Magi Mike's Blog

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The Morality of Criticizing Religion

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Christians believe that if God does not exist then anything goes. Then there is no morality. And without morality we are no different from a dog. Religion lifts us from immorality to the moral plane.

Yet prosperous and well brought up Saudi Moslems could callously crash hijacked aeroplanes into the twin towers and kill around 3000 innocent people. It convinces Christian America that Islam is the work of the Devil, like any creed, world view or religion other than Christianity! Only the Christian God is God.

Yet, to judge by these US Christians, their God is the Devil too. Americans, under the Clinton, and the hyper “Christian” Bush, killed, directly by bombing and other military means, or by starvation and deprivation from medical supplies by operating punitive sanctions, over a million Iraqis. Currently, they are killing an estimated 1000 Afghans a month, but they refuse to tell us how many. Now Wikileaks confirms it is a substantial enough number for the authorities not to want us to know. “Kill ratios” of 50 to 1, begin to look suspiciously as if they are just picking off anyone who looks eastern for the sport of it, a sport one US general admitted he enjoyed!

The question is why is this vast degree of murder and mayhem all right for the Christian in defence of their way of life, but lesser numbers of deaths caused by the Moslems in defence of theirs is evil incarnated. Going back to Vietnam figures were worse—an estimated two million Vietnamese being murdered, often horribly, by chemicals, high explosive bombs, helicopter assaults, even being thrown blindfold from helicopters. The “kill ratio” even then was over 30 to one. Just what is moral about this? What is good about the Christian God when Christians are ruthless, uncaring monsters towards others, even if they are weepingly sentimental over anyone of their own who gets killed in retaliation?

Slavoj Zizek, the international director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, says the lesson of all this is that if God exists, then murdering thousands of innocents is permitted to anyone who claims to be acting on behalf of God. Whatever they do is good because they see it as fulfilling God’s will, and it earns them salvation.

Yet atheists do good deeds because doing them is the right thing to do, not to curry favor with a superbeing. That is just what proper morality is. It is done to feel good as a human being. Morality is its own reward. David Hume wrote that the way to show respect for God is to ignore His existence but still act morally.

Atheism unlike religion creates a safe public space for all believers. New Yorkers have been asking themselves should Moslems, mostly Americans, be allowed to build a mosque? Religions will always find objections to the freedom and equality of rival religions. It is the liberal, most often the atheist, who has no objections. The secular society tolerates all religions, and even protects the rights of equality of the ones persecuted by their stronger rivals, but it is free to criticize them honestly and without perseution. What about submitting all religions to a fair but ruthless, critical analysis? Believers should not be coddled like infants, but treated as adults responsible for and able to defend rationally their beliefs.


Written by mikemagee

13 August, 2010 at 4:24 pm

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