Bad Reasons to Believe in God: Morality

It is quite often argued by proponents of the the Abrahamic faiths that god, whichever god it is, is the ultimate and inviolate source of humanity and that somehow the existence of our conscience, our guilt when we do bad things, is evidence for this god.

Needless to say there are problems with this.

  1. The god described in their holy books is a capricious, violent, hypocritical fuckwit of the first order. Dawkins puts it more poetically but you can find his description for yourselves. Suffice to say if you’re looking for a perfect moral guide a mass-murdering torturer and engineer of genocide isn’t a safe bet.
  2. Morality does change, it’s subjective. One can see that even through the books. Christians would even argue themselves that the New Testament overrides the old (even though it explicitly says it doesn’t) but to argue that moral systems can change is to argue that god is not all knowing or perfect since otherwise he’d have gotten it right first time. Different cultures, different times, different morals. This is particularly difficult for Muslims since Mohammed was, by any remotely modern standard, a kiddie fiddler. Try asking them if screwing children is wrong and, well… see what happens. Morality is also situational, stealing to feed a starving child would – for example – be considered good.
  3. Our conscience can enforce any moral system with which we’re ‘programmed’. While certain very broad and general moral rules seem to apply across humanity these are extremely basic and can be accounted for through evolutionary psychology and our existence as a social species (altruism good, selfishness bad). Whatever morality you’re brought up into, otherwise, will determine what you feel good, bad or indifferent about.

Summary: Offensive and ignorant, as well as being bollocks.


4 responses to “Bad Reasons to Believe in God: Morality

  1. I do agree that morality is not dependent on a belief in god and it is also subjective, something I’ve argued about in my posts.
    Your example of stealing to feed a child is, in my opinion, not a good one since it raises the question of the rights of the person stolen from,but that’s besides the point. 🙂
    I only seek to raise the point that evolutionary thinking posits that every action is inherently selfish, and what we see as altruism has a selfish kernel at its heart. A wholly altruistic action, if it harms the individual performing it, has a negative effect on survival and would not survive in the evolutionary struggle.
    Even whatever ‘basic’ moral rules seem to apply to humanity are what we work out and develop for our mutual benefit.

  2. Pingback: Bad Reasons to Believe in God « American Atheism

  3. Pingback: Bad Reasons to Believe in God | All American Atheist

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