An Alternative way of Living? (my first Blog)

I have found that secular humanists, especially online, are very quick to judge and ridicule Christianity and Creationism, however I hear very little of them speaking about how a life without God is better than one with God. The impression I get from Atheist friends of mine is that they can simply make up their own choices about what is right or wrong, but their morality may not remain constant throughout their lifetime. To them a Morality may seem a more fluid thing rather than a universal constant set in stone. I call this an ‘Ideo-Morality’, they do not base their moral decisions on anything more than what they’d like to see be right or wrong. They often justify their decisions by quoting the moral decisions made by other famous Atheists, although I would still say (even if they don’t realise it) the Atheist morality is still thoroughly rooted in the commandments of the Bible, especially in this country (Great Britain (and probably USA too)). But of course we cannot get our full view of an Atheist lifestyle from the average Joe Blogs in the internet (no pun intended). Of course the more well known Atheists have come up with a morality they think should be universal, even if they don’t appear to uphold it themselves. (Then again us Christians never were particularly perfect either.) My particular example of this is Richard Dawkin’s alternative version of the 10 Commandments:

  • Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you. (a.k.a. “Love your neighbor as yourself” – [Lev 19:9, Lev 19:18, Matt 5:43, Matt 19:19, Matt 22:39, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27, Rom 13:9, Gal 5:14, Jam 2:8, etc.])
  • In all things, strive to cause no harm. (Many Atheists have done this in the past.)
  • Treat your fellow human beings, your fellow living things, and the world in general with love, honesty, faithfulness and respect. (even Religious people?)
  • Do not overlook evil or shrink from administering justice, but always be ready to forgive wrongdoing freely admitted and honestly regretted.
  • Live life with a sense of joy and wonder.
  • Always seek to be learning something new. (like Intelligent Design?)
  • Test all things; always check your ideas against the facts, and be ready to discard even a cherished belief if it does not conform to them.
  • Never seek to censor or cut yourself off from dissent; always respect the right of others to disagree with you.
  • Form independent opinions on the basis of your own reason and experience; do not allow yourself to be led blindly by others. (like Richard Dawkins?)
  • Question everything. (like Darwinism?)

I could continue to add comments to these all I want and have a lot of fun doing it. But this is not important or effective. All I’m trying to do with my comments is show that when your morality is an Ideo-morality then you are far less likely to up keep what you’ve stated and the ideal way of living becomes a fluid thing rather than black and white, right from wrong. I’d also like to point out that what Dawkin’s here calls Commandments aren’t very commanding. I think they should be re-named ‘Richard Dawkin’s 10 Suggestions for a healthy life’. It turns out he was confronted in person about this. Someone stated that they weren’t very commanding and his reply was words to the effect of “I don’t care”. To me this really does go to show that some Atheists really don’t care if their morality is Black and White – Right and Wrong – but it’s a far more vast grey area of interpretation, also allowing room for Joseph Stalin and Chairman Mao’s moral choices. I don’t mean to relate every Atheist to these viscous Humanist Dictators but I’d like to point out how warped peoples decisions can become when they don’t have a solid set of historically affirmed rules to live by, for eventually Natures only rule (“Survival of the fittest”) can be used to justify anything.

For me there is more proof that having a life with God allows for a a longer and more enjoyable life. To me it seems Dawkin’s has to meet these standards by “commanding” people to “live life with a sense of joy and wonder”. I have not yet seen convincing evidence that the Humanist morality is anywhere near as established and effective as the Christian morality. Maybe that is why Humanists themselves appear to avoid this topic. So I continue to ask Atheists for a better way of life than what Christ taught us. But until then I hope I have provoked thought on this topic and I hope to write many more blogs after this.

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2 Comments

  1. Profile photo of edwardtbabinski

    edwardtbabinski - June 20, 2013, 10:20 pm

    You’re right! What could be a “better way of life” than…

    Slaughtering entire cities, men, women, pregnant women, babes and cattle, at the command of one’s divinely led leader. (Joshua)

    Killing everyone except the young females who have not known a man. (Moses)

    Reveling at the tales of all the holy punishments and slaughters perpetrated by one’s God.

    The God who groaned that his first human children have “become like us” then exiled them permanently from Eden (which is exactly how any loving father treats his children, exiling them after their first offense);

    Who drowned every living thing that had the breath of life in its nostrils;

    Who confused humanity’s tongues;

    Who made fire and brimstone rain down on cities;

    Who murdered the first born of Egypt;

    Who opened the ground so it swallowed a Jewish father, wife, daughters;

    Who sent snakes, plagues, famines and invaders to kill His chosen people;

    Who struck a married couple dead for lying about giving all they had to the church;

    Who “judged” Corinthian Christians by making “many” of them “ill” and murdered a few as well. “Many of you are ill and some of you have fallen asleep,” because God was “judging” them for how they were mishandling the Lord’s Supper celebrations.

    A God who all the while boasts (loves other to boast for and about Him, can’t get enough of that), and threatens/promises, the old carrot and stick routine.

