A common defense of religious faith is that without it humanity wouldn’t be as moral as it is with it. This is a tune that is being increasingly sung in the battle to demean those that leave the faith. Thanks to the inspiration of the divine chiller in the kitchen I think I know why.
As the rise of the nones in the US, not to mention the world at large increases. Religion, particularly organized religion feels under attack. Churches in America are experiencing an exit of faithful believers unprecedented in its history.
Non-belief is categorized as a religion as believers are so want to do it accounts for nearly 23% the people in the US. Here is some data from Pew Research.
If you lump Protestant Christianity together as a whole that makes the secular nones the second largest religion in the US.
This is creating an interesting phenomenon. Organized religions are cooperating like never before. They are banding together to dismiss the people that are vocal in thier non-belief. I have noticed that even the non religious who say they are spiritual and still believe in God but just not the Christian one thier parents do are demonized right along side the atheist and agnostics.
Most of these organizations have cannonized scriptures that doctrinally assert thier faith is the only true one. Divine revelation saying all other churches are a pale imitation or even an abomination in the eyes of thier particular God.
The worlds religions don’t have a history of getting along. Jihad, crusades and so on prove that. But these differences are being set aside to battle the biggest threat to thier existence yet. People losing thier faith in faith.
To do battle though, the amalgamation of organized religion needs to create criticism from a position of common ground. You can’t look dumb calling out your Muslim buddy for not believing in Jesus when you are both attacking the atheist.
To me it’s no surprise that religion as a source of morality is held up as a major benefit of belief and a reason for organized faith. And they do have a point. Moral instruction is a common theme in most churches.
But why is that? Is it because God gave each faith a for the most part slightly different version of moral rules? Or is it possible that morality was a divinely human trait before religion came into the picture to sell it to us?
Organized religion with its tithes and collection plate would have you believe without thier moral instruction the world would go to hell in a hand basket. So you need to belong and pay up to keep the faith viable.
This is why the religious criticism is as equally focused on the spiritual but not religious as it is on the secular atheist. For all the rhetoric about needing to believe in God it’s really not. It’s about the loss of money cause you don’t believe in thier God.
The idea you can’t be moral without faith is a smokescreen at best and a damnable lie at the worst. I have met person after person that feels more concerned about being kind, about loving thier fellow man, about truly treating others as you would like to be treated after they left thier religion. Something changes when you realize how good the world is is all on you. You can’t wait for sky daddy to sort it all out later. It’s up to you to do something now. You become more responsible for the part you play in the human race. And I’d say that makes a pure morality something that happens after you move beyond religious belief.
The debate will continue as long as mankind is around which makes it very entertaining indeed.
Obviously those that purpose mankind needs religion in order to be moral have never read anything on past or present world history.That is with out a doubt in my mind one of their weakest and most ignorant claims.People are good,moral etc because they choose to be that religion has never stopped or started it for that matter.Based on those numbers”Mormonism” has a long way to go but it is a relatively young religion but judisim and muslim is not and their numbers(if these are accurate) are not much better fascinating.There is hope that we just might in some future look back and wonder why we believed in religion at all and spent our time working and solving the problems of humanity and expanding our knowledge of the universe medicine,mathmatics and an unending areas of incredible and wonderful studies rather than focusing on war,profit religion and the basic subjucation and manipulation of mankind for our own selfish ends.By the way professing no religion is not a religion its the absence of religion but I know what you mean.Cheers
Statements I have heard within minutes of each other in a debate over religion from the believer.
Atheism is a religion!!!
Having any religion is better than none!!!
All religions teach you good morals!!!
But wait are you saying that as a religion atheism is a good way of learning morals?
Or did you not mean it when you said atheism is a religion?
Deep down the as much as religions want to band together, they really don’t believe other faiths are as good as theirs.