Sunday, November 28, 2010

Silly Christian Morals

In a blog last week I wrote that "modern adults realize that Christian 'morals' are a bit silly." Those are strong words. I should have realized that this would offend many people, and I started to think maybe I should retract it.

But on reflection, I can't retract it. I know it's offensive to Christians (and Jews and Muslims, because I'll add them to the mix), but I stand by this assertion. What I will do is amplify so that it's clear exactly what I mean.

Christians are for the most part a moral group. But their morals can be divided into two parts: The morals that all people share, and the morals that are uniquely Christian.

The morals that Christians share with all civilized people are not silly. Be faithful to your mate. Don't murder. Follow the golden rule. Don't steal. Protect children. Honor our parents. These are good morals that all civilized people share. But these are not Christian morals. They are human morals that arise from nature. Jewish, Christian and Muslim authors merely incorporated these into their holy scriptures thousands of years ago. This isn't unique; every civilization does this. Christians can't make some claim to exclusivity on these universal morals. (See Atheism IS Where Morality Originates.)

What about "Christian morals," the ones that are unique to the Christian faith?

How about "no sex before marriage"? The idea that adults should wait until marriage to have sex is truly silly. Maybe it made sense when people married at age 15 and there was no birth control or condoms. But with young adults delaying marriage until age 25 to 35, it's just silly and unrealistic. It forces sexually mature adults to suppress the healthy urges of a vigorous body, and leaves them inexperienced and ignorant when they do marry.

And what about homosexuality? There is no rational reason to be biased against gays and lesbians, or to even care how, why or with whom they conduct their love lives. Yet California's Proposition 8 that would have given same-sex partners the same rights as everyone else was defeated entirely through the efforts of Christians and Mormons (yes, I know Mormons consider themselves Christians). That's not just silly, it's immoral.

What about the idea that some guy here on Earth can excommunicate you from his church, and God will actually kick you out of heaven. If anything deserves the word "silly," that's got to be it. But many Catholics actually believe that God, the creator of the entire universe, has given His authority to some old guy in Rome and permits the Pope to condemn people to eternal, horrifying, sadistic torture in God's name. And many other Christian denominations have similar rules. If that's not silly, I don't know what is.

How about the notion that only your church is the one that God favors? That if your parents happen to take you to an Episcopalian Church instead of a Southern Baptist church, you'll burn in Hell for all of eternity? That is the official belief of many churches, and it's silly.

One of my favorite bits of moral silliness is how some Christians and Jews pick and choose the morals that they like. They quote Leviticus 18:22 about homosexuality, but they leave out all the parts of Leviticus they don't like, like how it's OK to sell your daughter into slavery, and how you must cast out any man who has sex with a woman during her period. That's silly.

Calling Christian morals "silly" is not harsh at all. I'm just calling a spade a spade. But I should have been more specific: I only meant the uniquely-Christian morals. I admire Christians who follow humanist morals. It's what makes this planet a decent place.

Here's a great clip from The West Wing that says it well. The relevant part starts at the one-minute mark.



22 comments:

  1. What do you want, you little f*ckers?

    more of these idiots

    youtube.com/watch?v=q4C5yzFmC80


    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_prizes_for_evidence_of_the_paranormal

    HOW NOSTRADAMUS WON ALL THE PARANORMAL PRIZES!

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nostradamus


    pz myers does not exist…
    _______________

    richarddawkins.net/discussions/543672-inhertitance-of-acquired-behaviour-adaptions-and-brain-gene-expression-in-chickens

    atheists, we’re gonna cut off your heads…

    THE HIGH PRICE OF REVOLUTION

    youtube.com/user/zozviolate

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  2. ok, not blunt, but i mostly disagree but most of these issues cant be properly argued. of course atheist will dismiss per marriage sex as nothing physically wrong, but we believe that a sex filled life with multiple people will turn you away from God but this will mean nothing to most of you here. also, i don't know if this is statistically correct, but i would assume that people who had sex with someone before there spouse will be more likely to cheat.

    but i have legit issues with some of the stuff you said. being excommunicated does NOT mean you will go to hell. the Pope does not have the power to condemn people to hell, only God does and its not as simple as masturbating once then being condemned; it doesn't work like that, and "realistically" the only way to go to hell is to be a satanist. also, we don't believe that people of different faiths will go to hell. its silly to assume this of us. we believe that if what you think your doing is right and you follow your idea of morality, then God will grant you heaven because God knows what your doing what you feel is right. for example, even though your an atheist, you believe what your doing is right, you follow your morals (more or less), you see the science and you believe its irrefutable facts.

    but please don't put words in our mouths, and its clear you don't know what we believe

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  3. A very good post. Just some clarification that is worthy of pointing out is that Proposition 8 was a proposition supported by Christian and Mormon groups to ban gay marriage and it passed. It has since been ruled unconstitutional and is making its way through the courts.

