HOME   People do good because they are human, not because they are religious! 

Do not give God any credit for the good they do, they did it!

 

The Notion that God knows best what moral rules to make
 
The non-religious look at those who run religions and join them or stay in them and say God could ask them to do something harmful or some evil that is made to look good and holy.  But those involved in religion will accuse the non-religious that without God or faith in God they could do dangerous things too.

 

To this we say that if there is such a problem with both the religious and the non-religious then we can consider non-religious to be a default.  So in that sense religious people should get out of religion.

 

One side is making a false accusation.  So does belief in God open the door to obeying evil commands on the basis that God uses evil to do good with it?  What about the fact that life's choices are always some shade of grey and so good and evil are always mixed?  That complicates it even more and shows those who say God commands them to do good are just liars for they do grey not good.  Or can you be good without belief in God?  If you can be good without belief in God that does not mean you are being good without God if there is a God!  It means God is still working in you and a God that is reasonably competent will be able to be bigger than any errors you make.  So the believers are admitting that they hold that belief in God matters not God!

 

Is good just good whether God agrees with it or not or is what God agrees good automatically good?  If goodness is independent of God then how does God know what is good? He could be wrong. Thus it is immoral to say his commands are always totally right and he always knows what the right thing to do is. God would have to be connected to goodness and it to him for him to know. But he cannot be for the fact remains that good is good no matter even if a God thinks it is wrong.  It is 100% even if God thinks there is a 1% chance it is wrong.  To fuse God and morality is to insult good and thus is not good.

 

Believers want to believe in God for they think that goes with the notion that good is 100% certainly good.  But they are wrong.

 

The Church opposes good and puts a clever counterfeit in its place.
 
Many religions are lazy about figuring out right and wrong . So they just dish out laws that they said God gave for our guidance.
 
Is it because they feel its hard or impossible to be sure a lot of the time what is right and wrong?

Authority then is not the answer! Go and do the work. This is the same as the next one.

Is it because they are simply lazy?

Their laziness is the kind of laziness that has no interest in the consequences for those who are misled!

Is it because they want to use God to control people and manipulate?

Their pretence at morality will be seen through in time!

Is it because they fear that God will punish them for trying to make up their own minds?

It is not a nice reflection on the believers if they need a God to motivate them and scare them into being what they call moral!

Is it because God is simply right?

Anybody that says that really means, "People disagree on what God says. I know I am right about his message!" They are not saying that God is right so much as saying that THEY are right.
 
Usually when people say we need to believe in God to have a morality, they mean they need God to accept a harsh and foolish morality. It is the kind of morality that refuses to protect a loving relationship between a man and woman "living in sin" and having lots of children to look after. The psychopath may have no conscience but he or she still sees on an intellectual level at least that killing people is bad. All people see what good is and religion comes along to complicate things and condemn many good things as bad and uphold many bad things as good. Religious morality is about control not people.
 
If people refrain from murder because they feel it is wrong they are refraining because they feel they want to. Murder being wrong is not the reason. Who cares why they refrain as long as they do? We are swayed by our feelings more than anything else. The question is, if that is so, then what are we doing attaching any importance to God or religion? They only distract us. The good we do is not because of them but because of our feelings.
 
The Church says that God comes first and not only that but all we do should be entirely done for his sake. So what God thinks matters and what we think does not. But real good requires a lot of discerning what good is and doing that and trusting entirely in yourself for you have to decide for yourself what is good for you and others. So God is in opposition to goodness and therefore love. It is in opposition to difference. All are called to become clones of God for he is perfection itself. The view that God has made some people to be good at nursing and others have the talent for teaching does not refute this but actually supports it for all are made weak and are called to be perfect at everything and these talents are only encouraged for when we are weak there is no other option but to zoom in on what we are good at and develop that as a prime concern. Think of it this way. People are asked what they would have on their gravestone for an epitaph. When God comes first and loving him with all your being is the supreme law it follows that the epitaph should be, “She tried to love God”, or, “He did not try to love God.” Whatever is not best is what is wrong. Such a God cannot give meaning to life except by the craftiness of the Church which deludes people to think that they need him and which corrupts their thinking and makes their emotional needs abnormal. They pervert your needs so that you pine for God. We need a world that celebrates diversity not one that tolerates it. God is in opposition to such celebration. Any version of God that is not is just a pile of inconsistency and not a real God.
 
