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Is Religion a Pre-requisite for Morality? May 13, 2010

Posted by jetson in Personal.
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11 comments

Here I go again, assuming there is a god, in order to have a discussion! Anyway, let’s take a look at this question and see where it leads. I have heard from many Christians who believe that God provides them with a moral base for their lives. Some even go as far as practically admitting that without God, they would be unable to act morally? I find that almost impossible to believe. Although, I have had two otherwise normal friends, who said that if God asked them to kill a baby, they would do it. To be fair, they had no choice but to assume that their “real” God was “really” asking them to do such a thing, and thus, they chose to submit. How they can distinguish a real God command from their own imaginations is beyond me.

I like to ask believers if there is anything good that a Christian can do, that cannot also be done by a non-believer. The intent of the question is to challenge them on human acts of kindness, as an example. So the challenge would be to name an act of kindness, or goodness, that physically cannot be done by one who has no god belief. I have yet to hear a single response outside of some things that are done as part of a church ritual or service, which the non-believer could easily do, but chooses not to be involved in church services. However, even those actions don’t hold anything morally superior over others outside of that belief system.

Non-believers are free to take any action they choose, without regard for specific church rules or restrictions on such actions, so you could almost argue that there may be some actions that a non-believer could do, which would be frowned upon by some churches. However, if the church deems it a bad thing, or inappropriate in some way, they would never acknowledge the act being good if done by a non-believer. What if an atheist was handing out condoms in a poverty-stricken area of Africa, resulting in fewer cases of aids through heterosexual contact between married couples? The Catholic church has deemed this a sin, and tells these people that the use of condoms is a sin. No matter what your church leaders say, they simply cannot continue to ignore the fact that using condoms saves lives in these areas.

I think I can argue that religion is not a pre-requisite for morality. Even if a person gains a set of morals through religious indoctrination early in their life, if they drop their god belief, or switch to a completely different religion, they do not automatically start behaving immorally. I have directly challenged some progressive Christian friends on this issue. They have no basis whatsoever to claim that I am less moral than they are, yet they argue their case as though they do have that superiority. They know me, and they know that they cannot directly challenge my morals simply because I claim no god belief. Yet, I sense that they silently claim victory.

The truth is, there is simply no credible evidence that non-believers are less moral. Unless non-belief itself is categorized as immoral, then we have to also consider that moral sets from one religion to the next are not the same, so each religious group gets to claim moral superiority over everyone else! This is an issue that comes up a lot in internet discussions, and it saddens me to think that modern humans still believe that people can’t possibly behave without religion.

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Why Did God Create the Universe? May 7, 2010

Posted by jetson in Personal.
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25 comments

If you have never given much serious thought to the size of the known universe, you really should. It is staggering, almost beyond belief. It is difficult to imagine the sub-microscopic planet we live in when it comes to how it compares to the rest of the known universe. I don’t know how to even begint to explain it, really. I’m not sure I could really do it justice.

Some of the greatest minds of modern time have pondered the question “why are we here?”. For many humans, this question seems to invoke some level of “spiritual” consideration. There must be a reason why humans are here. But is that reason any different than why giraffes are here? Do people really think that humans are so much more important than giraffes, in some grand scheme? I think they do believe this. And I think they feel justified, simply because they asked the question, and the giraffe, apparently, has not.

If God (character from The Bible) created the entire universe, and everything in it, including the planet we live on, there must have been a reason. God must have wanted this universe. Did God have a purpose, or a mission, or something in mind when he decided to create this universe, and subsequently, this earth – with us humans asking why? If everything happens for a reason, then there must be a reason that God created the universe and everything in it. Does anyone know what the reason is?

Many claim that we humans cannot know the mind of God (ignoring the fact that those same humans seem to actually know the mind of God). If we cannot know, then isn’t it true that we can only guess? Is it even important to know Gods reason for creating the universe and everything in it? Let’s see…

  • God created the universe because he wanted to?
  • God needed humans to worship him?
  • God was lonely?
  • God created humans because humans need God?
  • I’ll stop there because I think this question is best answered by those who believe God created the universe, and understand exactly why. Let’s get some feedback!