Monday, June 09, 2008

Monday Quote : P. M'Adam Muir - Morality without Religion

This Monday Quote comes from Pearson M'Adam Muir's Modern Substitutes for Christianity. In the lectures, Dr. Muir shows that Christianity is not only superior to all attempted substitutes, but that the very substitutes are in fact only possible because they draw upon the capital of Christianity. Muir is not completely orthodox, but he is quite insightful at times. Our quotation is taken from the close of the first chapter, 'Morality Without Religion'.
What are the facts? What is the growing tendency when men think themselves strong enough to do without religious beliefs, when they have been proclaiming that the suppression of Religion will be the exaltation of a purer Morality? There are plenty of indications that the laws of Morality are found to be as irksome as the dictates of Religion. The first step is to cry out for a higher Morality, to censure the Morality of the New Testament as imperfect and inadequate, as selfish and visionary. The next step is to question the restraints of Morality, to clamour for liberty in regard to matters on which the general voice of mankind has from the beginning given no uncertain verdict. The last step is to declare that Morality is variable and conventional, a mere arbitrary arrangement that can be dispensed with by the emancipated soul. The literature which assumes that religion is obsolete does not, as a rule, suffer itself to be hampered by the fetters of Morality. The non-Religion of the future is what, we are confidently told, increasing knowledge of the laws of Sociology will of necessity bring about. Should that day ever dawn, or rather, let us say, should that nightmare ever envelop us, it will mean the diffusion of non-Morality such as the world has never known." (Pp. 60-61)

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