The facts are these. You can’t care without doing good and you can’t do good without caring. The two go together for doing something because it is good and caring mean the same thing. We have to do good because WE see it as good and not because God or the Church tells us to do it. If we do it just because of divine or Church authority commanding it, then we are not very sure that we are doing right. We would be less sure we are doing right than we would be if we saw that the good was good and chose to do it. Therefore you do not need belief in God to justify belief in right and wrong. We are on our own on this one. No authority or God or Church has the right to tell us what to believe in right and wrong for it is up to us to listen and to judge for ourselves. Yet Jesus and the apostles and the Roman Catholic clergy claim authority to tell us what to do.
 
To love the rules that anybody else makes for you is to put that person’s word above the rules. You end up claiming to love goodness supremely though you don’t. You should use your own reason and let goodness speak for itself. Obeying even the rules of God is disobeying goodness. Obeying the rules that religion says are God's is worse than that! It is intending to let religion command rather than God. Love does not exist when you listen to God and not reason alone.
 
We believe that things like stealing and murder are wrong more easily and more strongly than we believe religious assertions that God exists or that God is a Trinity or that the Catholic Church alone has the true revelation of God. The religious beliefs are supposed to come first and we are supposed to believe and practice morality because of them. We are supposed to refrain from theft and homicide because God forbids them and not because they are wrong. We are supposed to make religious belief the strongest. We are supposed to make the religious beliefs the foundation of the other beliefs such as that stealing is wrong. This weakens or attempts to weaken our belief in the morals which is a disgrace and proves that religion should be scrapped (page 557, Reason and Belief). If you believe that theft is wrong then well and good but if you believe because God says it then you don’t see how wrong theft is for you are only interested in God forbidding it. That is what I mean by God weakening your faith in morality. Faith is often weak so religion is the enemy of safety and of morality and right and wrong. Religion is the friend of honeyed hypocrisy.
 
Each one of us wants to see what is good by our own resources and by our own authority. We find it off-putting if somebody tries to impose their idea of right and wrong on us and that includes God. The God belief only puts people off being truly good. Even if we decide we must let God decide for us what is good and what is evil the fact remains that we have still decided what good is namely what God regards as good. We cannot get away from our wish to decide for ourselves independently of God. We want to believe that we know what morality is not God even if we decide we know that God knows what moral is and we should follow him. We wouldn't be doing that unless we thought we knew what morality is namely doing what God wants. The fact that we decide that what God wants is good and we should do this good he wants does not mean we are deciding that we should treat God as if he is making all the decisions for us. After all we have to decide that God is good independently of his authority. Those who say they follow the authority of God are really following their own authority that tells them to treat God as an authority. He is not a real authority. When a Christian says, "Give up this sin for God and not for me", they are lying. What they really mean is, "I wouldn't choose God if he didn't match my needs and thinking. I say I accept his authority. But it is really my own I accept if I am honest. When I obey a boss I really obey my own will for I decide to do what he asks. I am the real boss over me even if I am a doormat . So give up your sin for me."
 
A belief that puts people off moral authority - or should put them off if it doesn't - such as the God belief can hardly be said to be necessary for believing in morality. God botherers are causing a lot of trouble by claiming that belief in God and belief in morality go together and that one is essential to the other. It is like encouraging an athlete to win when you know that she can't win. Its patronising and cynical.
 
