This is something I don't understand. People try to say we need religion because people are by nature bad. I don't know why anyone would think this! Some of the most crime-free nations are atheist nations, meaning the majority of their populations are atheist, or do not have a belief in a god. I think it is proof of natural selection that we are moral creatures because, as the saying goes, "What's good for the goose is good for the gaggle," or in human terms, if it helps me to not commit crime it helps my chances of survival. If this were not true and people relied solely on the commandments and god to tell them what is right and wrong, then we would not be here at all! People would have killed each other off LONG before the story of Moses getting the 10 commandments! We are just doing what comes natural, we are surviving.
This is also shown in nature, apes have their own sets of morals as do lions and any other animals that live in a pack. After all, we are nothing more than highly intelligent animals. Our morals come from many millions of years of evolution.
I agree with Richard Dawkins in that I fear the people who base their morals on a god that has ordered genocides, rapes, murders, slavery, and incest. What happens then if they feel the need to exercise their god's orders that they feel was given to them in the name of their god? I'll tell you, look throughout history, almost every war and horrible act throughout our history is in the name of religion and their morals.
If you say that the bible gives you your morals, then how do you pick and choose? Religious hate gays and cite Leviticus, but a few verses over and it says that you should stone children to death for disobeying their parents! Again, how do you pick and choose what to live by? I'll tell you, your natural instinct tells you what is right and wrong, not the bible!
The world will be a better place when we treat religious texts just as we do the ancient Roman and Greek Myths, as works of fiction, and that is all the bible is, a work of fiction. Just because a story is set in an actual place and contains characters that happen to be real people does not make it a true story. If that were true people would take modern books set in a real city as a historical fact and there would be religions popping up all around about Stephen King novels.
On a side note, I often wonder if 2000 years from now after some cataclysmic some archaeologist will dig up a copy of the Lord of the Rings and read it and go, "Holy crap, I found the history of the world!" and then start converting people to Hobbitism and Elfism and study the languages in there. Would they fear the return of the Orks if the sacred ring was ever found and they feel as if Gandalf is up there looking down on them watching to make sure that they are all protected? Silly isn't it? Well apply that to the bible and you have the same ridiculous reality we live in today with people believing in an invisible wizard who has a plan for us and is all powerful. But not powerful enough to just let us into his wonderful heaven, he had to send his son(who is also himself) down to be butchered by the people that he is trying to let into heaven. He saw no other way to accomplish this than to sacrifice his only begotten son... See, silly isn't it?
Back to the heart of the matter. Why do we as humans feel the need to create a god? It's simple, before our modern era, and before science we had no way of explaining the wonderful things around us. We are a naturally curious animal that feels the need to find meaning in everything. So when we see a world that appears to be created, just as we create things, we assume there must be a creator. As with life and our bodies we now know through DNA and fossil records where we came from. It's not a mystery anymore. There are still mysteries of course, but the answer is not in a book written when they thought the earth was flat and the center of the universe and that the sun revolved around the earth. The bible is a book of speculation, placing answers on questions they had no way of ever knowing, superstition was their only means of figuring it out. If you were to go back in time with a camera or a computer or a machine gun you would be treated as a god! The only explanation for these things in their primitive thought process is that you are some sort of god, how else would you possess such power?
So the original question was "Can you be a good moral person without a god telling you what to do?" The answer of course is yes. And people are more likely to do good because it is just right to do rather than for fear of an invisible dictator.
Comment as always!
Hard to believe it’s 2015
3 years ago