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!

 

Is Morality a Person: God?
 
Many say yes! They say you cannot understand morality correctly or why something moral is moral unless you accept the existence of God. Take justice. If justice is not real then it is unfair to say it is real. So you are saying justice exists after all! So justice is a fact. A fact is something that just is true and not even God can make a non-fact a fact or a fact a non-fact or make a fact a fact. It is the believers who fail to understand morality not the unbelievers.

 

Believers cannot tell you if they see God as just a celestial policeman. It shows he wants to catch you out and they want you to be caught out. It is discouraging and takes the joy out of living. Instead of God just observing you he is keeping an eye on what you are doing. The moral argument is just a scam for hiding this policeman God behind a religious and philosophical disguise.
 
No duty to principle but only to persons?
 
If morality is abstract and fixed by no one or nothing but is a default then even a God cannot change it. He cannot make it right to sexually abuse babies.  This abstract rule that nobody made and nobody can make for it needs no maker any more than somebody needs to make a rule, "Nobody can lift a rock that is too heavy for them to lift" is the strongest and completest support for morality.  Nothing can dismantle it.  Trying to support morality with something is is immoral and trying to weaken morality.  Even if it were not clear that morality is a default we need it to be one and maybe say, "We don't know how it is a default but it is."  We don't always have to understand why a default is a default.

 

 Why do people want morality to be a person and not this abstract absolute?


Is it because they hate it and it seems less painful to drop the morality and replace it with a replica? If morality is not God then the person who says it is God is making a replica. It will bark and act like a dog but not be the dog. Why would you do that for it does not lessen the demands?

 

Morality must be easier to follow if you think it is a person and not abstract principles. But the problem is morality can never be a person and a morality that is based on fundamental misunderstanding defies the moral rule: truth and justice are inseparable. And the rule, there is no such thing as a perfect copy of justice. A copy of justice is not justice. It would be manipulative and cruel to know this and endorse the copy. Only a real servant of justice has the right to punish criminals.

Christians say you cannot have moral obligations or moral duties to principles or ideas. You have them to persons and persons only. Persons have intrinsic value. The believers say that morality resides in a person, God. Why? Because morality is about what you are meant for, your purpose. Only persons have purposes. But why God or why just God? If morality is about persons then you do not need God. Most of our morals affect one another on earth and not God. The choice of God as what enables morality to exist and have value is arbitrary.

 

Why do they say it is a default that you can only have a moral obligation to moral principles if a God is those principles? 


Notice that the argument has a hidden assumption. The person is morality. Morality is not just about what a person does but what a person becomes.

But if that is true you cannot really have such an obligation to what is merely perceived or sensed to be a person. If you do, you do not have a full moral obligation. You have only a duty when you are able to show that what you have a duty to is a person. It has to be easy and simple to do it. You have to be able to show God is a person in the same way that you can show the president is a person.
 
It is obvious that religion cannot do that. But that does not stop it boasting that it represents this God who is the representative and personification of moral values and morality.
 
If you think the king is drugged, that puts a limit on how much obedience you can give him. You have an obligation to him but not a complete or full one. Yet religion orders you to make God to be your only real concern and says your only ambition must be to be part of his will and do his will.
 
There is something "bigger than us" about rules
 
A rule about anything is always above the thing and beyond it. The rules about maths are bigger than any calculation you do. The rules of music seem to rule music. They won’t let you use a table as you would a piano. You cannot play Mozart by playing a Britney Spear’s tune. Rules transcend whatever they are applicable to. The thing has to fit the rules – it is not the rules that must fit the thing. Cricket rules always are above and beyond the players.

Religion argues that moral rules are above and beyond us. They rule us and transcend us. Thus religion says that morality proves God for it can come from God alone.

That is nonsense. Man and human tastes have a say in the laws of music. We create the laws so they are both over us and not over us. Believers think that just because rules are bigger than us that they have to come from a being bigger than us. But if the being just needs to be bigger than us that does not mean it necessarily has to be God. Anything a little bigger than us would do.

And what has the being being stronger than us have to do with it? If there is nothing higher than us that is not our fault and thus we ground morality and do not need to imagine there is a bigger being.

The notion that rules are bigger than us easily leads to the mistake that rules must come from a God who ranks above us in glory and wisdom and authority. But it is a mistake.
 
The something bigger argument certainly shows that a morality that is a person is not a morality but a person.
 
Rules and values are not the same
 
Moral values and moral rules are not the same thing.
 
