The good book (why religion should be seperate from morals)

swimmerguy's picture

So, finally, I've decided to write that journal I've been intending. Half the reason is it's Thursday, it doesn't really matter how much sleep I get tonight because tomorrow is Friday, then the weekend.
And the other half is because usually now at about 10 I'd be doing homework, but my backpack is in the laundry room, the door to which is right next to my parent's bedroom door, and when I tried to get it about 5 minutes ago, I...heard some things I'd rather not be hearing :P
Gross, I know. So, I'm hoping a good 25 minutes to a half hour is sufficient to get the all clear....
Ugh, Gawd, that's so gross. One, my parents are both either at or approaching 50, which is a little old. Two, they're straight, which is gross enough :P. And Three, they're my parents, which is just weird.
So, if I had to walk past a bedroom of 2 15-or-16 year old hot guys that I'm not in any way related to, snogging, I'd probably listen at the door for a while, and not get any homework done anyway :P
But they are my 50 year old parents, so I'm just gonna wait.

ANYWAY, enormous digression over, let me get into my journal.
So, I haven't actually read The Good Book: A Humanitarian Bible, but it was featured on the Colbert Report, so what they said about it makes me pretty happy.
So, the basic premise of the book is that people should get their morals from human nature, not from an outside source such as religion.

Now, there was this guy who said once "I realized that political issues really can't be seperated from religious issues, they're all tied up together, see." Now, I think that statement wins the award for Statement I Most Fundamentally Disagree with.
I think politics are completely and utterly seperate from religion, except on the single front that people are allowed to practice whatever religion they want and express their beliefs in a peaceful manner.

I'll give you an example. The guy who said above quote, his name is Dan Lafferty. In a year I forget, on a day I forget, sometime in July 1986 or something, he and his brother Ron broke into the house of their brother Allen, and there found his wife Brenda and his small newborn baby, both of whom they promptly murdered with a tactical knife.
After being captured, Dan got life in prison, Ron got the death penalty.
And the thing is neither brother has the slightest bit of regret for their actions, whatsoever, even deciding to murder the innocent newborn.
The reason?
They believe that they were commanded directly by God himself that Brenda and her newborn needed to and deserved to be killed, that it was essential for His plan that they die.

Considered from an earthly human nature standpoint, it's obvious that that was a ghastly and tragic act of utter violence and complete unnecessity.
But their view that they were commanded by God makes their conscience unnasailable. It's all God's fault, not mine, see? He's the one who ordered the hit, I just deliver what He wants, see?
Why on Earth would God want that performed?
Well, it was in His plan.
And why on Earth would his plan involve killing an innocent woman and her newborn?
Well, God works in mysterious ways his wonders to perform.

Just that last sentence there, can be used to defend anything. This may seem horrible, but in some convoluted way, it's all for the best.
Well, that's all nice for you, but what about the other 7 billion people on Earth who think you are just plain and simple murderers?

Religion should be kept out of politics, because not everyone agrees.
In personal life, there's absolutely no problem whatsoever, you practice Satan worship, I don't care.
If your religion tells you not to eat pork, don't eat pork. Wear clothes not made from 2 different kinds of fibers. Hell, go off and hate gays in some quiet place by yourself.
Just don't impose it on me. If you don't want to eat pork, that's fine, but it would be a terrible thing to make a law commanding no one to eat pork. Or a law saying you have to eat pork, for that matter.
Because some religious views don't jive with others, and me, being Atheis, almost all don't jive with me. I don't want to practice any of your customs, necessarily.

Because if people are voting on gay marriage, a lot vote no because their religion tells them no, it's an abomination.
Now that's okay, you can believe whatever, but for heaven's sake, don't vote against it. It may be bad in your religion, but it's not in mine (or lack thereof) so to impose your religious views on me is just as bad as if I made a law saying you couldn't believe in God, which is completely unjust of course.

Because, from any secular, Earthly, humanistic point of view, there is absolutely no reason two people in love can't get a state recognized marriage while others can and do all the time.
And voting no is just simple intolerance and bigotry.
But if you religiously vote no, it's magically not your fault, God said so, so it's all right.
Because, of course, God works in mysterious ways his wonders to perform.
I'm sorry, but no. First of all, in most religions, God speaks to the people through men, who are admittedly flawed. And so, to say "This guy wrote this book that has been translated and has a law that any reasonable point of view would say is wrong, but happens for mysterious reasons neither I nor anyone else understands, and I stand by it wholeheartedly, and I will do my best to teach others the same"
Well, it was okay, until that last bit. You can believe whatever you want, and I'll be completely fine with it, it doesn't matter shit to me.
But to impose the views that you hold, that I hold as ridiculous, on me just because you're in the majority, is just tyranny of those in power, just like happens all the time in power, a total cliche.

If I held a religious view that all Christians should be killed by order of God, it wouldn't be right of me to kill Christians, or even impose legislature saying Christianity should be banned.
I can hold that view, it is my right, but I can't impose it on those who don't agree.
Even if there was a bill saying "Should Christianity be banned? [ ] yes, : [ ] no" I shouldn't vote against them.

