Morality is about reducing harm and suffering

| by Jerome McCollom

I've noticed something, conservative theists, and here in America, conservative Christians, often divorce moral principles from the consequences of the actions themselves. Their moral foundation than is based not on consequences of actions but principles as abstract things in of themselves.

For example, I support prohibitions on murder and theft because such acts lead to someone(s) being harmed, not for the principles in of themselves. Principles have limitations. If you are starving with your 3 year old daughter in the middle of an Alaskan wilderness and you come about an empty cabin, is it ethically wrong to eat a piece of salami from the porch if no one is there?  Many Christian conservatives would state in fact it would be better to starve with your daughter to death, than eat that salami.

 Some would state it would be better to tell Nazis (or even Hitler) where Jews were hiding during WWII than lie about them hiding. In fact, would be Republican senator (and Christian conservative favorite) Christine O'Donnell stated exactly that during an episode of Bill Maher's Politically Incorrect television show. Second even if there were completely absolute moral principles in every case, than it isn't necessary to tie it with a god. The principle can be argued upon its' merits.

 Morality is not a substance, even one as tangible as a supernatural god. It is empathy and respect for the rights of others. If a person does not have that if there is no god, than they really had no respect for morality to begin with. Christians sometimes state that without a belief in a god they would be out committing rape and murder. Well then, maybe for them they should believe in a god.