More Science of Morality
In contemplating Sam Harris’ The Moral Landscape, we might think a science of morality is far off. The work, however, is already under way as the above articles point out. In the past I pointed out how science tells us to drop Facebook and reject a materialist understanding of our consciousness, and this post continues to show how the science of morality shows us some new things while substantially backing what Catholicism teaches.
The first of the three articles points out how reading great fiction works can help us develop empathy. The first thought of Atheists when reading that should be to crack open a Bible and read. Even the Atheist Richard Dawkins says the Bible is, “not so much on my shelves as continually off my shelves, because I open it so often: sometimes to quote it, sometimes for sheer literary pleasure — especially Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs.” This is good, as science teaches us that reading these stories, especially when read as allegory, teaches us empathy. A fundamentalist reading of the Bible isn’t good, but Catholics aren’t fundamentalists, so science backs the fact that Scripture reading is a healthy activity.
The second article tells us that superstitious people feel better about the future than non-superstitious people. Here science goes against the grain of religion, which teaches “Superstition in some respects represents a perverse excess of religion.” John Paul II once said, “Science can purify religion from error and superstition. Religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes”. Sadly he is no longer correct, as science today tells us we need to multiply superstitions to maximize our sense of well being.
On the plus side, many atheists believe all religion is superstition. Therefore the ranks of the religious will soon swell with those atheists who try to adhere to what science teaches about well being.
The third article is science about divorce. This article is looking only at men, which limits its applicability, but it shows how horrible divorce is for men. This contradicts our culture but fits in with Catholicism — which denies divorce is even possible.
Science shows us that to maximize well being, we need to drastically limit divorces in our country. It is exciting that Atheists and Catholics might get together to change our laws and drop the divorce rate.
To recap, science is already telling us what we need to do to find happiness. Read the Bible, become superstitious, and don’t get divorced. It only remains to be seen if Atheists simply pay lip service to science or if they will actually follow through with what science teaches and join a faith.