Well not quite, though I have been told often how immoral I am without god, allah or the bible it isn’t the truth theists wish it to be. I go as far as arguing that it is not me they accuse but their fragile beliefs they defend. If they can’t get morality from their beliefs, if you can get it without them, what value can you give those beliefs. It doesn’t take long to find good caring law abiding atheists, even one still hanging on to many of the ones they had when they were religious and I’m sure the theists know this deep down under the mental barriers they erect around their beliefs.

This topic comes to mind not for the first time but as I sit waiting for my wife’s scheduled midwife visit there is a woman sitting in front of me who’s jumper is covered in little metal crosses and she has an angel tattoo on her ankle. Suddenly, first time today and like so many days, religion is bought to my attention. So this isn’t a new topic for many atheists but one that is for some reason hot on my mind.

I cant help but wonder what morals theists think we should have, why the ones we have are not enough for them and how are theirs better than ours? What’s wrong with how I live my life and how does it hurt anyone?

hellmedMidwife visits are not new for me nor are accusations of immorality, this isn’t my first time as a parent and with my eldest turning 18 this year I suspect my morals may be in working order. To date I have not eaten my offspring or anyone else’s (regardless of baby eating being another accusation against atheists) and the fact my eldest has never been in trouble with the law or even looked like he is able to get in trouble with the law may be some measure of my ability to navigate morality. I’m as sure as anyone can be that my son will developed into a fine young man (give or take regular teen parenting issues). I myself have never been in prison, I haven’t even lost a license and haven’t had a point on it in 10 or more years. I don’t have any issues with my morals or those I have instilled in my son, why would anyone else given our record to date? Even if the claim of immorality as supported by statistics (it isn’t) why would you tarnish us all that way? I don’t call all theist paedophiles because so many of your institutions are under investigation world wide.

I am far from being a perfect parent – who is – and having made my share of mistakes but I also recognize that there are far worse parents with far worse kids in this world. Giving in and buying my son an XBox when he was 16 and a mobile phone at 17 don’t really count as terrible errors and not immoral but for me these were significant points in my parenting I am as yet unable to call good parenting. My mistakes are significant to me but certainly minor in comparison to some and of those some doing worse than I feel I have many believe in the fictional moral giver. I am a realist about everything possible and I don’t even promise to parent my next one better. There will be differences and problems I – and all parents – can’t hope to navigate before they happen. 18 years ago we may have foreseen the rise of gaming but who could have known the social impact. Now when your teens don’t talk to you they do it in your lounge room (as my son does) instead of out with their mates getting drunk or stoned (as I did). Who would have know? I don’t know the future or pretend I can control it. What I do know is that as a parent I will do my best to instil a since of community and caring in my next child, the same as the sense of community and caring I have had most of my atheist life.

So what is the difference between being a moral theist and an immoral atheist?

Not believing in a mythical god is an easy one. Given I’m the 3rd generation of atheists on my fathers side I can’t see that as being important. If not believing in a god is a moral problem it is one I can’t make sense of because I have no evidence to suggest there is a god or that the proposed gods (more than 3000 of them) set a good moral standard. Even buddha who is meant to have been all about peace and wisdom had a low regard for women an unacceptable notion in or modern society and not a sign of sound eternal morals. Any immortal all knowing eternal god character would give perfect morality the first time not give us primitive morality and say “that fits your current thinking, use that” so we later work out it was wrong and find something better for ourselves. Maybe giving us the wrong morals is a test and because theists are not developing they are failing the test. In any case how would giving us the wrong morals be moral? As an atheist this is easily explained, I understand gods are fictional and their morality equally so. For me the 10 commandments are no more a problem than any of the other 300 commandments because fiction books that says things about human behaviour are everywhere in literary history we just don’t consider them god given or law. The bible is just a terrible fiction novel, it is most certainly not historical or moral. Even if holy book weren’t fictional there is no morality lesson in “thou shalt have no other gods before me” or “thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image”, these are just the demands of a jealous deity, not morals.

I often hear it said our morals are given to us by god along with every stage of human development and learning. These people know how to cheapen their achievements and every achievement of humanity but there is no evidence to suggest we don’t learn and developed or morals on our own. If our morals were given by an overlord we would all start out with the same morals and even if we factor in free will, the end result of our morality would be a variation of the basic moral code. I have since primary school had an interest in socio-economics current and historical, I have travelled a little, lived in China a short time and known my share of people from a range of religious and cultural backgrounds. I can’t see the effect of a supreme moral giver in the behaviour of my fellow humans. I have spent around 15 years working as a children’s entertainer, I even see differences in how children behave and reason and it varies a great deal suggesting there is no starting morality only learned behaviour. I most certainly can’t see this overlord morality. If I am to believe rules like “no gods but me” is a god given moral instruction, one of many amongst the thousands of gods and rules we know, how is I exist and live as an atheist. I known some will say I don’t but lying about me to protect your religion doesn’t change the facts.

