Chapter Three: Controlling The Churches
Morality was always believed to be one of the great benefits of Christianity. It provided a clear path to follow, because people both wanted and needed a path to follow. They wanted to do right by themselves and by others. That is still true today in our secular society. So if we have mostly stopped being Christian how can morality still exist?
Shouldn't morality be as dead as the dodo?
But instead we continue to cling to the old Christian morality because nothing has turned up to replace it. Philosophy said that it could improve morality by using rationality, just as it was argued that rationality could "fix" Christianity. But in both cases rationality proved to be quite deficient. It offered much and delivered little, what little it did deliver caused confusion and despair. It was not an advance at all, but even today the same argument continues to be used, Christian morality is dead and there needs to be a new morality to replace it. One that does not continue the "mistakes" of Christianity but one that instead improves upon the old. The promise is out with the old and in with the new, but the promise never delivers. Why not?
Because it cannot deliver such a thing. The basic idea is that rationality would use the advances in the natural sciences to create rational ideas. Which had to be an improvement over what had come before. However in the natural sciences there are no rational ideas to find. Instead they provide in Professor Gregory's words "By design and necessarily, the natural sciences per se are definitionally amoral and disclose no values, whether secular or religious - they are nihilistic in the etymological sense."(p.227)
This situation came about because the Protestant churches sort to create a more "perfect" morality then the one that they felt existed under the Catholic Church. Instead they found that human nature was as flawed as it had ever been. But the idea continued on even when the Protestant Churches largely decided to stop with the changes they had made and not to advance any further on this issue. Secular forces thought that they could succeed where the churches had failed. In fact it would prove that science and philosophy were superior to any superstitious church thinking. But it failed to even provide an alternative morality, it did help to create a more intellectual argument for immorality. But it never set out to achieve that, but achieve it it did.
People want to be moral, both in the past and today. Once the church provided that path, but today the people are largely left to fend for themselves. All those who should and once did provide leadership are now increasingly silent, even the churches!
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