Tom Gilson

Why Refuse to Acknowledge the Good?

Last Wednesday I wrote,

You would think that if some person showed up on the scene in a society where slavery was totally ingrained—ingrained in moral philosophy, in law, in its conception of what it means to be human, in the economy, and in the social order—and planted a deeply revolutionary and powerful idea that resulted in the relatively quick though gradual and peaceful dissolution of the whole institution of slavery in that culture and many others besides (even if not every culture in the whole world for all time forever), that person would get some credit for having done something good.

You would think that, wouldn’t you?

Up to this point the atheist commenters on this blog have given no credit for that, but would only complain that this person’s expressed condemnation of slavery was not immediate and absolute, and that fifteen centuries or so after this person’s life, there was a group of people who claimed to be following that person, who re-instituted slavery.

Thus there was no moral credit attached to a completely peaceful economic revolution.

There was no moral credit offered for developing a philosophy that indisputably ended slavery for well over a millennium in Europe.

There was no moral credit given to that philosophy’s utter rejection of kidnapping for purposes of slavery, threatening slaves,

There was no moral credit attached to the instruction that slaves must be treated as fully human, with masters recognizing that they serve a common Master in heaven.

These was no moral credit to this philosophy’s turning upside-down the political and philosophical currents of the day in those respects.

All of these were moral goods in very high degree. The atheist commenters on this blog avoided them, evaded them, rejected them, ran from them—but presented themselves as morally superior to that philosophy.

I think they’re afraid that if they accepted something good there, they might have to admit they were wrong about some other things.

Fear can motivate a person to do some very strange things.

Comments may continue on the linked thread.


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