Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


Is Morality a Person: God?
 

If God cannot be connected to morality then he or it is a non-moral and consequently non-religious subject. 

 

Some say morality is a person and the person is God.  This is the idea that morality makes no sense at all without God.

 

Some say you need a God to look after justice and love and administer them.

 

Some say that something put the ideas of justice and love in us and so that must have been God.

 

Those are the three approaches.

 

All of these ideas can be held together.  However the notion that God takes the authority to administer morality and puts moral ideas in us makes him a God of power for what gives him the right to do that?  We are forced to keep going back to the notion that God is morality and morality is God like the way the book is the law and the law is the book.  The other two then by themselves are cynical and manipulative.

 

Let us explore the idea of God being morality.

 

Many want to believe that God's nature/character makes morality real and makes it valid.  The idea is that God's 'nature' means his characteristics, his attributes and his qualities and as morality means compassion and justice and love God does not just have these things - they describe what kind if being he is.  They define him.  God is those moral values.

 

So are we saying that morality is a person and this person is God?

 

Many say yes! They say you cannot understand morality correctly or why something moral is moral unless you accept the existence of God. Take justice. If justice is not real then it is unfair to say it is real. So you are saying justice exists after all! So justice is a fact. A fact is something that just is true and not even God can make a non-fact a fact or a fact a non-fact or make a fact a fact. It is the believers who fail to understand morality not the unbelievers.

 

Believers cannot tell you if they see God as just a celestial policeman. It shows he wants to catch you out and they want you to be caught out. It is discouraging and takes the joy out of living. Instead of God just observing you he is keeping an eye on what you are doing. The moral argument is just a scam for hiding this policeman God behind a religious and philosophical disguise.

 

The idea of morality being a person is counter-intuitive and yet believers want morality to be partly about intuition.

If God is those moral values we talked about then there are three options.


Is he forced? We know that those who say morality is nonsense are just using a different version of the same morality.  For example, if you say there is no justice you say that it is unjust to say there is so you are forced to bend the knee to justice and love.  You cannot get rid of them but only distort.  So God cannot get of them either.  God then is not really God.  Morality is a brute fact and he like the rest of us is unable to do anything about it.  It does not care what we are or what we think.


Is he a being who can be evil but who chooses to be good? He would have to be if he is ďrealĒ morality.  A God who is forced puts us off but one that freely and spontaneously is good is one we can relate to.  But that God is not an option.


Or is he a a moral subjectivist? Are his values only his preferences? Is morality not about real justice or love but about feelings we call justice and love?  If he is not then what?  He might not be that but we might all approach him as if he is perhaps without realising it. As nobody likes God being forced that implies they do see him that way.  I may as well make up morality out of thin air if he is doing it.  God believers telling me not to are oppressing me.

 

Rules and values are not the same
 
Moral values and moral rules are not the same thing.
 
The difference is in how say kindness is a moral value and there could be a moral law saying you must give something to the poor every day. The value is more important than the rule and is really what the rule is about. The rule is about how to apply the moral value but it is not the moral value.
 
God could be moral values but not moral rules. He might let us decide what the rules should be. Or he could see that killing x will somehow save lives so he might command you to kill. He knows best for he sees all. If you want to argue that your rules come from God then you are going to have to say that God spoke to you and told you what the rules were. The concept of God by itself is not enough. You need revelation.

 

You can say that a moral value is a rule in the sense that be kind would be a rule.  But that would mean you distinguish it from rules about how to be kind.

 

It is important to mention this to avoid the argument, "We do not believe that God as a person is moral commands.  He is moral values."  The argument wants to avoid the implication that if God is commands then there is no problem if one of these commands is to, "Molest children sexually every Friday."
 
No duty to principle but only to persons?
 
If morality is abstract and fixed by no one or nothing but is a default then even a God cannot change it. He cannot make it right to sexually abuse babies.  This abstract rule that nobody made and nobody can make for it needs no maker any more than somebody needs to make a rule, "Nobody can lift a rock that is too heavy for them to lift" is the strongest and completest support for morality.  Nothing can dismantle it.  Trying to support morality with something is is immoral and trying to weaken morality.  Even if it were not clear that morality is a default we need it to be one and maybe say, "We don't know how it is a default but it is."  We don't always have to understand why a default is a default.

 

Why do people want morality to be a person as in God and not this abstract absolute?


Is it because they hate it and it seems less painful to drop the morality and replace it with a replica? If morality is not God then the person who says it is God is making a replica. It will bark and act like a dog but not be the dog. Why would you do that for it does not lessen the demands?

 

Morality must be easier to follow if you think it is a person and not abstract principles. But the problem is morality can never be a person and a morality that is based on fundamental misunderstanding defies the moral rule: truth and justice are inseparable. And the rule, there is no such thing as a perfect copy of justice. A copy of justice is not justice. It would be manipulative and cruel to know this and endorse the copy. Only a real servant of justice has the right to punish criminals.

Christians say you cannot have moral obligations or moral duties to principles or ideas. You have them to persons and persons only. Persons have intrinsic value. The believers say that morality resides in a person, God. Why? Because morality is about what you are meant for, your purpose. Only persons have purposes. But why God or why just God? If morality is about persons then you do not need God. Most of our morals affect one another on earth and not God. The choice of God as what enables morality to exist and have value is arbitrary.

 

They cannot prove that God is not just an idea.

