Saturday, 30 April 2011
Why morality comes from you
Some of you may think I'm too hard on religion. After all, most believers are a kindly bunch. The problem is they don't all sing from the same hymn sheet. We have our more tea vicar types, and then the theologians and conservatives, the latter frequently standing in opposition to advancements such as gay rights, stem cell research, and frankly reality itself in some cases. Now if they were a minority you'd be right to chastise me, only they're not, and what they teach permeates into the mainstream. Just the other day I had somebody point out that if God indeed owns everything, it's his call what he does with us. Perhaps you've seen my recent Facebook post on William Lane Craig, esteemed mainstream theologian and Christian apologist. He argues that if God ordains something he will have morally sufficient reasons for doing so even though we might not understand. He uses this in the context of a famous Biblical story referred to as the slaughter of the innocents, during which God commands the soldiers of Israel to ethnically cleanse every man, woman, child and animal. Now I urge you to reflect for a moment? How does this resonate with your own innate morality? Does wholesale murder sound good to you? Any issues with slaughtering terrified mothers as they desperately seek to protect their children? Of course yes. This is ghastly, depraved, subhuman. But, if you are a Christian and accept the Biblical account of events you are faced with the uneasy challenge of figuring out why the God you worship would deem such an act necessary. So what to do? Well most Christians just cherry pick and ignore the nasty bits, which is a good job all things considered. But what does this tell you? Well it tells me they have used their own subjective morality to judge what they deem proper, which begs the question that if they can do that for the ghastly parts, who's to say that the rest should be treated as divine? Own up; we decide what is moral. And the morality of the Bible reflects no more than the morality of the era in which it was produced. There's nothing holy about it. Nothing divine. We decide what is good in the Good Book, and don't let any Pope or Pastor tell you otherwise.