After long debates with theists regarding the existence of God and the logic of religion, the discussion leads to the one question that actually matters :
Do we need religion?
To this question, the theists have several answers. To praise God or to serve God or to not be possessed by the Devil. But the answer that really gets my attention is this :
“Where else can we get morality if not from God?”
I’m sure most of us would agree that morality can come from other places. Like humanity, or society, or just good old plain logic, people. But some of the theists are convinced that if it weren’t for God, we would still be cavemen, barbarians with no sense of morality. Well, no. Although I agree that religion is the reason for some moral things, and religious institutions are doing very good work when it comes to charity and rehabilitation and providing homes for the poor. But what really scares me are the individuals.
Consider, for a moment, the people who believe in God and believe he is the only reason morality exists. Are they really acting with a sense of morality or because God told them to? Because they think it’s right or because they are afraid they’ll spend eternity in hell?
If, say, tomorrow, these individuals change their mind and decide that God is now dead or did not exist in the first place, would they abandon their ‘morality’? The very fact that they need an imaginary being to tell them to act morally is frightening. Is common sense, logic and humanity not enough to make them understand what morality is?
And speaking of deriving morality from God, what about sexism,slavery, homophobia and a bunch of other stuff that God says is ok to do? Are these people ok with doing that too?
I’m sure it doesn’t require much contemplation to arrive at the conclusion that slavery is bad. So why do we need someone to tell us that? Aren’t we decent enough human beings to understand morality ourselves? Also consider that even if you do commit sins throughout your life, all you have to do is ask for forgiveness and all your sins will be forgiven.
What if religion did not exist?
People believe that if they lead a sin-less life they will be rewarded in the afterlife by being sent to heaven. If they commit a sin, however, they will be sent to hell. Consider a murderer who believes in God. He knows that if he murders people, he will be caught and tried and be imprisoned or even hanged. But, wait. He can kill people if he wants to. He might have to spend some time in prison, but if he just asks for forgiveness, he will be sent to heaven. So he can not only do whatever the heck he wants and kill people, but also enjoy the resources of heaven, by only paying the price of a few years in jail. Wow!
Imagine a world without religion. One where no one believes in life after death. No one tells the murderer about sins, heavens and forgiveness. He knows this life he is living is all there is and if he commits a crime, he will be punished by law and that scares him.
And I’m just saying. Maybe. Just maybe…he won’t kill anybody.