Be Good for Goodness Sake

Once a person finds out someone is an agnostic or atheist they immediately want to know where the person gets their morals from. This question is very convoluted. First, not all religions are moral. Just because a person believes in a god, does not mean he is moral. Take for example Fundamentalist Muslims. I’m sure I do not need to explain why these people cannot be considered moral.

Then, there are Christians from centuries ago who are by no means moral. Around the time of the Protestant Reformation, it was common to condemn someone to death for what the government considered heresy. Michael Servetus was burned alive for his rejection of the trinity. He believed the trinity was not based on the Bible and came from Greek philosophy. ” …he advocated a return to the simplicity of the Gospels and the teachings of the early Church Fathers that he believed pre-dated the development of Nicene trinitarianism.

Finally, it’s not as if we get all of our morals from the Bible. As I stated in an earlier post, there were already moral codes circulating ancient Mesopotamia long before the Ten Commandments were given at Mt. Sinai. Besides that, anyone objectively viewing the Bible can tell it contains quite a few immoral laws. We no longer believe it is o.k. to enslave another human being, and like it or not, Yahweh permitted it. Leviticus 25:44 says, “As for your male and female slaves whom you may have: you may buy male and female slaves from among the nations that are around you.”

He also permitted their beatings. Exodus 21:20, “When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged. But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the slave is his money.”

Yahweh allowed polygamy.
Deuteronomy 21:15-17, “If a man has two wives, the one loved and the other unloved, and both the loved and the unloved have borne him children, and if the firstborn son belongs to the unloved, then on the day when he assigns his possessions as an inheritance to his sons, he may not treat the son of the loved as the firstborn in preference to the son of the unloved, who is the firstborn, but he shall acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the unloved, by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the firstfruits of his strength. The right of the firstborn is his.”

Exodus 21:7, “If a man who has married a slave wife takes another wife for himself, he must not neglect the rights of the first wife to food, clothing, and sexual intimacy. If he fails in any of these three obligations, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment.”

This has been defended by Christians saying that Yahweh wasn’t allowing polygamy, he was just regulating it. Yet there isn’t a commandment found where he specifically tells the Israelites they can only have one wife. However, he has no problems specifically telling them they cannot eat pork or work on the Sabbath. In fact, working on the Sabbath warranted the death penalty. Having multiples wives was perfectly o.k. In contrast, Jews at least admit this. Some reasonings I have heard from them are that there were more women than men back then, or that it was culturally accepted. This just goes to show that morality evolves.

Yahweh commanded mass murder.
Yahweh commanded the killing of every man, woman, and child of Median, yet allowed the Israelites to keep the virgins for themselves. Number 31:17-18, “Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him. But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him keep alive for yourselves.” Even if we can somehow justify the killing of non-Israelites, the idea of them being able to keep the virgins alive for themselves” is quite sickening.

Disobedient children were killed.
“If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear.”

Based on the morality of today’s society, no one can claim it must come from the god of the Bible. It is clear that some societies have figured out for themselves that it is wrong to own another human being, beat another human being, stone children, or kill people who don’t worship the same god as they.

In closing I would like to say that while it is common for believers to say that atheists and agnostics just want to live an immoral life without having to answer to God, in all actuality, a lot of people are atheists and agnostics BECAUSE THEY ARE MORAL. These people don’t need the threat of Hell or the fear of Yahweh to make them good. They are simply good for goodness sake.

 

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