The Failures of Religious Morality

Re: “Religious Morality: Point­less, Worthless, and Utterly Sub­jective" by Ronald A. Lind­say (FI, December 2014/January 2015): Functional analysis (sociology) has always had a problem even with objective aspects of society/culture. Emile (David) Durkheim’s “On Morality and Society" and his ensuing argument with Feuerbach may be helpful here. As “God" is the deification of the reification of society itself, morality can be seen as the “normalization" of the reification of society itself, a process. For Durkheim, society exists sui generis not only independent of its parts; it is more than just the sum of its parts and is unexplainable in terms of its parts. Society is not a thing but a process. This is the same with morality. Morality, like society, is sui generis and independent of Linsday’s “functions," and it cannot be explained by them. As pure process, morality not only is neither objective nor subjective, but also it can have no “should" or “ought to." Morality is what it is at any given nanosecond in time.

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