    Keep up the clear minded writing.

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  4. You're severely misguided in Christian beliefs.
    Homosexuality: Romans 1:26-27 - "...Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion." (NIV) "ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23
    God loves us all...

    Premarital sex: Sex is sacred. It's only meant to be shared between husband and wife - it's a lifelong bond. It's sad that anyone would lower it to "healthy urges of a vigorous body".. Burping and farting could be considered healthy urges of a vigorous body too I suppose??? Besides, you don't have to be a Christian to want to abstain from whoring yourself around and increasing your chances of contracting an STD due to the lack of self control to satisfy your "healthy urges"...

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  5. ^^ to add to that, would it be a "health urge" for someone to be attracted only through rape, or someone who is attracted to corpses.

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  6. Excellent post. I have a couple of things to add.

    From the readings I did once upon a time, monogamy and the oppression of women came about in a time when property rights were exceptionally important. It is obvious who the mother of a baby is, but the father...? Well, monogamy was invented to deal with such an issue, and to prevent women from going out and confusing paternity they were locked in their houses. This did not originate with Judeo-Christian religions but they certainly took advantage of the system by taking it one step further and saying how extramarital sex and nonmanogamy is sinful.

    It is absurd for anyone to say that denying one's body brings you closer to the holy. Even the original Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, experienced sex for years as a means to gain wisdom about the world and reach enlightenment.

    Sex is just as natural a process as burping and farting. We as a society disapprove of it because we have unnaturally distanced ourselves from our biology (and we are the descendants of some incredibly repressed people). Some distance is healthy because of sanitary reasons, but we are biology. Real biology, not the mishmash of falsehoods and cherry picked data that creationists like to quote.

    Sex is the strongest evolutionary drive. It outweighs eating, sleeping, shelter, and all of the comforts of our modern living. There are certain animals that don't have mouths and don't excrete because they have no time for eating before they die. All they have time for is sex. The amount of time and attention devoted to finding a mate is a direct indication of how important it is. It's not just society. It's biology.

    You are taking the rape and necrophilia suggestions to an absurd and rather sick extreme. No one here will argue that rape and necrophilia are unhealthy. Implying that the author meant this is not helping your case in the slightest.

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  7. Ahh, christians... Yes, you, bible-quoting anonymous, yes, you, Isaac... It's no wonder christian and cretin are the same word.

    @ Isaac: Your definition of the word "healthy" is stretched beyond breaking, what you're saying is just silly. Then again, that's what a life of believing silly things does to a person.

    @Anonymous: Read your post and add "to me" or "for me" after every sentence. WE DON'T CARE what you want for yourself, stop trying to force it on others (like your religion forced it on you - Stockholm Syndrome, anybody?).

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  8. Oh dear, Isaac. Now equating premarital sex to rape and necrophilia? It really is the "us" or "not us" category with you, isn't it?

    Any anybody who has premartital sex must be "whoring around" without a care for health, right? Nobody who has premarital sex would even think of using a condom or other form of STD control?

    "Sex is sacred". Oh dear. Care to back that up? Preferably using logic and not fairytale quotes? Is there something ACTUALLY ABOUT SEX ITSELF that implies it's a gift from a higher power? Or is it maybe just the biological mechanism of reproduction, which, being sentient creatures, we have found enjoyable and thus perform on a basis other than procreation?

    Isaac - "I don't know if this is statistically correct, but I would assume" - I stopped hoping you were going to give a logical argument, but I would assume you still can't. GET statistics, and try again. What's your reasoning anyway?

    "God will grant you heaven because God knows what your doing what you feel is right." Disregarding the confusion between "your" and "you're", and while I hate to be that one to invoke Godwin's Law, I think it's the best way to illustrate my point. So Hitler's in heaven because he did what he felt was right? Or Pol Pot, maybe? Or every sex offender everywhere? I'm sure they felt it was right.

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  9. My comment doesn't appear to have posted...
    I'll type it out again I suppose.

    Dear me, Isaac. It's either "us" or "not us" with you, isn't it? Anyone what doesn't conform to your personal morals has got to be a necrophiliac rapist who has premartial sex, don't they? And one of those by default implies all the others? Silly person.

    Also: "God will grant you heaven because God knows what your doing what you feel is right."
    Disregarding the confusion you seem to have between homophones, I really need to resist invoking Godwin's law here...
    ...no, I can't.

    Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, pedophiles, rapists, murderers, serial killers, abusers...

    They all did what they thought was right. So I suppose they're all (going to be) in heaven. By your logic. Right?

    And let's put a different spin on this. Two homosexual adults who are good people in life, have normal sexual relations with each other, do what they think is right (including engaging in said sexual relations) in all aspects of life. By Isaac's logic, they go to heaven. Right? Then what's the problem with it at all?

