Tuesday, December 12

Religion, Atheism, And Morality

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You can very often hear religious people ask atheists the question: Where do you get your morals? Well, I find it interesting that so many people in the world actually need a book to tell them what is right and what is wrong. It shows their lack of faith in themselves and in their own brains. So, is religion really what we need in order to be decent people? I would say no, it is not.

Whenever atheists mention a passage from The Bible or Qur’an that talks about killing people (for adultery, homosexuality, lack of faith, etc.), the believers say that the passage should not be taken literally. How convenient, isn’t it? Better yet, many say it is only a metaphor in their own sacred book, but at the same time, they believe the other book literally tells people to kill. That is plain hypocrisy. Let’s be honest, both The Bible and Qur’an do say that killing is the right thing to do under certain circumstances. This means that if people were to actually do what their god tells them to do, then we would be having mass murders of adulterers, homosexuals, or people who just happen not to believe in any gods. Christians love quoting The Bible. Especially the fragments that tell us to love and respect each other. And they pretend the less civilized parts do not exist or should be considered metaphors. In other words, religious people only quote those passages of their favorite books that contain information and guidelines that are convenient to them in a given situation. This leads me to believe that their morals have nothing to do with those books in the first place. Of course fundamentalists do take their morals from books and we know what the results usually are.

Another thing the religious seem to believe is that people cannot be moral unless they believe in life after death. After all, why be a good person if you don’t get a ticket to heaven as reward? This makes the religious seem extremely selfish. How can we know if they ever help others just because it’s right? Maybe they only ever help others and try not to hurt anyone just because they fear punishment after death? Here, again, we can see a terrible lack of faith in humanity. People are naturally evil and all that keeps them in check is fear of divine punishment or hope for a reward after death. So how can atheists be good people? Could it be we are all evil monsters and kill others for fun because we do not follow any god’s guidelines? Well, it so happens we do not. We learn how to tell right from wrong as we grow up without any religion’s help. We can see when a person or an animal is suffering and we do not need any book to tell us that we should try to help. We do not need a book to tell us we shouldn’t kill. And we certainly wouldn’t hurt others because a book told us to do that. Many of us have actually read some of those sacred texts, yet we find other books more interesting (and moral too). And unlike religious missionaries, we do not ask people to convert to our (lack of) faith in return for our help. We also think building hospitals and schools in Africa is more important than building churches.

People do not need religions; people need open minds and education. Some religions spread more hate than love, they do not teach tolerance, and they can’t turn bad people into so-called saints. Many believers are really good people, but it’s not because of religion. They’re just good people that happen to be religious, that’s all. And there are bad people among atheists, but their lack of morals has little to do with them being atheists.

* Why Are People Religious?

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