Scotland and the United States. He was Bishop of Edinburgh from 1986 and was elected Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church in 1992. He resigned from these positions in 2000 and is now regarded as one of the most outspoken and controversial figures in the Church, having taken an atheist worldview and commenting widely on issues concerning religious belief in the modern world. His own theological position has become increasingly radical and he has recently described himself as an "after-religionist".
Holloway is well-known for his support of liberal causes, including campaigning on human rights for gay and lesbian people in both Church and State. He is a patron of LGBT Youth Scotland, an organisation dedicated to the inclusion of LGBT young people in the life of Scotland. He has questioned and addressed complex ethical issues in the areas of sexuality, drugs and bio-ethics. He has written extensively on these topics, being the author of more than 20 books exploring their relationship with modern religion.
A Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Holloway was Professor of Divinity at Gresham College in the City of London. From 1990 to 1997, he was a member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and held the position of chair of the BMA Steering Group on Ethics and Genetics. He was also a member of the Broadcasting Standards Commission and is currently chair of the Scottish Arts Council and of Sistema Scotland.
Holloway has been a reviewer and writer for the broadsheet press for several years, including The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, Sunday Herald and The Scotsman. He is also a frequent presenter on radio and television, having hosted the BBC television series When I get to Heaven, Holloway's Road and The Sword and the Cross. He currently hosts the BBC Radio Scotland book review programme, Cover Stories. Holloway presented the second of the Radio 4 Lent Talks on 11 March 2009.
Holloway lives in Edinburgh with his American-born wife Jean. They have three adult children; two daughters and a son.
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