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?
 

Let us explore the idea of God being morality. Though God will be seen as the one who enforces justice and protects love, this does not necessarily mean he is morality itself.  The thought that he implants moral principles in us does not necessarily mean he is morality itself.  So what we are asking is, does "Morality is a person and that person is God otherwise there is no real morality", make sense.

 

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 they 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.

 

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

 

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.  If morality is fixed and validated by no one. And if there is nothing to fix and validate it. If despite that it is a default then even a God cannot change it. He cannot make it right to sexually abuse babies.  This abstract rule that nobody/nothing made and nobody/nothing 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.

 

The geranium is alive but does that give it moral significance?  Certainly not!
 
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.

You don't know if some naturalistic cause is the reason we think or are inclined to think there is a God - even if there is one. If religion is correct that it is not all blind force the fact remains that some of it is.  Nobody denies that.  If you believe winning a lottery is planned by nobody you can believe that nature may have implanted the notion of a God in you. 
 
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.

 

MORALITY IS NOT A PERSON IN ANY MEANINGFUL SENSE

 

If morality is a person then what about being free?  Morality is not about good things such as justice and love but about enforcing them.  For example, if you say there are no moral values then you are saying you value the truth that there are no moral values.  So if you try to avoid morality you end up with another version.  Morality is a prison in that sense.

 

God himself would be ruled by morality.  If morality is a person and that person is God then we should be more accurate and say, "Morality is a victimised person."  None of this makes any sense.  A person needs freedom and a God who is imprisoned by it needs our compassion.  Instead of, "I worship you God of justice and love", it is, "You are forced and thus uninspiring to me.  I pity you."

 

FINALLY

 

Morality is abstract and cannot be a person.  It is that simple.  Your dinner if it is your dinner cannot be a ghost. Morality and person are two different definitions.  

 

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.