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I make a point, myself, of keeping "morals" (based on a particular worldview) and "ethics" (based on "greatest good") separate, but it would be weird if my characters did the same. If I were paraphrasing Ellen, I'd say that even without morals, people will still behave ethically.


(Wednesday, INT: EB and JH's apartment)

JH: So you're looking forward to Christianity going the way of the dodo?
EB: I'm not saying it's necessarily a good thing, mind you. I'm not one of those people who blame all wars on religion. I just see the writing on the wall, if you will.
JH: And, I take it, you don't think religion is required to dictate morality to society?
EB: People with a functioning superego and mammalian empathy are going to act morally regardless of their beliefs, and people without are going to find loopholes and excuses for their sociopathy in even the strictest religion. Religions don't change human nature, it's just a palette swap.
JH: You really think Martin Luther King would have accomplished the same things without his Christianity, or Gandhi without his Hinduism?
EB: Impossible to speculate without access to a time machine, but I'm gonna go with yes. Furthermore, I'm gonna say that your mugger would have shot you, taken drugs, and killed himself regardless of what he believed was waiting for him afterwards.
JH: So you'd be sitting here arguing the same point with me, even if you still identified as Christian yourself?
EB: If I still identified as Christian, I'd argue in the mirror until I converted myself back to atheism again. I don't like being on a losing team.