One final point on this line of thought, if god gave us our morality how is it satan (or any other evil fictional entity, demons are very common in religion) get the blame whenever a theist does something immoral. Satan (and kin) it seems are the primary excuse given for bad behaviour and bad parenting. What use is the claim of god given morals if satan (and kin) can simply make you break them? Thinking here of christians and their satan and his being sent by god surely indicates gods low regard for morals, he is tempting you – more than life itself would – to break your moral code. God it would seem wants to end morality. Is god a moral giver or do you find your own morals and god tries to break them?

I don’t know which of these lines of reasoning is best, they all seem equally bad. All I can gather from the evidence at hand is that there is no god involved in any way in our lives and most certainly not in anything called moral giving. We have to be personally responsible for being good or bad people. I think personal responsibility and knowing you are responsible is one of the best paths to good morals. Passing the blame to invisible magic men invites immorality.

It’s been two days since I started this article and I considered letting it go until a christian again bought the topic to mind. Religion is not my every day life.

nothing doing aIn an attempt to lure atheists into a moral trap this theist put forward a hypothetical that proposed kicking two women in the stomach and killing them, the variable being that one one was pregnant. Not just any version of pregnant but six months pregnant, a time indicating she had decided to carry through her pregnancy. This person was suggesting we decide a new course of action for her by killing her and another woman with the premise being a need for us to select which death is morally superior? Not one atheist fell for this very obvious trap because not one atheist thought there was a moral option. After having some trouble getting anyone to take the bait he changed from two women to one pregnant woman who he would kick to death because the baby when born would be noisy and keep him awake, this was his idea of a moral compromise. These people scare me, they have no morals I can see and represent a danger to humanity.

I will admit the person in question is an idiot but stupidity is not rare in religion and those who defend it. I have seen similar mindsets time and again, this is not even the worst example. How with this level of thinking can we or anyone take the idea of theistic moral superiority seriously? When theists are willing to consider – even as a hypothetical argument – kicking anyone to death as a moral option, theist morals seem to be a very sad and inferior thing indeed. This persons only concern with this entire line of question was an unborn child, there seemed to be not one second given to the thought that killing a person is wrong. Is that the level of morality learned from the bible? These people are the ones arguing religion with atheists, they know and recite apologetics and represent the “knowing” section of the theist community. Even the most dull minded atheists (yes they exist) reasons 10 levels above these people. Is christian morality (and muslims argue the same way) such a dangerous and meaningless concept that the stupid represent its most knowledgeable representatives.

If we take a second look at the problem the idiot presented and consider only the woman and the baby as nothing else matters then the problem is at least better represented.

Using personal experience, it being the best way to argue, not entirely hypothetical. I have a wife one month from giving birth, her belly kicks like escape is number one on it’s mind. At no point in the past 8 months have I thought the child more important than my wife. If I thought it was my choice to make I would never choose the life inside her over my adult living loving wife nor would I regret making the choice. Too make choices for her over her body and her life, to put the child’s life before her welfare doesn’t show my wife to love and respect I owe her. I don’t care for the morality of the options however because I hope with us having actually decided to have a child we have a healthy one and the choice never has to be made. If I were not educated and knowledgeable about sex and impregnation, if I had gotten my wife pregnant by mistake, had she not wanted it, if this was something we did not both want, even if I wanted and she didn’t, I would not have one second have thought to stop my wife choosing to abort. Maybe this is the real moral issue. My eldest will not get anyone pregnant by accident, he knows enough to not do so because my morality doesn’t say to pretend sex doesn’t happen or it is evil, that some sex is not really sex. My morality doesn’t enforce the result of rape or correctable mistakes on people and pulling out is not contraception. My morality says educate them and make their lives better than mine, not, keep them ignorant and with child at 13. I don’t ask who do we kill, I ask how do we avoid it.

The thing is that I am not alone in my thinking on women, christians also killed babies to save women. Until the advent of modern medical assistance baby’s heads were often crushed, killing the baby, if it was thought she couldn’t give birth safely. Many cultures had practice’s that allowed abortion for reasons as simple as illegitimacy to health. Simple fact is, a woman may have more babies if she lives, she serves no purpose dead. Adult women have always been more valuable to society than unborn children so why do christians make so much fuss in our modern age? Often it is the same christians who deny aspects of science and medicine that have saved babies dying on mass, do they want the dark age killing of babies back? Why do they choose to overlook their own history? Why do they think their protection of the unborn has anything to do with morals? The idea of killing babies is not unknown to the Abrahamic religions or their texts. The abortion argument is not entirely new but is entirely over blown and over rated. How about we just do what is morally right, how about we let women decide what to do with their bodies.

I suspect this is not the last time I will discuss morality as I will go on being told how immoral I am the rest of my life. For now and from this perspective I will let the topic rest.

May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.

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