I was going to continue this series of posts, but it stopped seeming as important after awhile. In the itnerests of continuity, I will publish the rest of my notes on the parts I didn’t finish. Forthe record, I am writing this in April 2009, in the process of going back and filling in the blanks in this here blog o’ mine.
These notes are incomplete, and probably really vague in spots, but they were only meant to be an outline. Maybe they make sense in this context; I’m not sure. Anyway, here they are.
III. Religious Choices and their Values
So to recap, at this point in my life I am more interested in religion as a pathway to a source of objective morality than I have previously been. Objective morality is not the only factor I am considering—many of the elements in my thought process can’t properly be described as “factors” or things that I am “considering” at all. More than anything else, I am drawn to particular faiths or aspects of faiths because I find them compelling on some level. But once I feel that draw, I have to evaluate the faith somehow, and right now a faith’s access to a source of objective values is extremely important to me.
In terms of objective morality, Christianity seems at first to be relatively unproblematic. This should not be entirely surprising since my rubric for evaluating values is largely informed by C. S. Lewis, a Christian apologist. This may indeed mean that I have made an a priori decision in favor of Christianity and thus this entire inquiry is a sham, unless of course I am willing to reject my ideas about morality, which I am unwilling to do. If that is so, then this is indeed only a phase in my development as a Christian, an important reassessment of what is important to me.
However, I do not think that this is necessarily the case. While Christianity generally comes down on the side of objective values, there are enough significant exceptions in areas of Christianity that are formative or important to me that the conclusion is not foregone. Furthermore, Christianity certainly is not the only faith or point of view that asserts an objective source for Ought. Additionally, there is enough of the pagan in C. S. Lewis to admit paganism as a distinct possibility, even under C. S. Lewis’s own ostensibly Christian rubric.
In any case, Christianity as I understand it and—as I would believe if I am already a Christian or am to become one—posits a God that is the source of all creation, a self-existent being that is the source of all light, truth, and meaning. In terms of sources for Ought statements, the Christian God is the ultimate Ought.
Unfortunately, I think too many Christians don’t actually have a very good handle on just what God’s moral principles are. The Bible and traditional Christianity are so full of prohibitions and admonitions ranging from the general to the hyper-specific that it is entirely possible to get lost in the details and miss the forest for the trees. If God is the ultimate source for Ought, then by Ought we have to actually be talking about the principles that lie behind the specific commandments, not the commandments themselves.
Christianity’s obvious source
The problem with most Xians
Latitudinarianism in Anglicanism
Mormonism’s radically different outlook
Not fully explored elsewhere
Asatru and values
Asatru: old but new
The source of values?
Implied in the Lore
If Jesus is a virtue ethicist, Xians should do this
But they get confused by the commandments.
Recon vs. revival druidry (no values prob with recon, but not interested in it)
Revival druidry’s values
Pluralism and liberalism?
Utilitarianism as an explanation: same problem
Other approaches to Environmentalism?
Assertions about what it good for humans
Might be wrong—see the social sciences
What to fill Revival Druidry with?
A theology as source of value?
If so, it has to be one that supports Druidry.
What theology then?
Paganism? What kind?
No hard poly!
Neopaganism? Liberal/plural problem.
Brahmanism? Maybe. That’s good stuff.
Christianity? Then why be a druid?