    By the way, why the (more or less) after that statement about us atheists following morals. Surely not a thinly veiled suggestion that we don't have them, I mean, morality is a human invention after all.

    Your other point on not believing that people of different faith will go to hell. Personally that's very decent of you. Certainly a lot more decent than your bible. Then again, said book can't make its mind up on a lot of things it says. Is that an official church position, by the way? Craig, who comes off as more well read than you, would say otherwise.

    Other anonymous spewing bible quotes: Oh dear. Care to define sacred? Or to provide a logical justification of your assertion other than "but skyfairy said so!"? Sex, ACTUALLY, is a biological method of reproduction which allows for variability in offspring. It's just that we as sentient creatures have realised it is enjoyable and thus choose to perform it for reasons other than procreation. Please give a factual reason as to why extramarital sex is bad rather than "I WANT YOU ALL TO THINK LIKE ME!"

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  10. My comment doesn't appear to have posted...
    I'll type it out again I suppose.

    Dear me, Isaac. It's either "us" or "not us" with you, isn't it? Anyone what doesn't conform to your personal morals has got to be a necrophiliac rapist who has premartial sex, don't they? And one of those by default implies all the others? Silly person.

    Also: "God will grant you heaven because God knows what your doing what you feel is right."
    Disregarding the confusion you seem to have between homophones, I really need to resist invoking Godwin's law here...
    ...no, I can't.

    Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, pedophiles, rapists, murderers, serial killers, abusers...

    They all did what they thought was right. So I suppose they're all (going to be) in heaven. By your logic. Right?

    And let's put a different spin on this. Two homosexual adults who are good people in life, have normal sexual relations with each other, do what they think is right (including engaging in said sexual relations) in all aspects of life. By Isaac's logic, they go to heaven. Right? Then what's the problem with it at all?

    By the way, why the (more or less) after that statement about us atheists following morals. Surely not a thinly veiled suggestion that we don't have them, I mean, morality is a human invention after all.

    Your other point on not believing that people of different faith will go to hell. Personally that's very decent of you. Certainly a lot more decent than your bible. Then again, said book can't make its mind up on a lot of things it says. Is that an official church position, by the way? Craig, who comes off as more well read than you, would say otherwise.

    Other anonymous spewing bible quotes: Oh dear. Care to define sacred? Or to provide a logical justification of your assertion other than "but skyfairy said so!"? Sex, ACTUALLY, is a biological method of reproduction which allows for variability in offspring. It's just that we as sentient creatures have realised it is enjoyable and thus choose to perform it for reasons other than procreation. Please give a factual reason as to why extramarital sex is bad rather than "I WANT YOU ALL TO THINK LIKE ME!"

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  11. "Then again, that's what a life of believing silly things does to a person."
    is it a part of being an atheist to be intolerant and assholes. atheist constantly put all religious in the same boat of the religiously intolerant, but atheist like you are the most intolerant and there is no place in this world for intolerant people like you. seriously, saying stuff like that is not going to convince anyone of jack shit.

    "add "to me" or "for me" after every sentence"
    the same could be said to anything

    "stop trying to force it on others"
    so, your saying that its ok for atheist to do what you say religious people shouldn't. hypocrite

    "WE DON'T CARE what you want for yourself"
    what he was pointing out was the ignorance of craig, not trying to convert

    and what the hell does Stockholm syndrome have to do with anything?

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  12. You have to follow the line of morals back to through the priests, the bible, then to God and recognize at as such, denying all other things. That is how religion maintains its hold; the human propensity, and predilection for denial. Religion doesn't take much work to get around. It's complexity comes with it's historical implications, how it has interwoven throughout cultures. But religion itself is quite simple, and allows all walks of life to embrace it through faith. You don't have to think much. Thinking takes time and energy, and in terms of what our species has had most practice with, thinking is at the bottom of the list, with eating, running, sex, and aggression, up at the top. Paraphrasing what George Carlin said, we're semi-civilized beasts with art and computers, but still hard wired to fuck ourselves up.

    And, religion allows us to maintain a certain position, a social and mental one, as children. It is so much more comforting to be looked after and cared for, to know a place is set for us, if we follow the rules. And we've convinced ourselves that not only are we children under god, but also that we are entitled to it and all its rewards of innocence and ignorance in the afterlife.

    Think about it. What are Christians pissed about? The face that we got kicked out of Eden, out innocence, out of not knowing. They want to be the child under the father, at his feet, and unawares of the dangers of reality. That's what heaven is, a barrier to reality.

