Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Religion is neutral

"I keep having to remind people that religion in and of itself is morally neutral. Religion is like a knife. When you use a knife for cutting up bread to prepare sandwiches, a knife is good. If you use the same knife to stick into somebody's guts, a knife is bad. Religion in and of itself is not good or bad—it is what it makes you do..." —Desmond Tutu

Thanks to Bina for posting that. I think that statement is absolutely brilliant in it's simple clarity.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great quote.

David Engel

Anonymous said...

Ouch! Somebody just stuck their agnostic knife in my gut.

:-)

Be well, my friend. I hope someday you and Bina actually understand that quote.

"it is what it makes you do"

Smaragd said...

Don't worry; we both understand it very well. It's quite simple: religion is morally neutral. What does your religion cause you to do? Something bad, like bombing abortion clinics, condemning people who believe differently, or abandoning science and reason? Or something good, like building a society that cares for its weakest, studying and understanding diverse cultures and beliefs, or understanding the difference between metaphor and literal fact? Religion is neither moral nor immoral; but what do you take from it? What behavior comes from you because of your beliefs? That is what's moral or immoral.

adamrice said...

I think William Gibson said "technology is value-neutral." Interesting to read this alternative.