Faithless aren’t morally inferior
For decades, religious institutions have spouted the pretentious assertion that non-religious people live by an anything goes code of morality; claiming it was the decline of religion in America that lowered moral standards. Morality can only, and should only, be judged based on one’s actions and not their religious religious beliefs, or lack thereof.
Society would be much better-off defining morality through philosophical and logical means rather than through adherence to religious dogma. Nevermind the fact that such beliefs frequently lead people astray just as often as they lead them to virtue. Renouncing Catholicism allowed me to gained an objective, outside perspective of organized religion and become thoroughly convinced that morality is better left to philosophy and logic rather than any unchallengeable and, incidentally, imperfect Gospel. However, don’t confuse criticism for condemnation, religion does have a good side.
There are many wonderful lines in the Bible that promote compassion, acceptance of others and many other philosophies that are respectable. Any word of any god can be cherry-picked to promote a certain message and unfortunately a lot of religious people do just that, especially with the unsavory parts. For example, each of the Abrahamic faiths’ Gospels contain passages that blatantly vilify homosexuality. It is easy to dismiss those abhorrent people that parade anti-LGBTQ+ hate signs through the streets as “crazy people,” but it is important to realize that their ironically uncompassionate beliefs did not come out of thin air. Their beliefs came from sources like the Old Testament. So, without religion, an argument against gay rights would never have been created.
Like any human construction, religion is full of good ideas and bad ideas. The problem is, rather than sorting out the good from the bad, followers are taught that questioning God’s word is sin, punishable by damnation. Followers easily become afraid to ask questions or modify their preachings even when something doesn’t sit well. Religion is based on one major foundation, faith.
Faith: the voluntary suspension of critical thinking. We are taught that faith is a good thing, that it is commendable to cling to beliefs without requiring evidence, logic or reason. Faith is what exists when science has no answers, and that makes it superior.
Religion isn’t the sole defining factor in a person’s morality–it is far more complex than that. For those who say abandoning religion leads to moral depravity, there is a need to understand that religion does not make a person good. Sound judgment and benevolent intent makes a good person. If individuals cannot sort right from wrong without a god’s command, then society is morally bankrupt indeed.