    And look at the progression of cultural tendencies of worshiping Mother Earth to Father Heaven, from suckling at her breast to bowing before him. This movement is imprinted in our DNA as part of our own individual development, from sucking at mommy's teets to fearing daddy and wanting to impress him (you could even get Oedipal here). But is it any wonder that it found expression in the imaginative constructs of our species, in our culture? We were with the unknown for so long, millions of years banging around the same tools, and then came agriculture ten thousand years ago, civilization over five thousand and now the hyper-fast innovations of today. It's too fast for us to troubleshoot, and with so many people. A few thousand or millions for eons, and then billions within a few decades. It's like waking up in the morning with a single fire pit to feed your family of four, then coming home that night finding you have figure out a way to feed the city of New York.

    When our minds became able to recollect, to reflect, and with an imagination, fantasize, broad strokes filled in the gaps of our knowledge. It's only recently we've become more detailed with a scientific and reasoning approach. We're not used to it. So blame people all you want, on either side, it's a matter of habit, and it will be some time before reason and science are taken for granted, just as religion and it's ever denying comforts are now.

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  13. Stockholm Syndrome, Isaac. It's where you eventually come to have positive feelings for something keeping you prisoner. We're extrapolating this to a mental interpretation rather than a physical imprisonment, since religious indoctrination is an example of mental imprisonment.

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  14. Stockholm syndrome has nothing to do with any of this. its specifically about a hostage situation, you can clam your pseudo-psychology all you want. just like most of what you said, your idea of Stockholm syndrome can easily be applied to atheist as well. like a child of atheist parents. personally, since i was raised with no faith i had to seek it out, so your "theory" about Stockholm syndrome dose not apply to me

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  15. @ Isaac - You stated above that Christians believe you only go to Hell if you're a satanist. Actually, the Bible says you have to accept Jesus Christ as your savior (he died on the cross to pay for our sins) that's pretty much any Christian denomination and the basis of Christianity.

    Wow! This sounds like an angry bunch. Anonymous (above) didn't seem to be trying to force beliefs anymore than you guys are -- simply stating facts (or as you may see it - opinion). As a Christian I believe that Christian or not - we can still show respect toward one another. Name calling and condemnation is a waste of everyone's time.
    Come on Nikolaos - "Cretin"...even the gentleman in the article supported the Golden Rule.. "Do unto others as you'd have done unto you." How does that serve your credibility?

    Goodnight..

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  16. "You stated above that Christians believe you only go to Hell if you're a satanist."
    i meant to say that it is what i believe is the most realistic way for someone to be condemned. those people who hear about Christ and acknowledge his existence, but chose to turn there back on Christ are in a high risk position.
    But i believe that non-Christians who mean well will receive there reward

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  17. Actually, I'd contest that children of atheist parents have the same kind of mental control applied to them.

    There's a difference between religious upbringing and religious education. The latter is a good thing, the former not. Rather than cramming a certain religion down a child's throat and excluding everything else, simply educate children as to the various systems of belief that exist, show the alternative to blind faith, which is the system of rational inquiry, and then let them decide.

    Sorry, I should say an education in religion not religious education, the latter makes it sound like I support pseudoscience like ID or creationism being taught as truth...hah.

    Isaac, I believe jesus existed. I'm willing to accept the idea that around 2000 years ago there was a man named Jesus Christ alive. Honestly, I think he was just some fellow who wanted everyone to be nice to each other and got a bit misunderstood with the personality cult thing.

    Other anon - I'm...not sure where you stand on what you're saying. Do you believe it's a good thing that people of other faith supposedly go to hell?

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  18. Heeeey, Isaac! Nice work, responding to my comment directed at another person!

    But seriously now, if you are a christian, prove to me that god exists... after you've defined what god is. And then, convince me to do what that being says. No rush, I'll wait.

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  19. Quick question Nikolaos...do you really want prove that God exists? What will you do with that fact? If a supreme Being who made planet earth and the inhabitants (human and non-human but let's not worry about how this occured)is proven to exist, can the creation (us) ignore this Being? I don't think so. Back to my question, do you REALLY want prove that God exists?

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  20. While most religions are a hoax some hold bargain sales!
    1. Born to a virgin! (unscientific)
    2. Reappeared after 3 days
    3. xxx is coming!
    4. He died to cleanse your sins!
    and the list goes on and on!

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  21. Majority if the world is Christian. Maybe you should just sit back and think about the fact that people are becoming so ignorant and self obsessed that they want to do what suits themselves because all they think about is themselves without god in their lives.

    people actually have the nerve to practically walk god out of school themselves saying they don't want their children to have anything to do with god, then they have the nerve to say 'where is god' when a shooting at a school happens. God is with those CHRISTIANS with the GOOD MORALS who support those families, donate anything or everything they have to make sure they are ok.
    People need to stop thinking of themselves and realise that if more than half of the world believes this. you are probably wrong.

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