No moral Compass
Atheists have no moral compass so goes the theistic canard. Recall that atheism is the answer to one question. No, I do not believe in gods. Thats it. So how is it that someone that doesn’t believe in the gods can be moral. Where does morality come from if not from the bible or other religious text?
Great questions– evolution is where we get our morals. We evolved as a species and empathy, the ability to put ourselves in other peoples shoes is what gives us our morals. Our ability to imagine, and to create stories, and to share those stories is what aids us in empathizing with others. Those that could and did do this had an advantage over other human, Neanderthals, Denisovans, etc. Anyone that’s read the bible, can see that morality depicted therein is by today’s standards barbaric. Stoning non virgin brides on their fathers doorstep thankfully never took hold. Buying and selling slaves, selling one’s daughter into slavery; selling ones daughter to her rapist for a few shekels, all of this is biblical moral law. All but says the Christian thats the old testament (tanakh) Jesus did away with all of that—we Christians are not bound by those commandments.
Wrong says this Atheist. Matthew, or whoever wrote the gospel that bears that name, put these words into Jesus’ mouth. Not one jot, not one tittle, of the law shall pass away—Heaven and earth will pass away etc. So dear Christian, it would seem that you are bound to keep the laws in the old testament. Of course no Christian does, except for the part concerning beating your kids black and blue with a rod. And almost all Christians dig the part about killing homosexuals and the property status of women. But contained within the old testy, are both copies of the Decalogue. That’s right there are two different sets of the 10
commandments suggestions, and they occur at: Exodus 20: 2-17; Exodus 34: 14-27. Three of them over lap. I am going to use the one that is most familiar to modern Christians. However at that there are still differences between them depending on whether you are a catholic or protestant, and these differ from the modern Hebrew texts. Rather than a dry recitation, I will use a story from the news to highlight the 10 commandments suggestions and how they provided a moral compass for a Christian pastor and his best friend.
Pastor David Love, how apropos, loved him some Theresa Stone. Theresa reciprocated that love and then some. Theresa’s Husband Randy Stone, was David Love’s good, some say best friend. Those same people tell what a great guy Randy Stone was. Randy they say loved his wife
Theresa very much. When they were apart Randy frequently called Theresa. His family intimated that he doted on her and their two children. Randy was very active in the church, drove the church bus, and chaperoned church activities for the young of that church. By all accounts Randy, a former marine, was a stand up guy. He and Theresa had been an item when they were younger but lost contact after Randy joined up with the Marines. After his discharge Randy returned home and reconnected with Theresa, they married and raised their children in that same church. The church where pastor David Love sprayed the congregation with gods holy word. How neat.
Pastor Love, met Randy, in 1999 and in 2010 pastor Love plugged Randy in his insurance office. Pastor Love used Randy’s own handgun to spray Randy’s brains onto the office furniture and elsewhere. The funny thing is that there was money, cold hard cash, filthy lucre, left behind at the scene. So the detectives knew that robbery was not the motive for the crime. Actually it was but more about that later. Funny? No Randy’s murder was not funny, I mean what was strange is that a minister wouldn’t or perhaps didn’t have the presence of mind to steal money just lying around. It’s just not like minister leave money sitting on the table. Maybe it was too easy, the challenge of bilking someone out of their hard earned cash is more satisfying. That or because Theresa, pastor Love’s lover, was also involved in the insurance business with her now dead husband. Stealing that money from Randy’s lifeless hand was in a way stealing it from his lover and in a sense himself.
The motive for killing Randy? Cash in on his life insurance money. That and sweet, sweet love, with Randy out of the way, Randy and his frequent phone calls, frequently interrupting the frequent illicit sex those two randy love birds shared. What isn’t mentioned in the articles I have read– is the togetherness that must have also been talked about. Pastor Love’s love letter to Theresa on her birthday, found in the trash during the murder investigation; talked about them being together for her birthdays in the future and just how special he would make them. Perhaps pastor Love was a lier as well as a lover. He must have had to lied, and lied and lied. If there were an Olympic sport for lying pastor Love may even give bankers a run for the money.
So lets add up the misdeeds:
1. Lying. Pastor Love had to no doubt lie to his wife. Possibly to Randy too.
2. Theresa, had to lie to Randy and possibly to Mrs. Love.
3. Both Pastor Love, and Theresa needed and got others to bear false witness for them.
4. The illicit, forbidden love affair, the married but not to each other, starred crossed love affair. Lets quit prevaricating about the bush, adultery. Adultery shalt thou not commit.
5. Murder, hands and feet that are/were quick to shed innocent blood. Thou shalt not murder.
6. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not commit insurance fraud by murdering your husband/best friend.
7. Thou shall not covet thy neighbors wife, or his large insurance plan payable upon death of said neighbor to wife to be split amongst themselves.
The final tally is 4, four out of a possible 10 suggestions violated. At least they didn’t take the name of the lord in vain or, perhaps they did.
In case the point is missed, those that claim to have a strong moral compass, the bible, and faith in god. It didn’t seem to do much good after all. That moral compass is faulty and needs repairing. Randy is robbed of his life. His children robbed of a father, his parents robbed of a child, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles all robbed, all left to make sense of it all. Not to mention that if there is a god, what the fuck, how could he/she allow this to happen. There are those that will retreat to the old not a true Christian canard. The no true Scotsmen fallacy. How are they to judge? These people claim to be Christians, thats good enough for me. Recall that all they have to do is recite the sinners incantation and wham-o instant forgiveness. Except that the children are left without a mother and a father, and the sundry baggage they will have to carry for the rest of their lives. It’s not likely they will ever fully heal, because no matter how much they pray, how much they seek the lord, fast, bow and scrape. Within the confines of the Christian minds there is little room for critical examination.
It’s not that atheists don’t steal, commit murder, lie, cheat and steal. Atheists are capable of all of this to be sure. Atheist don’t believe in gods, they don’t have holy books, they don’t claim to be moral because their holy book tells them how to behave. Those that have the so called moral compass, the moral code given by god in a holy book are no better off for having such a source. It didn’t keep the pastor and his lover from killing, bearing false witness, lying, stealing, cheating, and perhaps even seething a kit in its mothers milk. I have a moral compass superior to a holy book, I can empathize with my fellow human beings. I can an do think critically.
In case you think this is just picking a nit. That this is a rare instance of a good man gone bad, then have a look at Mojoey’s blog. It’s sickening.
Theresa got eight years—she turned states witness and got a lighter sentence.
Pastor Mike Love– is eligible for parole in 2036– he is of course leading a vibrant prison ministry.
Randy and his family got life sentence. Randy’s is gone and his family will live with the memory for the rest of the only life they will ever have.