You might suppose that “Make the Most” is an amoral philosophy, intent on the pursuit of pleasure at all costs. This is not the case.
One of my friends (Fr.I) is a devout Christian, whose views would not be out of place in the American “Bible Belt”. In the past I have enthusiatically engaged him – and anyone else – in discussions on the meaning of life and the big debate as to whether there really is a creator.
A few weeks ago we were watching our children playing tennis when a discussion originating in the recent London bombings turned to moral codes.
“Of course,” I said, “even if I succeeded in convincing you that you were wrong and God does not exist, you’d still have your own personal morals to fall back on.”
“Not at all,” replied Fr.I, “I can’t predict how I’d behave.”
“But surely you’d still know it was wrong to kill or steal?” I asked.
“Not really. I think I’d become a hedonist or something like that!”
Shocked, I couldn’t reply initially. Fr.I wandered off to play with one of his children for a while. We are both waiting while other children of ours finish their tennis lessons. Eventually I can’t bear it any longer. I stand up and walk up to him, pointing at his chest.
“The moral framework you adhere to comes from in here, not from your religion!” I insist.
“It might also be out there,” I gesture at the heavens, “but it also lives in here.” I point at his chest again, trying to hammer home my point.
I didn’t wait for his answer; just walked away feeling slightly queasy. The truth is, for the first time in my life, I’ve finally seen the full horror of what might happen if I ever did succeed in converting a religious person to my non-faith. Am also worried about friendship to Fr.I!
In spite of my apparent near-death experience, I stubbornly believe that we are all worm food. It would be lovely to be comforted by the knowledge that there really is a cheerful chap in the sky waiting for us with open arms, it really would. The trouble is, the evidence just isn’t conclusive.
I do have a moral code, a sort of “live and let live” ideal, which may not measure up to the requirements of any of the Good Books or those who claim to support them, but at least it’s part of me and could no more be removed than my heart or brain.
If anyone reading this posting is religious, I’d be interested to hear whether your religion IS your moral code or merely supports what you believe in your heart to be correct.