Just like gay marriage, or anything else, you don't have to like 2 people in love for whatever reasons you wish, you don't have to "sanction them" and vote yes on gay marriage, but please just don't try your best to crush them out and vote no, because that's just imposing views on those who don't agree with them, which is simple intolerance reduced to its purest form.
Just don't vote, you're not sanctioning anything, you're just not crushing the love of 2 people regardless of gender, and let those who believe so vote yes and pass the laws that make sense from the point of view of human nature and creating a free and enjoyable society for all.


swimmerguy's picture


and this doesn't really warrant a new journal, or really even an edit, but it is nonetheless interesting. Today, my seat partner in math told me: "Woah, you're looking even prettier than usual today" and I was like WOW that is awesome. Very flattering.
I mean, it did come from a girl, sadly, no matter how cool she is... :P
I hope she's not like hopelessly infatuated with me tho :P

jeff's picture


not size queens here. You can post a journal of any length here...

"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are." - Kurt Cobain

elph's picture

We share the same sentiments!

I wish these views were held universally.

Regrettably, that's far from the case. It makes me cringe whenever I see religion being used as a bludgeon.

Just one of religion's extremely perverse (and loosely defined) concepts is that of blasphemy! Can you imagine a religion where one --- if even suspected of blasphemy --- becomes subject to death by stoning?

I think ferrets' comments used to close with a very appropriate tagline (now changed)...


Were you ever able to retrieve your backpack? :)

lonewolf678's picture

Was this tagline no?

"The fact is that more people have been slaughtered in the name of religion than for any other single reason. That, THAT my friends, is true perversion."

elph's picture


That's it! Sad, isn't it?

lonewolf678's picture


I hope I wasen't the one to make him stop using it.

lonewolf678's picture


Seperating the sacred from the secular is the first step towards a free nation. Why do we have to swear on the Holy Bible in court or any other situation that may require it? I just think it's offensive to still have "...under God..." in The Pledge of Allegiance, or on our money.

I can't imagine how it makes the Athiests, Agnostics, Nihilists, et cetera, feel. But I have a good idea that it would feel really alienating.

Oh, yeah and using religion as an excuse for alot of shit needs to stop as well. As I always think "Why drag God into it?".

MacAvity's picture


'...people should get their morals from human nature, not from an outside source such as religion.'

Do all humans have the same nature, or would they if not for the outside sources such as religion?
And where does the law fall in this scheme of things - does it count as an 'outside source' from which people should not get their morals?

swimmerguy's picture

Theoretically, no

Theoretically, you shouldn't get your morals from the law. I think that theoretically, the law should reflect your own morals, if they took away the law that said you can't kill, I wouldn't go around killing people. I don't kill people because it's against my morals, not because it's against the law. I don't agree with the law against drugs, so I think I might do them nonetheless at some point, and I will accept the consequences, just like MLK or Thoreau or something.

And no, not all humans have the same nature.
That's why we have to go by consensus in some things. If someone says that it's okay to brutally rape and murder people, then we'd arrest that person, even though it's right in their morals. Sorry, we have a general consensus that's wrong, so you have to play by the rules of society, or leave it.
Other than that, I'm not really sure what you mean... :P

MacAvity's picture

My point is that the laws do

My point is that the laws do come from the morals of the majority, and the majority gets its morals, at least in some part, from religion. I get what you're saying, though - that it would be ideal if the law came from the consensus of a majority of people finding their own morals rather than taking those handed to them by their churches.

elph's picture

A mild disagreement...

Laws are created to restrict specific human behaviors and/or activities. It cannot be argued that laws are inherently moral. In fact, some laws may indeed be immoral!

Religions arise primarily to appease a presumed higher order... usually with the objective of eliciting the favor of an improved earthly existence, and (in the case of some religions) assurance of an ethereal and everlasting afterlife.

The "catch" is that it is impossible to objectively verify that such "favors' have ever been granted... or, that they even exist in any real sense. For this reason, religion can never be treated as a science.

A secondary (and much more perverse) role played by religion is that it can easily be arrogated by unscrupulous politicians for the total control of the masses... largely through fear.

lonewolf678's picture


if anything religion can be exploited and used to manipulate. Afterall the religion itself isn't a threat to anything, the crazy people who exploit it are the threat.

jeff's picture


Seem to target the more over-the-top behavior, so there are way more levels of morality that wouldn't be covered. You can be an utter horrible person to other people and not doing anything illegal, but many could view that behavior as immoral.

If you want to bake a cake, you can buy flour, sugar, vanilla, and baking powder at the store. They are readily available, natural things.

Or you can buy boxed cake mix and not have to wonder how to put things together or worry about measuring, or caring where things came from.

For most people, religion is cake mix. There isn't anything new or unique in it, but it's all packaged up for you and you don't have to think about finding all the stuff for yourself.

"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are." - Kurt Cobain