The difference is in how say kindness is a moral value and there could be a moral law saying you must give something to the poor every day. The value is more important than the rule and is really what the rule is about. The rule is about how to apply the moral value but it is not the moral value.
 
God could be moral values but not moral rules. He might let us decide what the rules should be. Or he could see that killing x will somehow save lives so he might command you to kill. He knows best for he sees all. If you want to argue that your rules come from God then you are going to have to say that God spoke to you and told you what the rules were. The concept of God by itself is not enough. You need revelation.
 
But God is Life?
 
Some argue that life implies morality and as God is alive then he is morality in that sense.
 
If God exists then God is life. God is alive. Life then is God's most important trait. If we should respect God then we are really respecting life. If there is no God, life still exists. Our values come from wanting to respect life, to live life and to make life happy. We don't need God. Even when people appeal to God to invent their morality the humanism of respecting life is still driving them.
 
Does our Moral Nature indicate that God is Morality?
 
The notion that we are moral beings and that suggests that a moral God might have made us that way is interesting. It seems to put a lot of faith and reverence towards our pathetic moral leanings.  Our attempts to be fair always fall short - we do not really know how to administer justice to the wicked.  We are corrupt and deceitful and we are asked to see our flawed morals as a reflection of a moral God?
 
If God is real to you, you see him as moral and aspire to that. You do not start with your "morals" and try to see a pointer to God in them. That is the cart before the horse and arrogant. If you love your child you will not love him just because you see you in him but you will love him for being him.
 
The believers say that if morality or good and evil have nothing to do with God then it wouldn't account for our becoming morally responsible beings if we just had naturalistic and non-divine causes. But why should this be a problem? We don't have answers to lots of questions. Plus if we really need to believe that God is morality and God invents it then we are only hypocrites and not morally responsible beings. God only makes the problem worse. He is not an answer but a contrivance.
 
Why God's Character?
 
Morality is said to be grounded in God’s character. Why his? Is it because God’s character is perfect? But the perfection should not matter. If God were imperfect then what standard says that?
 
What if hypothetically God’s character was not perfect but falling short of an ideal? It would be odd to say it is grounded in God’s character just because it is perfect for what does perfect have to do with it? Why can’t our character that strives for an ideal and often falls short not do?
 
It gets personal all right!
 
Religion often says kindness is good and God is kind and God cannot help that for he does not invent moral values. Thus the standard of kindness is not created by God. Kindness is independent of God and it is by chance that God is kind. So kindness and God are distinct and separate - kindness does not need God to validate it. At this point Christians just say out of thin air that it does for kindness needs to be a person, it needs to be God, to be taken seriously. To deny that kindness is independent after saying it is really amounts to saying, "We need to invent morality by saying morality and God are somehow the same". That is saying morality is an invention. It is worse than saying God invents morality for we are say we are inventing morality and calling it God. 
 
If anybody says that you need to believe in God to believe in morality, they mean they are inventing morality. They are bad enough but those who invent morality and call it God - they do it the other way around - are far more controlling and manipulative.
 
Morality - all about your relationship with God?
 
If God exists and wants a relationship with us then he is the only God worth considering for devotion and service. But the trouble is God to believers is more than a being but also the embodiment of moral principles. What if a Catholic adores a God who wants Muslims murdered in the name of love saying that God uses harm to bring good out of it and as evil exists anyway and thrives we have to use it for his plan?  If you want a doctrine that is going to protect life this is not it.  If you try to use it for protecting life others will see that you are only guessing and will use it for doctrines that endanger life.

 

The notion of God being objective morality supposedly tells us to have a relationship with him. The objective morality stuff has relationships at its core. God then stands for the objective morality of relationships with God.
 
If morality is a person then it is about our relationship with God.
 
God by definition should be the ultimate value. So ultimately all we have is one relationship and that is with God. If that is not possible then there is no God.
 
If you want to believe in God your first task is to show how God relates to love and is good to have a relationship with. That task can be a gigantic problem. The person who does not admit the problem or make the problem of supreme importance and attempt to concentrate on it before doing anything else is doing evil. Yet many prefer to put it down the pecking order and go ahead and try to prove the existence of God or to show that there are reasonable grounds for believing in God. You need to prove that Hitler is good before you can tell people they have a duty to believe in his authority. We do not want to be promoting a belief in God for it to turn out that it demands the divine command theory - that God can make child abuse holy by simply ordering us to abuse children. Many a Christian paedophile was consoled by the vile doctrine or by the suspicion that it is Christian doctrine.
 
