Morality and God shouldn’t mix

Elton Wong

Do problems in deciding what is right and wrong disappear when you accept God?

A great deal of rhetoric from religious people would like to convince you of that.

The thing is, morality by definition has to exist completely apart from God.

Suppose morality did come directly from God, who, with his will, defines what actions and thoughts are immoral. Then we can say things like, “Homosexuality is wrong because God says it is.”

Saying “God defines right and wrong” takes all meaning out of the phrase “God is good.”

Of course God is “good” if he gets to define what “good” is!

I could be a perfect “moral” agent too if I was given power to define morality around what I think.

If right and wrong do exist they must be absolute and universal. They must exist independently of what God thinks.

Once we realize this, we can realize that God has been wrong. Moses even had to calm Him down once when He wanted to smite all the Israelites.

As for David Cash, the guy who stood by and watched his pal kill a 7-year-old, none of us are any different. Don’t believe me?

How many of you own CDs? I own about fifty. Fifty CDs at $15 each is $750. People are starving in the world, and I decided that I would rather buy CDs than food for them.

Do any of you know what it’s like to starve to death?

Do any of you even know what it’s like to be hungry? I sure don’t.

I could have helped them and I didn’t, and I’m willing to bet all of you have made similar choices as well.

Just about no one here has a claim to be anywhere near a morally good person.

Not because we’re inbred descendants of two people who ate some fruit and pissed off some Big Guy but because we’ve all made selfish choices that put ourselves and our “loved ones” far above other people.

So maybe we should examine those choices before we go around harassing each other.

Elton Wong


Philosophy and biology