    And who taught how important it was to stone to death anyone who tempted one to worship other gods.

    And who taught the importance of disciplining one’s children via the rod, even bruising their bodies, and not ceasing to strike them no matter how loudly they cried. And who taught that the penalty for cursing one’s parents or striking them back was death. Even Jesus cites that command as an example of the right of honor that belongs to parents. Here’s how Jesus was depicted speaking per the Gospel of Mark:

    Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used (i.e., money or other things) to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God and given to the Temple priests instead of giving it to one’s parents who need it)—then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down.” Mark 7

    So, Jesus spoke not a word against “the tradition handed down” that capital punishment was a valid penalty for children who disobeyed their parents. (Calvin certainly took note, and when he had the chance, he advocated that disobedient children in Geneva ought to be put to death. One child in their teens was, while other children in Geneva were hung by their armpits from gallows to demonstrate that they deserved the death penalty for their disobedience. And a few Reformed Calvinists today also advocate that disobedient kids in their teens be put to death.)

    CONTRA THE WIL O’ THE WISP OF “OBJECTIVE BIBLICAL MORALITY” I think most people have enough sense to know that in general it’s better to be liked than hated, Many of us like being liked and hate being hated. Such a recognition preceded law codes.

    Other recognitions also preceded law codes, because it is a rare individual indeed who likes having his life or belongings taken from him at some other person’s whim.

    I bet such recognitions preceded the invention of the earliest codification of laws.

    Lastly, what do apologists hope to accomplish by throwing round the word “objective” whenever they are speaking about morality? Can they prove that Biblical morality is “objective?” How could one prove such a thing? By shouting Bible passages louder, as in the case of the minister who wrote in the margins of his sermon notes, “Point weak here, shout louder”? Do they just shout “these laws here have been objectively determined” because I say so?

    I think all laws are based on prior recognitions that the majority of humans share, just like we share similar physical and psychological pains when we are called names or have rocks thrown at us, and share similar desires, interests, etc. Human laws only start to diverge greatly — or run off the common rails so to speak — whenever specific “duties to God” start arising in rival religions.

    Not only can apologists not prove that various Bible passages teach “objective” morality, but they can’t prove such passages are necessarily “divinely inspired” either. Not unless you argue in a circle, because “the Bible tells me so,” and also include in that circle a tighter narrow one labeled, “These are the interpretations of the Bible’s moral lessons and laws that I think are the right ones,” and debate that endlessly with fellow Christians.

    A few quotations to back up some of the things written above

    SUFFER THE CHILDREN TO COME UNTO ME
    The phrase, “Suffer the children to come unto me [=Jesus]” is from the King James Bible which was written in Elizabethan English. At that time the word “suffer” meant “allow.” Just “allow” children to “come to Jesus?” Seems a little tame compared with statements in the Hebrew Bible that taught parents to beat their children into submission, and stone disobedient ones, including anyone of any age who tempted others to follow “other gods.”After Christianity arose, further “allowances” were instituted such as dedicating one’s child to the parent’s religion at birth, i.e., the Hebrews practiced circumcision, but the early Christian church soon chose infant baptism as an alternative. The child was thus “allowed” to come to Jesus. But what choice did it have?
    ____________________________

    KIDS, YOU CAN’T BEAT ‘EM, UNLESS YOU’RE A FIRM BELIEVER IN THE BIBLE, THEN IT’S AN OBLIGATION

    Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
    – Proverbs 19:18 (The Hebrew word for “chasten” means literally “chasten with blows.”)

    The blueness of a wound cleanses away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly.
    – Proverbs 20:30 (The Hebrew word translated “stripes” means “beating.”)

    A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back.
    – Proverbs 26:3

    Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beats him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shall deliver his soul from Sheol.
    – Proverbs 23:13-14

    As a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee (with blows).
    – Deuteronomy 8:5

    For whom the Lord loves he chasteneth, and scourges every son whom he receives.
    – Hebrews 12:6 (The Greek word translated “chasteneth,” also means “beating.”)
    ____________________________

    AND IF BEATIN’ ‘EM DON’T WORK…

    Rev. William Einwechter, vice-moderator of the Association of Free Reformed Churches, is convinced that we as a nation are in danger of suffering the penalty of God’s wrath unless we begin stoning to death “disobedient children” who are in their “middle teens or older.” The reverend cited Deuteronomy 21:18-21 as his keystone verse:

    “If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.”

    He and his fellow Free Reformed Christians should not be chided for focusing on “disobedient children,” because they believe that blasphemers, witches, adulterers, and those who seek to convert people to religions other than Free Reformed Christianity, are all candidates for a good stoning.
    E.T.B. (citing Rev. William Einwechter, “Stoning Disobedient Children,” Chalcedon Report, Jan. 1998)

    • Profile photo of Kurt Jaros

      Kurt Jaros - June 21, 2013, 10:24 am

      Ed, without directly responding to your concerns about ethical behavior in the Bible, I’m wondering to know what your account of morality is. Thanks!

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