Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Judeo-christian values and quality of life

So Ethics classes are a hot topic in the media again. On Saturday it was all about a New South Wales government inquiry, and Fred Nile still wanting to put a stop to the classes.  I actually get excited every-time Fred Nile jumps up in parliament and rips on the secular ethics classes. It always starts this whirlwind of debate about religious education and the benefits of philosophical ethics for children. I think Fred Nile is creating a bit of the Streisand effect, and unwittingly promoting the questioning of the current laws surrounding religion in schools across the country. And so, for a nice change of pace, it was Queensland in the paper today.

Personally I hope that more states follow New South Wales' lead and introduce a secular alternative to scripture (RE, SRE, RI or whatever else you want to call it). But, I digress. The title of this blog, "Judeo-christian values and quality of life" pretty much sums up what I wanted to blog about. There is a common argument that Western countries, like Australia, are some of the best places in the world to live because of their Judeo-christian values. I have read this time and time again. I have a couple of observations about this. If it is indeed Christianity which has helped us out so much, I'm at a loss explain the enormous divide in the quality of life between my country and those in Latin and South America. And check out the Gaza strip. Plenty of Jews around there, and surely they at least have the "Judeo" part of the values.

I'm not saying that  "Don't steal, Don't kill, Don't lie" aren't pretty good guidelines and that Jesus didn't have some pretty neat proverbs to help with understanding morals and ethics. What I am saying is that this can't be the only thread of morality holding our society together, and probably isn't the reason for their success. I'm going support this argument with another personal observation:

Civil Rights. Free Market. The Enlightenment