Can you be a moral person without believing in God? Atheists are moral for the same reasons religious individuals are moral because we have compassion and a sense of justice.
Believing in God doesn’t mean that you will automatically be a moral person. After all, religion has played an important part in countless wars, terrorist attacks, murders, and genocides, yet people seem to associate it with morality.
People aren’t born inherently good or bad. People do good things or bad things, depending on the way they were raised, the experiences they went through and the personal choices they made.
I personally do not believe that people need the threat of hellfire and damnation to be a good person. I also don’t think atheists are automatically good. I just don’t think they’re any worse than religious people.
“I try to do good in the world, not out of fear of hell or reward of heaven, but because it feels better not to be an arsehole and to be kind to others.” – Unknown
Why do people think that atheist would struggle with morality when religious texts were written a long time ago by sexist and racist men.
“I was brought up an atheist and always remained so. But at no time was I led to believe that morality was unimportant or that good and bad did not exist. I believe passionately in the need to distinguish between right and wrong and am somewhat confounded by being told I need god, jesus or a clergyman to help me to do so.” – Nigella Lawson
Congregants also play a role in the direction that religion takes. It is the congregants’ uneasiness with pastor Robert Lee at Bethany United Church of Christs’ vocal support of the Women’s March, Black Lives Matter and Heather Heyer, that forced him to resign. I for one applaud him for exercising the moral fortitude so many are lacking.
If you believe that people need religion to have a moral code, in what type of world do we exist that a pastor who speaks out about racism and sexism needs to defend his words to it and loses his job? Yes, he resigned, but only after his job was in jeopardy for what he said. Why would his job have even been in jeopardy in the first place? What were they gonna vote on whether or not he represented Jesus up thereby calling the nation to fight prejudice and racism? This is why people on the outside, especially in the minority community, have a problem with the church.
“Someone just asked me was it worth it… Was it worth losing everything? Unequivocally yes.” – Rev. Rob Lee.
To this day, we let a lot of behaviours go on that would otherwise be considered unacceptable in civilized society just because it is done in the name of religious beliefs.
There are too many examples that show being a religious person has nothing to do with being a moral person and using religion as an excuse for criminal behaviour.
- Another Republican man suggests rape and incest are God’s will
- God makes no mistakes
- Scientology compound may hold its leader’s missing wife
In other words, asking an atheist how they can have morals without believing in God is an unbelievably insulting question. Being moral, caring about others and having compassion for them, is a fundamental part of being human.