Morality did not come from God or the Bible.
“Where do you get your morals from?” I am often asked. It is a highly repeated and an invincibly ignorant claim, that atheists are immoral. Where do atheists get their morals from, if not from religion? A lot of theists believe that if non-believers “rule the world” the planet would collapse upon itself… As if religious people are any safer to have around – a glance at human history and we are confronted with the crimes and atrocities motivated by religion.
But, just as I have written earlier:
“It is a common conception that atheists are bad, immoral people, or that somehow, it is wrong to be an atheist. Atheists have been excluded from communities all over the religious world: sacked from their jobs, kicked from their schools, condemned and looked down upon simply because we refuse to believe in an invisible sky figure. Yet this is a serious misconception, and basic statistics will tell you why. According to recent polls (Barna, 2004) atheists and agnostics make up to 12% of Americans. In prisons, atheists make up to only 0.21%. Clearly there is a giant disproportion here between 12% and 0.21%. Right?”
There is no indicator whatsoever that atheists are less moral than theists. But the original claim that morality is a God-given value is even more ridiculous. Why? A century ago almost every Englishman was racist. Now, racism is regarded as immoral. We see here that morality is continuously changing – evolving, so to speak, by artificial selection. Biblical “morality” (ie. stoning people to death because they don’t share your beliefs) is now considered disgustingly immoral. Man selects whatever moral values are required for a society to work for the benefit of everyone. Like other animals that work in teams, we have learnt how to follow community rules; we as H. sapiens have learnt how to care for one another. Many other creatures of this earth live in packs and herds. Birds fly in V-formation. Piranhas don’t eat each other, so why should the irreligious man resort to cannibalism? And, as the chimps full well know, you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.
Nature’s V: “The next time you see ducks or geese flying in a V,
watch them for a while to see if the lead bird changes.
Since whoever is up front is working the hardest,
every now and then the birds make a switch.”
The Bible is not a moral book. It is a ancient novel littered with permissible war, murder, rape and animal sacrifice. If this is the idea of God’s morality then I have to say I am slightly disappointed. In fact, most of the so-called morality of the Bible stems from the New Testament, from Jesus’ teachings. The radical shift from the Old Testament to the New, if anything, shows that the human definition of morality has changed since ancient times. Thank God.