Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christian vs. secular morality

Many Christians claim time and again that God is the source of all morality, and that without God there can't be moral values. Moreover, God's morals (more specifically, the Christian God's morals) are perfect and absolutely good.

So let's compare the morality as taught by Christianity to secular moral values.

(Note that because there are over 30 thousand denominations of Christianity, each one with different interpretations of the Bible, there are about as many interpretations of "Christian morality" as well. However, here I'm going to take the most commonly accepted ones.)

Christian morality teaches that all crimes are equally punishable in the eyes of God. Even the smallest of infractions is deserving of the same punishment as the largest ones. Secular morality posits that punishment should be proportional to the severity of the crime.

In Christian morality there is only one single punishment for all crimes, no matter what their severity might be, and this punishment is eternal. (It varies by denomination whether this is eternal torture, or simply oblivion; the most popular interpretation is the former.) In secular morality the punishment should be fair and proportional to the severity of the crime (from warnings to fines of varying amounts to prison sentences of varying lengths, according to severity.)

In Christian morality everybody is guilty by default, and deserving of eternal punishment, unless they redeem themselves. In secular morality everybody is innocent by default until they actually commit a crime. Only after they commit an actual crime are they deserving of a punishment.

In Christian morality there is a loophole to erase your crimes without having to suffer the punishment that you deserve. There is no such loophole in secular morality.

And related to that, Christian morality has the concept of punishing innocent people on behalf of the guilty. This thought is completely abhorrent in secular morality.

Christian morality has the concept of thought crimes and victimless crimes, crimes that are "against God" (rather than against anybody else.) Conveniently, many of these crimes are things that are completely natural behavior for humans, so it's guaranteed that the vast majority of people will commit them. In secular morality crimes are those that harm others, and the whole concept of a thought crime or a victimless crime, a crime that doesn't actually do any harm to anybody, is ridiculous.

When we get down to it, secular morality is based on what's best for the society, while Christian morality is all about guilt and fear, about victimizing people for natural behavior that doesn't harm anybody, and scaring them into embracing the religion. The goal of Christian morality is not to make people behave better, but to draw them into the religion.

And then Christians claim that Christianity is the source of all morality, even the secular one...

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