If there really is a creator it is not as important in terms of a being to have a relationship with as it is in terms of a being that made us. It is more important to exist than to be loved or love because love is not possible without existence. So if there is a creator then it is not about relationships first and foremost for that is logically impossible.


If your being made matters more than your being made for God then the doctrine that God is fundamentally and principally about relationship is false. It makes the relationship the next step not the only step. It is not even the first step.
 
And the notion of a God representing an objective morality that commands you to have a relationship with him is nonsense. Relationships happen - they are not commanded.
 
Is morality all about devotion to God? If morality is God and God is morality and God alone matters or comes first then it is not about the harm you prevent or the good you do but about the spirit of devotion to God you express with it. So it is not letting others die that is objectively wrong. It is not saving others that is objectively right. What matters is how it connects you to God. You must hesitate before helping the child whose life needs saving to make sure you are focusing on the spiritual. If the child is dead by the time you sort it, then big deal! If anything is wrong then it is your attitude. The spirit you do it in matters more than what you do.
 
The hiding God
 
If belief in moral value goes with belief in God then the following will make for interesting reading. God in some sense is considered by believers to be in some sense the virtues of compassion and love and kindness and justice etc that he wants us to have. If so then the more proof that he exists the better. To hide himself would be to hide virtue and to want us to fall more into vice. The more hiding God does the less sure we must be of our moral values being correct. And if morality is a person and that person is God then it follows that if he hides too much a real relationship is impossible. Morality will suffer. Given the human tendency to love how people are perceived instead of what they are it is only going to lead to people worshipping a mental image of God not God. No decent God would want such a state of affairs.
 
If you need God in order to accept objective morality, then God is not helping by hiding. He is leaving us at huge risk of basing objective morality not on him but on a version of him that we have created for ourselves in our heads. That is us basing objective morality on ourselves.
 
So we conclude that as Christians claim that God is the reason morality is real and objective and binding God has no right to hide. It only makes us less sure that kindness to a baby really is objectively good. By praising the hiding God, Christians only prove their own hypocrisy.

 

A God of the Gap?

 

If you believe morality has no foundation unless there is a God you are creating a God of the Gap. He is just there to fill a vacuum that is there or that you think is there.

 

Christians use God to explain the start of the universe, how the universe continues to exist, how evil is really a blessing when the full picture is completed, how morality can be justified. But which of these gaps is the most important to them? It will be the morality one. They admit that. They argue that God is to be promoted for the sake of having a relationship with him and not just as a theory or doctrine or explanation for the universe.  God being love means that it is more important to know that than to think or know he created all things. It is the essential if there is a choice.

 

The Christians usually say that the question "Why is there something rather than nothing?  The answer is God" is the only one that matters but they don't really think that at all.  The question does not look so good when you realise that the God of the Morality gap is the real question and makes no sense.

 

Inherently evil or not?

 

In medieval times, the Church worried about how our sins did not recognise the dignity of God.  Even though it opposed harming people (at least in some things!), the harm was not its problem with sin.  St Anselm thought that the worst thing about sin is the insult it offers to God’s dignity and not any inherent evil in the sin. If you steal it does not matter at all that you violated a person’s rights and took what does not belong to you. What matters is how you are to be like God and failed for you are insulting how great and wonderful he is.

 

Some Christians might respond that the sin is an affront to God’s dignity BECAUSE it is inherently evil.  But if it is inherently evil it is inherently evil even if there is no God.  It would be wrong to say it is inherently evil but also inherently evil because it insults God.  You would need to prove that it is inherently bad for that reason too which would mean you need to prove God.  Innocent until proven guilty.  If you make something more inherently evil than it is that is a form of bullying and you actually become inherently evil yourself!

 

If the harm done by sin is not a concern for God but his dignity is then he is not worth worshipping.

 

We know that we are all the same and what helps us be the same is believing we are the same.  That is why you are a danger to the happiness of others if you do not care about your own happiness.  Its not only an education in how to hurt but when you are toxic towards yourself you will be toxic towards others and if you ask them to put up with you that is not right either.  Fix yourself and go and be good to them.  You cannot love others except in so far as  you love yourself.  Christianity says you must love God with all your heart and only please your neighbour to keep God happy. That is psychologically damaging.  It needs to be about people for their own sake and about you for your own sake.
 
