Re: the morals of an Atheist
Whether there is a God or not has nothing to do with right and wrong. Right or wrong is purely a subjective concept that man created—to help him survive, I suspect. However, following your concept that one needs God to tell the difference between right and wrong (or the more religious concept of good and evil), I postulate that God could be good, evil, neither good nor evil, or a combination of both. And since there is both good and evil (in our world at least) and since it is assumed God created everything then logic would dictate that God must be a combination of both since the Creator would have to know both to create it or to allow both to be created.
However, I am neither an atheist nor a religious person. I do believe in a Creator, but I believe He (for lack of a more convenient term) is neither good nor evil. He just IS. Good and evil are merely concepts we have created to help guide us toward the kind of existence the vast majority of us would prefer. And we choose to be good and do right not necessarily because they are the right choice, but because we are social creatures and social creatures tend to follow the practices of their society. And since rational people do not want to be killed, raped, victimized, stolen from, enslaved, etc., we choose not to do those things for fear of having them done to us. It is purely a survival tactic.
A world where evil reigned and people did all of those "bad/wrong/evil" things could not survive because it would quite literally tear itself apart. Could any sane person envision living in a world of kill or be killed? Where you could never rest or enjoy anything because you were constantly running or hiding, taking what you could to survive and never knowing whether today you were the predator or the prey. One doesn’t need the concept of God to understand that that is probably not the best way to go.
Religions were started not because God exists, but as a means to control society (i.e., they were our original forms of government). We were (and still are) a very fearful people so what better way to help keep people in line than to teach them if they don’t believe ‘x’, ‘y’, and ‘z’ they will be struck down and their immortal souls will be forever tortured. And that scare tactic still works today for many people.
It is truly amazing (or scary—depending upon your point of view) given our "age of enlightenment," how many people still believe that their religion is THE one and only TRUE religion and that the book on which their faith is based IS the (literal) word of God and all others are false. The truth is ALL religious books were written by human beings and revised and/or translated into hundreds of languages over hundreds or thousands of years. Yet there are those who believe the literal words even though, with all our technology and supposed education and sophistication, we can’t translate a document today that is 100% accurate with the original—never mind the fact that many passages within those works often conflict with one another and/or violate some of our current society’s accepted norms.
There is no other cause on this planet that has spilled more blood and tortured and killed more people than the fanatical beliefs in ones religious faith. Isn’t it interesting how good Christians or Muslims (or you name it) who profess to believe in God, life, love, compassion, and kindness are so ready and willing to ignore those professed beliefs and pick up arms and slaughter their fellow humans simply because they don’t think or believe as they do. Our history books are rife with examples of religious wars and battles of all faiths.
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