MORALITY

Like Forgiveness, Morality is another concept that religions have commandeered.

We are taught in our houses of worship that moral rules come from the ‘Scriptures’ (that word just means ‘writings’):

 

Christians claim that God handed down ‘commandments’ on ‘tablets’ to Moses on Mount Sinai. And that Jesus also set out some rules in the ‘Sermon on the Mount’.

Islam, being an Abrahamic religion, accepts the Old Testament of the Bible but does not consider it to be the word of god. Various moral principles are presented throughout the Qu’ran, some voiced by the Prophet Muhammad and some by Allah himself.

Jews have 613 ‘mitzvot’ (commandments) listed in The Old Testament of the Bible and the Torah.

Hinduism is all about ‘finding peace’ and it has Yamas and Niyamas which have a rough equivalence to the Christian Commandments.

Buddhism has ‘Ten Courses of Unwholesome Action’ including: Eat temperately and not at all in the afternoons. Do not watch dancing, nor listen to singing or plays! Wear no garlands, perfumes or any adornments. Sleep not in luxurious beds. Accept no gold or silver!

 

You might think that, without these instructions on how to behave, we humans would be a barbaric lot! That, of course, is what the priests want you to think. They want to be able to prey on your conscience and threaten ‘retribution’ (godly punishment) unless you do as they say - attend their church (and make donations), make a confession (and a donation) and submit to their control. They don’t want to lose you from their ‘flock’; where would their next meal come from?

 

The truth is very different. We are social animals and all social animals have evolved co-operative behaviours. See:

 

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/frans_de_waal_do_animal s_have_morals.html

 

Do you think that the apes, monkeys and elephants in that video have read the Bible or the Koran to get their morals?

 

If you do read the Bible, you will find some horrifying morality. It condones war, misogyny, homophobia, slavery, gruesome punishments, forcing daughters to marry their rapists and stoning disobedient children to death!

 

Do you really want to make it your moral compass?

 

Christians will claim that these verses are ‘taken out of context’ or should be read as appropriate for the historic times in which the texts were set. Does that sound like excuses to you? Are they cherry picking just the bits of the Bible they like? Especially as, in the next breath, they will claim the Bible is God’s word and should be taken literally!

Anyone who thinks that empathy, love, compassion, devotion, sympathy, co-operation and loyalty are exclusively human traits cannot have had a dog!  A dog knows when we are sick and mourns with us when we grieve. My brother-in-law tells how they had two dogs, one got killed on the road and the other one cried all night. Can you tell a story of your dog showing its feelings?

 

These characteristics are the necessary precursors to a moral society. That’s why dogs are man’s best friend, but all social animals have rules to live by - that’s how they keep their society calm and stable. Moral behaviour has evolved. It doesn’t come from ancient religious books so it doesn’t belong to priests. We can do without their sermons!

 

In order to trick us into thinking we need the Bible to be good, Christians have invented the concept of ‘Original Sin’. This claims that, thanks to Eve eating the apple shown to her by the talking snake in the Garden of Eden, all babies are born with sin already implanted in their bodies!

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“If people are good only because they fear punishment and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”

 

Albert Einstein

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