Human nature does not need God to justify the theory of right and wrong even if God is the only justification. We are built to do without it. Religion tries to get us to base it on God. All that can do is discourage us and maybe rob us of our whole potential for it is unnatural. It implies too that we must put consciously thinking of the theory first to test ourselves to make sure we are in accord and harmony with it.  The God botherer when lives are to be saved and every second counts will pause anyway to check out his spiritual state. And if the theory is false, it takes away from the goodness of our intentions. What would you think of a person who would not do good unless they were commanded to do it by a person or a principle?
 
The Church advises that we should believe in the morality God reveals to be on the safe side. This is Pascal's argument that we should believe in God and the Catholic religion for if we don't we could end up in Hell forever so it is safer to believe and even if we are wrong we will be virtuous nonetheless. Against that it could be argued, "It is the best and the only safe route to stick to the principles that all people of faith and people of none believe in such as not sexually abusing children etc than to worry about specific religious rules eg, if a woman is going to have sex with her AIDS stricken husband you are expected to encourage her to ask him not to use a condom. That way you are sure of being virtuous". Religion and God then are against real morality and commonsense.
 
If we want to believe in God we must want it for it is best for us or moral and because God gives us standards to live up to. Then, we will believe in God because it is our duty to. If it is true that we need the belief in order to live a good life then clearly it is our duty to believe in God. Those who do not then are evil whether they mean to be or not and should be stopped and silenced.

God's existence is not obvious. The hiding God and his giving of doctrines that are not reasonably certain opens the door for wolves who wish to get the flock to kill in the name of God or faith. If you believe in God you believe in one who kills. Thus you have no right to assume that God has not delegated his right to kill to other people. He may even command members of another faith such as Islam to do it even if it is not the one true faith. If you really believe you should take the most non-judgemental interpretation of another's actions then you can excuse the killers by saying they really believe God told them to do it or that maybe he actually did tell them. Belief in God calls for the violent religionist to be enabled or as good as.

Just because God is believed to be perfect goodness does not mean that it is good for us to believe in God or obey him or to hold that people should obey him.
 
Christians do not consult God or the clergy or their Bible all the time about moral issues. They only consult him in very difficult cases - eg for some abortions and when there is a question of euthanasia being a solution. Otherwise they just do what nature inspires them to do just like atheists do. But that does not stop them stating their superiority morally and otherwise to atheists.
 
You will see Christian mothers who are asked to have an abortion so that they may save their lives and be there for their children. They may refuse believing God does not want them to have an abortion and will look after them. Then they end up dead and their families destroyed and the children turning out anti-social and wallowing in profligacy. Christians know that they can't depend on God to give the right decision. When God is consulted so little in relation to morality it is just badness or irresponsibility when a Christian says you need to believe in God to be moral. Even those that do consult him have little faith but they take a chance. If Christians want morality and belief in God to be co-dependent then they should make that true in their own lives all the time.
 
Christians believe that there is an all-good God and that evil is not a power but a falling short. Its a distorted good or a good that is in the wrong place. When cancer cells grow they are good at growing so that is a good that is in the wrong place. Christians say that to say evil is a power is to say that God must have made evil. It would be a disproof of the existence or the goodness of God. If you accept the argument that evil is not a thing at all then it is possible that cancer is not a real evil. Perhaps it needs to thrive and kill us all off to save us from worse. So you are only able to guess what is good and what is bad. You cannot judge God as good and as having authority unless you have an idea of what good is already in your head. This is really just picking a God that suits what you think and feel. The differences between many religions is about how to determine what religion or scripture speaks with God's authority. So there is nothing you can do. You just pick your moral codes and invent a God for yourself that implements them. To say that morality depends on belief in God or in a God commanding us to believe that x is bad and y is good is really to say that we should treat human thinking and human authority as God.
 
