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?

 


MY VERSION OF DEFINING SECULAR MORAL VALUES
AN ARTICLE BY ADRIAN BISHOP
OF THE
WINCHESTER CENTRE FOR DEFINED ETHICS
 
Morality has to do with how we treat other people. If we believe in God, morality will be about him. God as the source has to be what morality is all about. If you water this terrible teaching down and say he comes first that is still saying he comes first and not people for he is more important than them. He being goodness itself according to the believers and being perfect means morality is ALL about him. Morality will not be about how people should be treated but about how God wants them to be treated. Even if they are treated the way you would like them to treat you and you treat them as they like to be treated that is not why you are doing it. It is about what God wants.
 
Christians will say there is nothing wrong with that for God wants what is best for us and he only wants what he should want. But many people in evil organisations say the same thing and it is not true. If you are serious about being a good person you will not even suggest it. If you are human you will always care about people even if it means dropping God or neglecting God. To care about God not people is fanatical in outlook and principle though it is not in practice. It is fanatical in practice in the sense that you make an example of it for others.
 
Many believe that it is wrong to say that you will not harm people unnecessarily for there have been too many cases of people believing that they kept this rule when they actually didnít. The danger of this rule is that people will use it as an excuse for doing evil. If you have to keep the rule despite its flaws that is not your fault. You are tolerating the rule and not saying it is great under the circumstances. If you have faith in God, you will believe in a being that lets terrible things happen to innocent people and call that being perfect. Then you are doing more than tolerating the rule. You are saying God is to be praised for keeping the rule himself. You are saying it is wonderful under the circumstances.
 
Faith in God encourages the dangers of the rule for it makes you feel better about it. You will feel edified when you adore an entity that you believe creates viruses that attack little babies and make them die horribly.
 
The whole point of having rules about moral values is that you want to stop people saying it was necessary for them to do hurtful things. For example, you don't want a man to abandon his family claiming he was cracking up and had no choice. Loving God is trying to harm humanity even when it seems to result in good works. The works are bad for the attitude behind them is.
 
We can afford to be uncomfortable about the rule if its a human invention for humanity is fallible. We regard the rule as an evil we must tolerate. But to say a perfect God embodies and embraces the rule is to refuse to see it as an evil we hate but just put up with for the alternative is worse.
 
Practices like baptising babies without caring if entering them in a religious system that will indoctrinate and condition them is bad for them is one example of how religion opposes the rule of harm none. It is dreadful because you must believe that every faith but yours is wrong which means there is not much hope of your being right either . Another example is how the Catholic would be expected to die for the pope if it was necessary to save his life just because he is the pope. Catholics are also asked to die to defend the belief that the pope is the head of the Church.
 
It is not enough to just not hurt people. You must help them too for not helping is harming. The Catholic doctrine that there are actions that are good but which are not your duty is nonsense. If morality is doing what is best and making life better then it canít be anything else but nonsense.
 
Saying things like when you did wrong that you were only doing what you were told or doing what was your duty is evading responsibility. To the denier of free will responsibility does not mean freely doing right or wrong. No it means realising that the perception that causes you to do right or wrong can be manipulated even without you having free will. You can avoid killing a person you hate by perceiving that that person is a victim to be pitied. The people around you however cause you to do right and wrong as much as you do for they need to help you perceive the right way so that you will do it. We are attracted by goodness and evil only attracts us when a mental aberration or a breakdown in perception causes us to think that it is good.
 
Do not try to control other people. Let them live their own lives the way they want. Celebrate diversity.
 
Be honest, always seek the truth, donít be afraid to doubt and ask questions, and make peace with your enemies. Remember that there is nothing that a man can do that a woman cannot do and respect that.
 
The disbeliever in free will cannot use the word morality but will have to talk about right and wrong instead. Even if we donít have free will we do right things and wrong things. Right would be what is rational and wrong what is irrational. Evil should not exist so it is irrational.
 
I would add that since we never help anybody unless we want to even if there is a lot of disliking in the activity in it we still want to do it so we must realise that we cannot help others unless we train ourselves to enjoy doing so. Then if we love ourselves we benefit others. Humanists are not saying that when you love yourself alone that you are to hurt other people. Quite the opposite. All love is really self-love and it blesses the world not God. Humanity has the power to bless not God