No God Required

no god

How does one know right from wrong?
That philosophical question addresses the roots of religion.
The theologian questions how an atheist can have a moral compass without a god.
The atheist wonders what deists are capable of were they not held in check by the carrot and stick of religion: Heaven and Hell.

Throughout most cultures, from time immemorial, one can see almost universal perceptions of morality. Murder and theft are denounced by all religions, and by the non-religious as well.

Religions only seem to add window dressing to the basic human sense of right and wrong. Judaism and Islam forbid consuming pork and allow multiple wives. Christianity allows pork but forbids multiple wives. Up until Utah was granted statehood, Mormons allowed both pork and multiple wives.

Most religions appear ridiculous to the practitioners of another one, while to an atheist, all religions seem ridiculous.

Gods do not provide moral compasses. The Bible, for example, condones incest, rape, murder, mayhem, and slavery. Hardly a moral guide for anyone to follow.

The atheist recognizes the good in religions, but is all too familiar with the evils as well. If there is a constant that unites atheists it is probably the admonition expressed in the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
Simple.
Profound.
A moral compass.
No God required.

 

 

Author’s Notes:

This article was published here a couple of days ago under the title We Must Step Outside Our Species. Because of a WordPress glitch it was not able to be shared properly.

I am unaware of any other blog with the Armory’s mission of radicalizing the animal movement. I certainly hope I am not alone, and that there are similar sentiments being expressed by comrades unknown to me.

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8 thoughts on “No God Required

  1. And there you go, too, Rosemary, following me around the Internet calling me a racist. And what us your reason? The fact that I complained about charro rodeo and halal slaughter. I hope you read carefully enough to notice I did not use any epithets or condemn a race or ethnic group. I merely condemned specific cruelties that happen to be cultural/rltual traditions. I condemn all abuse of animals equally. I have railed against Big Ag and everyone involved in the slaughter industry, railed against bullfighting in Spain and wherever else it occurs, against pig torture in Vietnam, against Dr. Palmer and the trophy hunting that resulting in Cecil’s death, and also against the carelessness that led to Harambe’s murder in the Cincinnati zoo.

    Thus, I am not selective as you seem to be. You justifiably complain of the hunters who get their kicks shooting, trapping, and poisoning wolves, coyotes, and other wildlife. But you seem to feel that other ethnic groups or races need to be excused, that calling out their abuses is racist. However, you have indulged in name-calling which, again, is very selective. I am including below a comment you made in another blog.

    1. Rosemary Lowe on November 23, 2016 at 2:38 am said:
    “Thank Gaia, these ignorant white trash are gone, but never fear, more such junk is continuing and most likely will continue, such as “Survivor Man” and other trash.”

    So does referring to “white trash” and “junk” make you a racist too? Or are you acknowledging that some members of the white community are bad characters, capable of great cruelty? If so, why does that not apply to every race and every ethnic group, since every community has evil and cruel people?

    I suspect you may keep calling me a racist, but condemning “ignorant white trash” and “junk” yet excusing the torture of horse tripping in rodeos because it originated in Mexico and excusing the ritual slaughter of cattle because the killers are Muslim is hypocritical, or illogical, at best. Your concern for animals seems to depend only upon who is harming them, not on the cruelty itself. If only “white trash” can be condemned, then most of the world population would be blameless, no matter how badly they treat animals.

    I’m against ALL human exploitation and abuse of ALL animals. That is my position. If that is your definition of racism, then so be it. Apparently, your concern for animals does not extend to those unfortunates suffering under abusive traditions.

    Like

    • Neoliberals use “racism” as a cudgel against all who disagree with any of their positions. To them, the ultimate epithet to hurl at an opponent is “racist!’ They use is against the entire right (often accurately) and against most on the political left, (rarely accurately). Their litmus test for piety is political correctness, and the penultimate sin is to appear politically incorrect. In their warped worldview, neoliberals regard cultures and barbaric traditions above all other issues. Doing so validates their imagined holier-than-thou superiority.

      Like

      • Unfortunately, there is a lot of that going around, and there doesn’t seem to be any cure. I’ll leave them to their sanctimony. Animals come before culture and tradition in my estimation. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

        Like

  2. I couldn’t agree more. The Golden Rule, “do unto others,” should be the guide. If people even imagined being on a transport truck or in the kill line at a slaughter house, or in the bull ring, or a research lab, they would be outraged and horrified. Yet we complacently accept those fates for animals. We can back up the Golden Rule with the fifth commandment, “thou shalt not kill.” A Catholic examination of conscience reveals that the fifth commandment involves more than killing and includes bodily harm, neglect, oppression, being mean to or wilfully hurting, as well as delight in seeing someone get hurt or suffer. That covers the range of harm human beings inflict on animals. However, that guide applies only to sins against humans.
    So the institution that is supposed to serve the arbiter of morality is the very one that justifies and excuses the endless abuse.

    We don’t need to slog through Augustine or Aquinas, read Kant or Locke, or reference Singer or Regan for opinions on what to do about cruelty to animals. We just need to observe the Golden Rule and the fifth commandment. But first we have to abandon the moral schizophrenia that currently excludes animals from consideration.

    Like

    • So glad, Marcia, you have decided to shed the pretense of “ahimsa,” particularly in light of your position on Muslims, Mexicans, & other people of color/and or ethnicity. One cannot be a “little bit” racist: one is or is not, period. The U.S. Empire’s hegemony has largely been the catalyst for the increasing violence in the world, often supporting right-wing dictators. We reap what we sow.

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