Atheist indisputably hold the moral high ground.
I have seen many debates where theist ask some question like “How can you have morals without God?”
The atheist then responds something like “many cultures have existed without the knowledge of your god, so where did their morals come from?” Or “How do you know that your god is the basis for morality and that it doesn’t come from man?” Perhaps there are better retorts available but in general these have struck me as inadequate, unconvincing, defensive and frankly cheesy.
This is not what peeves me. And I am peeved. There is absolutely no reason we should be defending our morality as atheist. The idea is simply absurd in my thinking. We must not defend our morality but rather turn the tables completely so that no rational theist would consider bringing up the subject of morality ever again. It is not even adequate to say we are morally superior as I shall prove, but first I must set it up with good moral beliefs of theist.
This is a very short random list of theist beliefs that are considered moral according to their beliefs. A full list would require volumes if every religion was taken into consideration.
1) It is ok to murder people that don’t believe the same things you do.
2) A adult man should take a pre-pubescent little girl as a wife(in this context “take” means intercourse
3) Errant children should be stoned to death
4) One should be killed for helping another human being in duress on the Sabbat(that’s work)
5) Infants genitalia should be mutilated for god.(ancient rabbis commonly did this to male children with their mouths and teeth)
6) Its ok to rape women
7) Women that have been raped should be murdered(it’s their fault)
8) Homosexuals, transgender, etc. should be murdered
9) The first born of every womb (including human babies) should be burned to a crisp to please god
10) Genocide is good
11) Torture to illicit confessions is good to go
12) Shall I continue
Of course all theist don’t agree with all these things (take into account what I haven’t listed). Some theist will agree with some of these things all of the time, it is part of their religion.
Here’s the real kicker. As atheist we agree all of these things are wrong all of the time. Most theist will agree with us most of the time on these immoral values from Gods.
We as atheist always are in the moral majority. We always hold the moral high ground no matter what the theist immoral belief. In other words we are always right according to most people theist or not. They actually agree with our moral values with the exception of when it conflicts with their immoral theistic beliefs!
If a theist ever brings up morality to me I will respond as follows.
Atheist hold the high bar of morality. We reject all theist immoral beliefs. Many of us are atheist because we could not accept theist immoral beliefs.
If we were to integrate theistic moral beliefs we would have to actually lower the bar to accommodate for them.
Slavery is acceptable…..lower the bar.
It’s ok to beat slaves or children….lower the bar.
Women are inferior and should be subjected to men….lower the bar.
If we actually accommodated ourselves to religion we would end up morally bankrupt. I can think of no immoral behavior that has not been deemed acceptable just to Christian theist at one time or another. That does not include other religions.
What then do we have to defend? Atheist moral standards as I have proven are not only immeasurably above, but the complete opposite of immoral theistic beliefs. We simply believe in what is the best for human kind. That which is the most humane. We reject that what is harmful to man.
It is therefore incumbent upon theist to re-evaluate their beliefs and measure their immorality against the standard of Atheist/secular humanist.
Good essay with many points well taken. Rather than come up with ideas on my own as to how we can raise the morality bar I'm going to give real examples of theist thinking and "people worth" from the viewpoint of a lifelong theist friend of mine. I believe that human life is worth something on a personal level. Apparently my friend does not.
Katie died recently and it doesn't phase my friend even though she was once his daughter in law. Katie has 2 daughters who used to be favorites of my friend, but now they have gotten away from church, god, and probably chosen the wrong boyfriend. I haven't kept track of the girls but maybe they even married the wrong man. If so, and they have children, it's a shame that we cannot "send them back." He has nothing good to say about Katie, but my daughter and her were friends even though they were once married to the same man.
My theist friend is so happy that god has finally given him the right woman. He was married before and his wife was supposed to be the right woman, but god could not make up his mind apparently. That first time around produced 2 children but my friend doesn't care if their mother is dead or alive. He calls her the "green witch" from the Wizard of Oz movie. I'm sure this is known to his now grown children and most likely helps keep them from his god and church beliefs but my friend maybe cannot figure it out. Why won't they submit and surrender to god. (Maybe my friend is the god.)
He claims he talks to god and Jesus every day and that I am terribly wrong for becoming atheist. Someday I will wake up in the wrong place, he says. He cannot understand why I'm still friendly with my own wife who wants a divorce and a lot of money that I do not have. Apparently I should hate. Apparently there is a righteous hate. More apparently you should seek out the support of others who hate like you do and you can verify it all by your holy book.
My take on it all is that you carry your mythology around with you daily and live it to the fullest because you never know when you might go to sleep and not wake up. It helps you fight the fear of death. If you are in the "right place" you might just wake up in paradise. Always remember that the here and now is not real. It's what happens to you after you die that is important and you should live this life working towards that goal.
It's all part of the religious crock.
Funny that life isn't worth living once your dead??
Tom, that idea is followed closely by Evangelicals and all religion in general. They are all death cults because they prepare you for a life after you die. Nothing else is important.
Except filling their wallets and church coffers!
Tom, Michael, you are both right. This is perhaps why I am so active as an Atheist. That was exactly what I was taught and believed as a Methodist. All that mattered in life was how I served God. This short life is nothing compared to an eternity in FICTIONAL heaven or hell. I was being brainwashed by good people who wanted to do good hat were also brainwashed. It is so much better to accept death, live a good life helping other human beings in a real way. I actually have a real purpose and a REAL fulfilling life now. They loved to quote "the truth will set you free" well it did.
I have just a small qualm of what you have said. Most of the Catholics I know want as much as they can get on this planet and then get even more in "heaven". Other than that I concur that Catholicism is a cult. I would also add that Baptist, Lutheran, Missouri and Wisconsin synod, and some of the other types of it are also a cult.
Gary you are absolutely correct. I really hate to use the term cult as in modern usage it is misunderstood even by the dictionary definitions. Usually a cult is used in modern language as a strange or unusual set of beliefs. In a more historical context it is usually used in a context of a separation of what is considered Orothodox. Orothodox is usually considered to be what is generally accepted. In this more historical sense Christianity is simply a "cult" of Judaism. Over time as the religion grew it was indeed considered Orothodox and any deviation from what became the Catholic ( or whole, inclusive or universal) belief is actually by definition a cult. This includes all Protestant beliefs or variances there of. So in essence Catholicism is a cult of Judaism and all other Christian beliefs are a cult of Catholicism.
Think of it in an evolutionary since. My best understanding of evolution actually came from an understanding of Christian history. I was not a monkey or Jew my religion (Methodist) was a descendant of many branches of decent from Judaism. Yet I am still a descendant of a common ancestor of the branch that became apes. I am an ape. An atheist ape!
A cult is a religion that doesn't pay taxes on their real estate.