 

Even if God is real nobody thinks he is a person in any meaningful sense.  Christian and Islamic theologians express this by saying God is totally other and we have only a working knowledge of how to think about God not an accurate knowledge.

 

Why do they say it is a default that you can only have a moral obligation to moral principles if a God is those principles? 


Notice that the argument has a hidden assumption. The person is morality. Morality is not just about what a person does but what a person becomes.

But if that is true you cannot really have such an obligation to what is merely perceived or sensed to be a person. If you do, you do not have a full moral obligation. You have only a duty when you are able to show that what you have a duty to is a person. It has to be easy and simple to do it. You have to be able to show God is a person in the same way that you can show the president is a person.
 
It is obvious that religion cannot do that. But that does not stop it boasting that it represents this God who is the representative and personification of moral values and morality.
 
If you think the king is drugged, that puts a limit on how much obedience you can give him. You have an obligation to him but not a complete or full one. Yet religion orders you to make God to be your only real concern and says your only ambition must be to be part of his will and do his will.
 
There is something "bigger than us" about rules
 
A lot is made of how we feel ruled by principles such as love and justice and compassion.  But there is no mystery there for we feel ruled by many things, take feelings and thoughts, as in how they don't care what we ask for.  They just appear.

 

A rule about anything is always above the thing and beyond it. The rules about maths are bigger than any calculation you do. The rules of music seem to rule music. They wonít let you use a table as you would a piano. You cannot play Mozart by playing a Britney Spearís tune. Rules transcend whatever they are applicable to. The thing has to fit the rules Ė it is not the rules that must fit the thing. Cricket rules always are above and beyond the players.

Religion argues that moral rules are above and beyond us. They rule us and transcend us. Thus religion says that morality proves God for it can come from God alone.

That is nonsense. Man and human tastes have a say in the laws of music. We create the laws so they are both over us and not over us. Believers think that just because rules are bigger than us that they have to come from a being bigger than us. But if the being just needs to be bigger than us that does not mean it necessarily has to be God. Anything a little bigger than us would do.

And what has the being being stronger than us have to do with it? If there is nothing higher than us that is not our fault and thus we ground morality and do not need to imagine there is a bigger being.

The notion that rules are bigger than us easily leads to the mistake that rules must come from a God who ranks above us in glory and wisdom and authority. But it is a mistake.
 
The something bigger argument certainly shows that a morality that is a person is not a morality but a person.
 

 

 
But God is Life?
 
Some argue that life implies morality and as God is alive then he is morality in that sense.
 
If God exists then God is life. God is alive. Life then is God's most important trait. If we should respect God then we are really respecting life. If there is no God, life still exists. Our values come from wanting to respect life, to live life and to make life happy. We don't need God. Even when people appeal to God to invent their morality the humanism of respecting life is still driving them.
 
Does our Moral Nature indicate that God is Morality?
 
The notion that we are moral beings and that suggests that a moral God might have made us that way is interesting. It seems to put a lot of faith and reverence towards our pathetic moral leanings.  Our attempts to be fair always fall short - we do not really know how to administer justice to the wicked.  We are corrupt and deceitful and we are asked to see our flawed morals as a reflection of a moral God?
 
If God is real to you, you see him as moral and aspire to that. You do not start with your "morals" and try to see a pointer to God in them. That is the cart before the horse and arrogant. If you love your child you will not love him just because you see you in him but you will love him for being him.
 
The believers say that if morality or good and evil have nothing to do with God then it wouldn't account for our becoming morally responsible beings if we just had naturalistic and non-divine causes. But why should this be a problem? We don't have answers to lots of questions. Plus if we really need to believe that God is morality and God invents it then we are only hypocrites and not morally responsible beings. God only makes the problem worse. He is not an answer but a contrivance.
 
Why God's Character?
 
Morality is said to be grounded in Godís character. Why his? Is it because Godís character is perfect? But the perfection should not matter. The ideal is not changed even if everybody falls short including God.   If God were imperfect then what standard says that?
 
What if hypothetically Godís character was not perfect but falling short of an ideal? It would be odd to say it is grounded in Godís character just because it is perfect for what does perfect have to do with it? Why canít our character that strives for an ideal and often falls short not do?
 
It gets personal all right!
 
Religion often says kindness is good and God is kind and God cannot help that for he does not invent moral values. Thus the standard of kindness is not created by God. Kindness is independent of God and it is by chance that God is kind. So kindness and God are distinct and separate - kindness does not need God to validate it. At this point Christians just say out of thin air that it does for kindness needs to be a person, it needs to be God, to be taken seriously. To deny that kindness is independent after saying it is really amounts to saying, "We need to invent morality by saying morality and God are somehow the same". That is saying morality is an invention. It is worse than saying God invents morality for we are say we are inventing morality and calling it God. 
 
If anybody says that you need to believe in God to believe in morality, they mean they are inventing morality. They are bad enough but those who invent morality and call it God - they do it the other way around - are far more controlling and manipulative.

 

FINALLY

 

Morality is not about good things such as justice and love but about enforcing them. 

 

God himself would be ruled by it.

 

Morality is abstract and cannot be a person.  If God is the person who is morality then why pick him?  Why not yourself?

 

If you don't want people being arbitrary about morality God=morality is not a solution but a new and worse problem.

 

Our understanding of love and justice is too inaccurate and our understanding of what rules to make to serve them is even worse. Grounding a vague morality in God solves nothing.