Ethical debates are difficult because we are deluded into thinking our minds are unitary and that we make conscious ethical decisions before acting. But instead, our brains seem to have several independent moral calculators — each spitting out many often conflicting but convenient conclusions for the brain to choose from for post-hoc rhetoric to use both in self-delusion and for persuasion of others.
OK, that is rather cynical view of morality, but I largely believe it. Three of those calculators are:
- Means oriented (Deontologogical)
- Consequence oriented (Consequentialism)
- Virtue oriented (Virtue Ethics)
Using these three calculators, Massimo Pigliucci at “Rational Speaking” does a fun analysis of Yahweh’s act of sacrificing his boy, Jesus. Massimo’s conclusion, for those who want to skip his fine post, is that “most of His [Yahweh’s] followers are infinitely more moral than their God “. Massimo also has great podcasts if you are interested.
For more posts to explain my above terse claims:
- The Moral Mind: discusses and illustrates the three calculators
- My Cognitive Narratives: an index post where “Many Selves” are explored