Reader’s perspective: No god needs to be good – Duluth News Tribune
Morality is a deep subject. Books with thousands and thousands of words have been written, and there is still no concrete conclusion about what it necessarily means to be moral. One thing I think we can all agree on is that morality depends on the welfare of humans; it comes in degrees of morality. Certainly, there is no strict black and white to morality; there are more gray areas of varying amplitude instead.
Our well-being is the foundation of what we would consider a normative moral definition. Without human well-being as a starting point, what would it be worth calling it morality? If God is put first as the center of morality, then what happens to us is independent of humanity; we are simply fodder for something whose existence has not been demonstrated, the equivalent of the sacrifice of thousands of humans for the “pagan” religions of old – and in the religions of today: apostasy in the Islam, death by failed pregnancy in Catholicism where abortions are a no-go, and murder of LGBTQ people in Christianity, for example.
Atheists like me tend to center our morality on the welfare of humanity through humanism. Most theists (Christians, Catholics, Buddhists, etc.) also focus morality on the welfare of humans. Since we both center our moral framework on the welfare of our species, it would seem that you don’t need a god to be good; all it takes is empathy, compassion, and reflection on actions to determine moral goods.
We all tend to do good for the good of our species. Next time you’re questioning a decision about whether it’s a moral good, I’d suggest putting humans before a god.
The writer is a lifelong atheist and founder of Twin Ports Humanists.
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