But why, I wonder, does Wilkinson think that my moral arguments are quaintly old-fashioned? Is this just an example of theological scatter-shot, or did he have something specific in mind? My belief is that religion has completely disastrous moral consequences…
My own central moral concern, at least as this is exemplified in the name of this blog, is the religious insistence that people suffer intolerably as they die, and that they should be denied help in bringing their dying more quickly to an end.
I stopped reading there, because I wanted to think about that. It suggested something…
What it suggested is that religions of this type don’t love us. We’re not their cherished children or the objects of their concern or even empathy. They don’t give a rat’s ass about us, not us – not as we are, not our real fleshy mortal vulnerable selves. They may care, or think they care, about some abstract perfected us that lives on after we’re dead, but they don’t care about us as we are here and now. We know this because they want us to suffer. They are willing and indeed eager to force us to suffer if the only alternative is our deciding for ourselves. They are willing and eager to force us to suffer if the only alternative is our breaking one of their rules. They love their rules, and they don’t love us.
The bishop of Phoenix is angry because that mother of four young children is not now dead. He is morally indignant because she is not dead. It is his considered opinion that she should be dead now.
They want us to suffer when we would prefer not to, and die when we would prefer to live, for the sake of their rules.
They’re a cold-hearted lot.