11 November 2009

Is Yahweh moral?

No, definitely.

But the broader question is "Does religion provide morality?" Unfortunately, the answer is also no.

One frequent defense made on behalf of religion and theism is the claim that they are necessary for morality. This claim takes a variety of forms: people wouldn't behave morally if it weren't for religion or fear of gods, some god or gods are the authors of morality so we can't be moral without following their commands, religion and gods provide reasons to be moral, the absence of religion or gods encourages immorality, a moral person is simply assumed to be religious, and so forth. [source]

Austin Cline makes it very clear here: One example would be all the killings which the Jewish god orders throughout the Old Testament — pretty standard stuff for that time period, but not exactly appropriate for a perfectly good and just deity. Another example would be the very principle of salvation behind Christianity: people who deserve some sort of punishment are let off the hook by punishing a completely innocent individual, and if people don't accept this then they are destined for an eternity of torment regardless of the scope or seriousness of their misdeeds. Neither side of that equation is the least bit moral.

The saddest things are actually that the society is allowing the stupid parents denying necessary medication on the basis of religious faith, and that the society is tolerating such stupidity to further propagate to the young unprepared minds. While I respect people's right to be stupid, I do hope we have advanced to a stage that we know what is real and what is imaginary.

When will this stop?

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