Absolute morality and the Tiller murder

Kudos to B.T. Murtagh at the quarkscrew blog for this excellent framing of George Tiller’s murder within theistic absolute morality.  The money quote:

If your notion of absolute moral values is that you absolutely follow someone else’s decisions as to what is moral, or worse yet someone else’s unsupported claim as to what a third party has decided is moral, then your only absolute moral decision is an abdication of moral responsibility.

His deconstruction of the moral implications of God’s order to Abraham to kill Isaac is simply top-notch.  Well worth a read.

My question to theists: what if it emerges that Tiller’s murderer, Scott Roeder, claims that God commanded him to kill Tiller?  By your own belief, Roeder should be exalted and praised, should he not?

5 thoughts on “Absolute morality and the Tiller murder

  1. Thanks for the kind review!

    Your point spotlights another oddity of theist morality by direction; they are willing to accept at face value things in their scripture which they would properly find incredible in real life.

    “So, your pregnant daughter claims to still be a virgin, eh?”

  2. The more interesting question is: If a fetus is the same thing as a child, then all the caveats that “moderate” pro-lifers grant (rape, incest, etc) are moot. The only solution is absolute ban except for the case of life threatening to the mother.

    And…pro-lifers have to grant that the doctor killer was a hero, for preventing the “murder” of many fetii.

    And, mothers have to be charged with murder.

    Their own position leads to only these conclusions. Either it is “murder” or it is not.

    (Of course, their own Bible is not as clear on this issue as they claim it is.)

    1. All excellent points, Brian.

      What puzzles me is why the abortion issue generates such heated passion among Christian believers, as opposed to say, working on the sabbath or saying God’s name in vain.

  3. Robert,

    To answer your question about why we don’t get worked up over working on the Sabbath is

    1. Its the weekend so most people don’t anyway

    2. That was a Jewish commandment rescinded by Jesus as being useless, since what is better? To do good on the Sabbath or do nothing? (paraphrased)

    So that point is rather moot secondly as to taking Gods name in vain, why on earth would I get worked up about something that I myself do? I’ll never say im more moral than anyone else, as it would commenting on the speck in anothers eye whilst ignoring the plank in my own.

    Also an interesting fact about stoning as it has been something you’ve mentioned many times on this blog Jesus said “He who is without sin may cast the first stone”

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