All entries for Wednesday 07 December 2005

December 07, 2005

The application of Christian morality

I was listening, for only 5 minutes before I arrived at work this morning, to an interesting programme on Radio 4.

There was a guest who, I unfortunately can't remember her name, has an agony column in a national newspaper. She was talking about her responses to the letters she had received for her column, and was asked about the influence of her strong Christian faith. She said, interestingly, that she thought Christian morals could not be taken separately but had to be considered within the context of a strictly Christian life. She said this was because Christians have the promise of a life in heaven as a reward for their lives on earth, which atheists cannot look forward to. This seemed to me to be an unusual viewpoint, and one with which I don't think I agree. I no longer count myself as a Christian, but nevertheless lead my life, in the most part, according to Christian morals.

Do Christians live good lives, according to the morals of their faith, only so that they can get to heaven? Is it not a fundamental part of what makes us human to want to be law-abiding and good, irrelevant of our faith? Why shouldn't non-active Christians or atheists lead their lives according to Christian morals? Are the people in this category, in fact, morally more virtuous as they lead upstanding lives without the hope of a reward at the end of it?

How can you remove Christian morality from life in a country whose society, laws and customs are based on it and whose citizens have, in the most part, been educated in it?

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