Friday, May 26, 2017

ideology vs. right and wrong

Ramadan is beginning and many American Muslims are dismayed at how radical jihadists around the world have grabbed attention with terrorist acts such as the one in Manchester, England, timed most likely to coincide with Ramadan. Actually, more than just Muslim Americans should be dismayed; anyone who believes that if their religion, ideology, religious leader, scripture or manifesto calls for harming others for a religious or ideological reason should ALSO feel a sense of guilt and dismay. Why? Because it is that rationalization, that harm to others for the sake of ideology is justified, that leads to all sorts of harm and misery across the planet. It was not long ago that a majority of ALL Americans, Christians in particular, believed that making the lives of gay persons WORSE by denying them rights that were available to heterosexuals was justified, usually because of their Christian beliefs. That attitude has been changing but the foundational problem remains: that right or wrong can be based on a religious or secular ideology. It cannot. Right and wrong or ethical and unethical depends on whether someone is unjustly harmed or whether human well being is helped by a behavior or policy. Offending a god or religious or ideological leader is NOT justification - it is an abdication of each of our's responsibility to do what is right or wrong. If a terrorist's religion compels them to kill infidels, the only counter argument is that their religion is irrelevant - we must do what we can determine to the best of our ability makes the world a better place. Obedience to our "belief" is not moral - it is shirking our moral responsibility. We must always be asking moral questions. So here is the question to the reader; do you believe right and wrong is determined by your religion or ideology? If you believe right and wrong is determined by your god, scripture or ideological leader, then you agree with terrorists on this issue. It is only random good fortune, then, that your ideology is not as brutal as theirs.
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