Morality: Do we Need God to be Good

Posted: December 23, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

               I want to tell you a story. There once was a city named Sodom and Gomorrah. In God’s eyes, the whole city was filled with sinners. So God sends two angels to speak with the most righteous man in the city, the king named Lot. When the angels arrive, the male citizens try to capture and rape the angels. Lot, not being the man who wants angels to get raped, offers his own daughters to be raped. The angels eventually escape by blinding all the attackers, and Lot, his family, and the angels escape from the city. God then burns the city and all the sinners to the ground (Genesis 19:24).

            This is just one of the stories in the King James Bible. This is the book that 78% of Americans hold dear to their hearts as the true or inspired word of god [1], and claim this as their book of basic morals. Do you want more stories from the bible? How about God killing 50,000 people for peaking into the Ark of the Covenant (1 Samuel 6:19)? Still pretty holy right, not holy enough? God sends bears to maul 42 children for making fun a prophet named Elisha (2 Kings 2:23-24). He even had an innocent man stoned to death for collecting firewood on the Sabbath (Numbers 15:32-36) [2]. Let’s look at one more example. God one day decides that he’s not happy with how the world (that he made) has turned out (if he’s God he had to know how it would turn out). So he tells a man named Noah (he’s 600 years old at this time) to build an ark, and load up his own family, along with two of every animal in the boat (depending on what part of the bible you read it turns into seven of each animal, if he proof read his work he would of noticed the inconsistency). After Noah builds this boat, God floods the earth with rain, drowning innocent men, women, and those basterd bully children. After a certain number of days drifting about (again depending on what bible you read, not to mention this isn’t the first time this story has been told plus is statistically impossible, but that’s another essay another time) he finally lands on a mountain and gets busy with incest to repopulate the earth. Most of you will say “Yeah well these are just stories in The Old Testament; The New Testament is a much better improvement.” Yeah okay it may be a slight improvement, but not by much. In Acts 5:1-10 a man and his wife are killed because they with held some money from an apostle, money they made off selling their own land [3]. Not only is this crazy, but in John 3:10 Jesus claims to be one with the Savage god of The Old Testament [3]. These are just some of the insane and disgusting stories of this moral book most of us live our life by. Lets not even get into the morals of the Quran, which has believers still thinking it’s okay to punish apostasy with death… They’re just crazy.

            As you can tell, God is not really one for love or kindness. I can’t deny the fact that there are good morals in the bible. Some of these morals make up the famous Ten Commandments. Some of these include not killing, cheating, stealing, or disobeying your parents [4]. Interestingly enough is the fact that God wasted the first four commandments on himself. Maybe he had some trust or confidence issues. Even more interesting than that, there is no mention about not raping people, molesting children, or slavery. And with the way this country is going, I would of expected the republicans to try and get “Thou shalt not elect any democrats into office” thrown in there somewhere. If you can’t see what the premise of this essay is about then stop reading it, go back to your coloring book.

            What I want to talk about is morality. Do we need it? Of course we do! Do we need God(s) in order to have it? Of course we don’t! Why would I need an invisible man in the sky, who kills countless innocent people, in order to commit good acts for the world? I don’t need a God(s) in my life to help the poor, to love my family and friends, and to live my life to the best I can. I think we have evolved to a point of our history where we can treat fellow humans with love, respect, and kindness, despite their religion, race, or sex.

            Richard Dawkins explains in his book The God Delusion that some parts of morality can be explained through Darwinian natural selection. He uses examples of our early primate ancestors, who would benefit from helping other members of the same species, for the benefit of survival of the species as a whole. Dawkins writes that this example of reciprocation is one of reason why we have an urge to help each other, because it’s hard wired into our brains to think “if I help you now, you’ll help me later.” This doesn’t explain why we have an urge to help people knowing we won’t get something in return, but Dawkins explains that he thinks of it as a “misfiring” of neurons on the brain. It is a very interesting chapter in his extraordinary book which I recommend to anyone with an interest in the topic of Science vs. God. Read it people… It’ll make you smarter.

            Religion, ever since its creation by man, has been a power struggle over the people within a society. The morals of religion are meant to keep people in line. When you tell an unintelligent person “If you steal my donkey you’ll be killed and go to hell, where you are going to be tortured by a devil for all of eternity,” you can be sure as hell they aren’t going to steal your damn donkey! It’s a power play, and it always has been. Once government saw that they could gain control over people and steal their money through their faith, they kept it and it grew stronger. There is no doubt in my mind that religion has brought some good to the world, but just as other secular organizations have.

            The point of this essay is that I want people to wake up and realize that we don’t need religion to be good. You may say “well why does it matter?” It matters because there are a great number of people out there who believe that without God(s) and religion there would be mass chaos. The religious think “well if you’re an atheist/agnostic where do you get your morals from? You have no set of rules to live by.” The fact is that I get my morals from a modern evolved society. Yes some of those society’s morals come from a religion, but certainly not all of them, and all of which we would have eventually come to realize sooner or later. Besides, we know that slavery, rape, drugs, and animal abuse are all wrong. We obviously didn’t get those morals from the bible; we got them from a purely secular evolved society.

            In the end, Religion is important, but for theology class only. How can a truly moral person believe in a God, who sent his own son to be tortured and die for acts that haven’t even been committed yet? If your belief in god and following of the bible is just in case there really is a God(s) and you don’t want to be caught not believing, then you’re messed up in the first place. We no longer live in a society that needs religion; this is the age of science and reason. Religion was a very important part of our history, and it should kept as that. To move forward as a species we need to cut the loose end of religion because we no longer need it. Lets open our eyes to the beauty of reality, the world the way it truly is.

“All religions have based morality on obedience, that is to say, on voluntary slavery. That is why they have always been more pernicious than any political organization. For the latter makes use of violence, the former – of the corruption of the will.” ~ Alexander Herzen [5]

Thank you

By, Ryan Johnson

Other Information

References:

[1] – http://www.gallup.com/poll/27682/onethird-americans-believe-bible-literally-true.aspx

[2] – http://carm.org/bible-difficulties/genesis-deuteronomy/why-was-man-killed-gathering-sticks-sabbath

[3] – http://de-conversion.com/2007/07/18/is-the-new-testament-an-improvement-on-old-testament-morality/

[4] – http://www.the-ten-commandments.org/the-ten-commandments.html

[5] – http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/morality.html

Further reading:

http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=21

Richard Dawkins – The God Delusion (Read it!!!)

God – The Bible ­(Read it also, it will probably convert you to an atheist/agnostic as it did for me)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s