Morality for the non-religious.

For nearly the last 36 hours I’ve been working on a co-worker’s PC which has crashed terribly hard. Potential to lose years worth of files he uses for his freelance and day-job work. He was in near tears when it was looking like his data was lost, and his best alternative was spending nearly $200 to maybe get it back from a PC service center.
Well, since I helped him build his PC (I built his last PC, and for a year it was working like a dream. Then he decided to upgrade the CPU and mobo and RAM, and decided to choose his own parts. Well, he got a pretty bad mobo that was poor quality and nearly melted itself. The overheating Northbridge chip was causing bad data to be written to the harddrive causing a corrupted FAT. So I helped him order a better mobo (Newegg rocks, by the way) and that’s when we discovered the drive was corrupted.)
Anyway, it’s a long tale of backups, scares, repartitioning, Knoppix (which rocks!) data restoration programs, reinstallations of Windows (which sux), and so I’ve been sitting here for two days working on this PC (the tale is starting to come to an end, thank goodness! and with his data intact and with him not having to spend $200. I hate computers….) and so I’ve been catching up on all my podcasts….
(That kind of felt like a Simpson’s episode: the first 5 minutes of the show setting up the rest of the episode with events that have absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the show.)

So one of the many podcast episodes I listened to was this fantastic one from Point of Inquiry:

Paul Kurtz – Ethics for the Nonreligious

Paul Kurtz is the founder of the Council for Secular Humanism and author of the little book, Affirmations: Joyful And Creative Exuberance. He discusses the issues of morality, its development, purpose, cross-cultural and religious nature, and its necessity despite cultural or religious baggage:

In this discussion with D.J. Grothe, Paul Kurtz talks about ethics from a nonreligious perspective, how morality develops, the moral education of children, and whether or not ethics can ever be more than just self-interestedness. He also explains how the question of God’s existence should be immaterial to any discussion of human morality.

Anyway, I urge you to take a listen to this fascinating program. D.J. Grothe, as always, does a fantastic job playing devil’s advocate and really getting to the root of an argument or claim.

(Oh yeah, by the way: Always backup your important data!! I learned this back around 1996 when I formatted the wrong partition for a Linux dual boot and lost tons of irreplaceable files (and wasn’t computer literate enough at that time to know how to recover data from a format–I thought it was all gone). Backup backup backup!! DVD burvers are getting awfully cheap now….)