We all have our own idea of what is moral or immoral so in this way morality is subjective. Most of us can agree on the big things but even those depend on the time you live in. So why am I talking about morality, because it is sometimes said that you can’t have morals without religion. I have been accused of not having morals because I don’t have religion and have rejected the concept of god and gods. More importantly we hear a lot about biblical morality in debates about contraception and abortion even though the bible has nothing to say on the matter.
Morality has evolved like many other social standards have as our society has progressed. A man marrying a young girl in their early teens was once common but today society has condemned that behavior as immoral. What changed in that time? We are more aware of women’s rights today, we understand the way the human mind develops better and life expectancies have increased. Today a good parent will try to ensure the health and safety of their thirteen year old daughter rather than ensure she is quickly married off to improve the family wealth.
So what is the harm in allowing people to say they get their morality from
religious text? For one the religious books don’t change much even as they are often retranslated. So as far as religious morality is concerned whatever was moral when the book was written thousands of years ago is moral today. People have written books on how to abuse your child properly and last year a couple tortured their children in accordance with biblical teaching and managed to beat one of their children to death with a “biblical rod”.
Other than white supremacist Christian groups I think we have all left slavery behind but even moderate Christians defend biblical slavery by saying it wasn’t so bad back then. It’s a copout really when you think about it we think slavery is wrong no matter how well a slave is treated so the argument is rather ineffective even if it were true. I’ve also heard the argument that it was more common back then but the truth is there were more slaves in 2008 than in any other time in human history and I assure you it is just as brutal today as it was then.
One of the biggest problems I’ve always had is the fact that most Christians know an insanely immoral story from the bible but don’t even recognize the immorality of it. In Exodus the Pharaoh has children killed in mass and everyone agrees this is a horrible thing to do. It is nearly universally accepted today that killing children is wrong. The moral disconnect seems to comes a little later when god kills all the first born of Egypt. To make things worse the book even says god hardened Pharaohs heart so he could go ahead and commit mass murder on children but Christians fail to see the immorality because it was god. I find this sort of thinking to be dangerous at the very least.
To sum up the point of this aimless little rant I’ll say this, if you think I don’t have morals because I didn’t get them from the bible then I think you’re demented. I don’t think anyone sane who gets their morals from the bible. The only things the bible says that is at all useful are rather common sense like don’t kill people. The only radically different ideas are the things Christians don’t follow like give away all your stuff to the poor or love your enemy. It notably fails in other areas as mentioned above but I guarantee that Christians will do all sorts of mental gymnastics to make the old discarded morality of 2,000 years ago make sense today. As long as people follow those morals we will have fundamentalists abusing or killing their children in the name of ancient superstitions.