Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Moral Relativism and Dennis Prager

Amanda Marcotte over at Pandagon (now new and improved!) rips apart Dennis Prager's column on moral absolutism and how secular governments inevitably turn to the dark side without the power of God. It's a great read, but I would like to share the comments (within Amanda's post) of Ol' Cranky in full, if I may, because Ol' Cranky (as opposed to the Cranky Yankee!) is dead on:

Shame on Prager for insinuating that the Judeo part of Judeo-Christian accepts a belief in doing something purely because we are concerned about how G-d will judge us and that determination is somehow limited to certain specifc "laws" contained in scripture. G-d gave us some guidance, the rest we must figure out for ourselves to do what's right (based on a given situation) because it is right. There are things in the Talmud that do not come from G-d, they are (admittedly) man's interpretation and, Jews being Jews, dissenting opinions are included.

Judaism is, and has always been, a living religion - this means you do question, you do explore nuance and there are caveats (we do not believe in the completeness or inerrancy of the bible). Most importnantly, G-d gave us brains and free will, and damn well expects us to use it to determine what is right/moral and act accordingly. Additionally non-Jews are not held to the same requirements of Jews to be moral and the 10 commandments may be [part of] our religious moral code but, as we are not an evangelical religion, our religion is not to be imposed on others. If we were to follow Prager's lead we'd be subjected to those who claim G-d says we're supposed to follow their religion, something G-d has specifically proscribed - so how, praytell, does Prager suggest we address the inconsistencies between what different factions claim G-d demands when he undermines our abilities to maintain our own beliefs when he implies G-d doesn't give a fiddler's fart about the facts?
Evangelicals and Jews are an alliance I simply don't understand. Doesn't one expect the total conversion or elimination of the other during the End Times?
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