The brute fact
 
Objective morality just is. It does not need to be created. It can’t be created. Why? Because to say there is no objective morality is an objectively moral statement. To say that maths is all nonsense is to make a mathematical statement. 1+1=anything. Religion admits that it does not need a creator but it says the reason is that God was not created and God is objective morality.

Imagine it is possible for objective morality to be freely created. Imagine it is not good to feed a baby unless objective morality is brought into existence. Christianity says that morality and love are worthless unless freely chosen. Do you see now how extreme and mean spirited that religion is underneath the good deeds?
 
Instinct
 
Believers in God and atheists both react by instinct when somebody suffers needlessly. Their instinct tells them to try to fix the problem. The believer in God pretends it is about God. The unbeliever admits it is instinct.
 
The believer who admits the role of instinct still claims that he does it because God commands it. But that means morality is not all about God at all. Surely it could work just fine then without him?

 

Proof/evidence

 

Concern for evidence and proof go with justice.  Period.  Yet there are those who say that God somehow is love and justice and then say it does not matter if he cannot be proved or reasonably validated.  They need to make up their minds. They are really saying love and justice cannot be proved either or matter more than God for they can be proven true and he cannot. A God who is justice who proves justice to us but not himself is a strange odd God. Those who say proof or good evidence for God does not matter are just trotting out an excuse for why there is no evidence or proof. And in the process they make a laughing stock of morality. The fact that Christianity has big standards that few live up if anybody could be explained by saying the religion is not the friend of morality it thinks it is. 

 

Real goodness is not about being pressured by an obligation moral or otherwise. It is spontaneous.  Is it good to help a baby because you believe its a moral rule?  No.  It is better to just help the baby without caring about a rule. Goodness is passive in that sense.

 

There cannot be an obligation to be obligated. If a law obligates you it does not need another law to make it obligate you.  Morality is about controlling people but not changing their hearts.  A God who is justice and love then is a violation of our dignity.


Finally

The Bible says that God is love but though God is somehow abstract love he is more than that as well.  You cannot use the doctrine to argue that anybody that loves is in touch with God.  There are no grounds for redefining God as just love.  God in the Bible is not an attribute but a personal being who has attributes.

The notion that there is no genuine belief in morality unless you believe it is a person, God, actually contradicts the notion that moral principles are about persons.  Maths can be made about us.  But it does not follow that you have to believe maths is a person.  In fact believing that would only make maths look ridiculous.  So it is with this morality that is God.

Fusing God and morality is just a crafty underhand way of saying that there is nothing morally wrong with anything that God might do when God thorougly approves of what he does.  So God's approval is what makes something right in moral terms.

Morality puts obedience before love.  Even it commands love it follows that the faculty to command matters more than love.  Commanding is better than love for it makes love matter and promotes love.  Obedience to God is seen as more important than love for God.  In that light, the notion of morality being God is far from endearing. It masks the notion that morality is not real and thus needs a God to make it real.  It masks the insane notion that morality is not something that is right even if God thinks it is wrong.  Only God makes it right.

How important then is obedience to God and the loving of God? It is more important. But by how much? 99%? 1%?  If there is no love unless it is commanded and made a moral law and love is good then it could be that obedience is 99%.  We have to assume it is.  It is the safer choice.  If God is love then God is commander before he is love so to love God means to love his being commander more than anything. So it seems we don't need to assume.  If God exists then obedience is 99 and love is 1.

Why is it not enough for people that goodness exists and simply cannot not exist? Even if there were nothing at all it would be good that there is nobody around to suffer.  Why do they want goodness to be a God? Is it because they think he can change goodness for them?  Even if they settle into a model of moral goodness is it because they think it is not definite?  A moral code being changeable does not mean you really want it to change and you can be happy that you can change it if you want even if you never will.  It is still made to be about pleasing you in that sense as opposed to being truly good.  People fear facts for they cannot be changed no matter what.  Their egos love the thought that they have embraced God's morals that God has invented and it makes them feel they have power even over morality for they are complicit with God.  If you create the law that kindness is good you are selfish for you are following your idol.  But if kindness is right and law no matter what you are anybody else thinks you have to comply and it feels like bondage. Then being kind is a true sacrifice and can be done with respect for virtue.

Morality, according to some, feels like it came from someone not something.  But that is only a feeling.  A computer making laws for us and judging us would do just fine.  You cannot build morality on the shifting sand of a mere feeling that may not be there tomorrow.  Trying to make morality out to be God the person is doomed to failure. It does not work and is of no practical use. It does not save believers from arbitrary moral rules. It creates harm and adores harmful principles and hypocrisy.