Some say that the believer says that what is out there and our human lives are ultimately worthwhile and there is a purpose and that purpose is God. They will say that the unbeliever holds that all that exists including our human lives is ultimately purposeless. If that is true then unbelievers are demeaning human nature and trying to prise people away from true happiness. The reply is that we can believe in an ultimate purpose without that purpose being God. Also, to say we need belief in God to have ultimate purpose is admitting that we can feel that there is ultimate purpose even if there is not. Believing in God doesn't prove God is there. If we can create a belief to help ourselves then why should the belief necessarily be belief in God? We live our lives from day to day and don't have the luxury of worrying about ultimate purposes.
 
If you believe in God, you will believe that your secret bad thoughts and bad feelings about people that you deliberately consent to are offending him. If you are an atheist, it becomes your own business not God's. Belief in God inflicts the burden of thinking there is that wonderful God there for you to offend a lot of the time. It will encourage you to hurt people when you are hurting God anyway.
 
God must know he is God. If he does not, then he should not be called God. He is not supreme or all-wise and so on. But God could be hallucinating that he is God. Some insane people are convinced they are divine. It is impossible for God to be 100% certain. He is certain that he exists but not that he is God. This gives us the right on earth to defy him if we sincerely think he is wrong. So in that case, why not think for yourself? Why bother with a God? Why call any being God? And why bother with religion with all the distress and fear it causes? The concept of God implies that you have a duty to obey him and that you don't have the right to think what you like. If he is God then you have to obey him without question for he knows all and you do not. Then you cannot have freedom of conscience. You are his property. You must only use your faculties as he wants you to. His rights come first.
 
Are we to ask a sincere person to do what God wants if he thinks God is wrong?
 
Religion has to say YES. It has to say God is right to be so sure that he is God even though he cannot be that sure! Faith in God is evil. It calls on you to say God tells the truth when he plainly lies.
 
Some say that if a person disagrees with God then God has to be doing with it. He cannot change the person's mind for they have free will. Thus they say that the person has the right of freedom of conscience for nothing can be done about it. If a policeman cannot stop a burglar from murdering does that give the burglar the right to murder? No. When even God cannot make that person's decision for them, that does not imply they have a right to make their own choice. He has the right to command implying that he has the right to be obeyed. Command implies the right to urge a person to do something or else. For example, in a career, you will be fired if you refuse to obey commands. The threat of being fired is an attempt to pressure you to obey. Commands imply the right to force - at least up to a point. If John commands you to eat your breakfast and you want to, you only seem to obey. You didn't eat the breakfast to obey him but because you wanted to. This is not real obedience. It only looks like it on the outside. Real obedience involves self-denial all the time. It condemns doing what you want to do. The concept of God implies that everybody should be unhappy.
 
The thought that God makes all things implies that if I go out now and murder ten people then God is the bearer of the responsibility not me. He creates the powers that tempt me. He creates the free will I use to go and murder. Correct Christian doctrine teaches that we never do evil in spite of God but because of him. The concept of God is dehumanising if you accept that any doctrine denying human responsibility is degrading. Am I to blame for the murders? Not as much as he is. Most people, when they understand, will surmise that the idea of God is degrading. If it is, and people are encouraged by religion to degrade themselves then they will take out their anger and frustrations on other people- gay people in particular.
 
If you feel you are letting down a wonderful God who is your father and who died on a cross for your sins and who matters more than your wife or children or parents you are acclimatising yourself to mammoth betrayal. You will find it easier to betray people then. You will reason, "Why not do this? I am used to betraying my God and thereby being ultra-bad."
 
People need God because they think they are unloveable and so they need a God who loves unconditionally to believe in. Unconditional love is only a comfort to the kind of person who doesn't want to earn love but who wishes to be a leech. This love appeals to the person who wants to be helped without deserving it and who doesn't care if God trusts him or her or not. Religion exploits believers.
 
 
Handbook of Christian Apologetics, Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli, Monarch Publications, East Sussex, 1995
The Future of Atheism, Alister McGrath and Daniel Dennett, Robert B Stewart, SPCK, London , 2008
Ethics: The Fundamentals, Julia Driver, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, 2007