Monday, April 07, 2008

Tits

... for tats. Get your mind out of the gutter.

However, it just occurred to me that tit for tat could mean that a woman was offering her breast for inking.

One of the more annoying things that I hear from otherwise intelligent theists (aside from when I hear it from the stupid and credulous) is that as an atheist, I am somehow less moral than they. "How can you tell", they ask, often gasping a little, "what's right and wrong without god?"

Except that they'd capitalize god, and if they were Jewish, they'd even do something cool like G_d, or YHWH. And of course, Arabs would not only say Allah and capitalize it, but then they'd say something obsequious like : "Peace be upon him," or "Allahu ackbar". I'm certain my spelling is wrong on that second one, but I think I'm going to leave it so that any men of a certain age will be fondly reminded of the assault on the Death Star.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, forget it.

To return to the point at hand, however, let me say this. Don't be a fucking idiot!

No, I don't say that. Especially since these people who ask me this question, all wide-eyed and breathless, are friends of mine.

But, really, it's a valid point. Don't be a fucking idiot. Here's the thing. I was raised Baptist, and here's what I was taught:

  1. I am a sinner, and bound for hell.

  2. You are a sinner and bound for hell.

  3. Gay people are really bad, and really bound for hell.

  4. Gay sex is wrong.

  5. Swearing is wrong.

  6. Much of pop culture is wrong.

  7. The devil is always waiting for me to fuck up. The prize of my soul is a really big deal to Satan.


Conversely, god seems to have a live and let live philosophy. We're all sinners, and he killed a guy (and himself at the same time, which I never questioned too closely) so that I didn't have to go to hell if I was scared and/or smart. I got the impression that he preferred scared. So here's the deal. You are going to hell. That's all there is to it. God'll be a little sad if you do, but he's not going to interfere. He did that once already, and it went very badly. Some guy got nailed to a tree, and then some asshole started a letter campaign to start a church. So that's it. That's the offer. Apologise, and be sorry, and admit that you're evil, and you don't deserve mercy, and you'll get it.



I admit that my religious upbringing may have been a bit twisted, or I am.



Anyway, to return to the list, there's nary a moral commandment among them, except about swearing and gay sex. I don't normally have much gay sex, being straight and all, so I seem to make up for it by cussing.



There were rules of course, though only a couple seemed to be actual moral precepts: don't kill, don't steal. The rest tend to be about god or getting inside your head, which I think is a pretty good way to fuck with people.



And I was taught that no matter how bad you are, if you ask for forgiveness, you still get to go to heaven. There's a good Chick tract about a cop and a criminal, and how the criminal repents and goes to heaven, and the cop goes to hell.



So there was my moral teaching. If I'm sorry for my evil, then it's okay. In retrospect, it's kinda fucked up.



Of course there are other rules, but many of them are irrelevant: plowing with both an ox and an ass, and wearing mixed fibres. And turning the other cheek is usually not a good idea, either. Seriously, look where it got Jesus.



But there is a moral foundation that predates Jesus, and probably YHWH, and whomever else. Probably not the ancient ones that Lovecraft warned us about. But Cthulu probably wasn't big on the Golden Rule anyway:



Do unto others as you'd have done unto you.


What does it mean? Put dismissively, as it was by a theist I call a friend, "Whatever you want, that's morality?" I guess, yeah.



I don't want to be killed, so I don't kill people. I don't want to be stolen from, so I don't steal. I support freedom of speech and assembly and religion and all that other shit because I want those freedoms, too. Empathy is the basis of my morality, and god has nothing to do with it.



In fact, the god I learned about was decidedly a- or anti- or immoral. He was a bigot, a mass murderer, he supported incest and rape, war and genocide, committed genocide once or twice, killed himself, condemned everyone because two people made a mistake, engineered it so some people couldn't help but be damned, and then calls himself merciful, so he's a liar, to boot.



People kill other people because of religion. People discriminate because of religion. People hate because of religion. They steal in the name of religion, and occasionally for religion. They rape in the name of religion. They are pedophiles and back it up with religion. Apparently, morality has nothing to do with religion.



So why are people concerned that I'm amoral and evil? Because I have no god? It's a tired argument, but religion is hardly a fair indicator of a person's moral position. I, however, have an iron standard of morality. I empathise. I don't want to be judged harshly. I don't want to be abused. I don't want my loved ones to suffer. And because of empathy, I want the same for other people.



God's an asshole, and he has nothing to do with it.

1 comment:

adam brown said...

Hello I just entered before I have to leave to the airport, it's been very nice to meet you, if you want here is the site I told you about where I type some stuff and make good money (I work from home): here it is