Tandi E. Marth
PHI208: Ethics and Moral Reasoning
Instructor F. Escobar
Atheism is thought to be an immoral practice by many a religious folk. “Rational atheism values the truths of science and the power of reason, but the principle of freedom stands above both science and religion” (Shermer, 2007). Humanity is bound by the control of organized and man-made religion, and this is a fact that remains present throughout the history of civilization. Countless wars, confrontations, hostilities and bloodshed in historical times can be rerouted or directly attributed to the acquisition of power and control by the region’s governing religion. True religion should be one based on human morals and ethics, and should be upheld for the good of humanity; not for an omniscient being that isn’t proven to even exist. A pure basis in scientific knowledge, fact, and faith is the center of atheism. Atheism literally means a disbelief in the existence of a deity (Merriam-Webster, 2013). Simply because the belief that humans were not created from a divine god or omniscient being does not imply that atheists are without faith or morality; in fact, many atheists believe in a higher power called the Universe, and this Universe with which we were created from has many moral laws for existence, success, humility, compassion, willingness, and morality in human life. Is something just and moral because a religious God says it is so, or does a religious God impose just morals specifically because they are fundamentally ethical and honorable?
There are many human religions that encompass moral values, but many of them also offer the forgiveness of a deity if they do wrong against these moral values. An exemplary religion of this devotion is Christianity, which imposes Ten Commandments of human morality, and these commandments are mostly virtuous principles to abide. The falter in this belief system is that if one should disobey any of these commandments set forth by God, then one should repent and beg for forgiveness in order to not be sentenced to eternal Hell upon death. An atheist interpretation of this belief is the necessary ideation that one should abide by a human moral code for the presence of life upon Earth, because the existence of ‘heaven and hell’ is confirmed to be present upon mortals living on Earth, and this life here upon our tiny planet is the only life we will receive. Therefore, if a person acts with ethical and moral decency, then they will be rewarded by the cyclical vibrations of the Universe; and vice versa.
In the historic centuries of Catholicism, the Catholic hierarchy consolidated power/money/wealth with oligarchic and monarchic regime governments. The corruption and murderous actions toward those who did not accept the Catholic religion was extensive in the religious conquest of other countries; and this was taking place all while the hierarchy was preaching the word of God (Bellitto, 2009). This is common with Christianity as well, for we see the Native Americans having a devout faith in the Christian religion, whilst at one point in time before the invasion of Europeans, they possessed a more acquainted belief in the powerful and cyclical nurturing of nature, thus the Universe.
Those of Christian background, such is a large percentage of the world’s population, are inadvertently biased against atheism. Christians are under the assumption that because a person or people does not believe in their own specific lord, Jesus Christ, that they are immoral sinners who will go to Hell because of their inability to repent their souls to the ‘one and only god’ of their personal belief. Catholicism does not take the atheist beliefs lightly, and one Catholic author states “…we feel we must certainly defend the integrity and reasonableness of our deepest religious convictions, but an adequate Catholic response must go beyond traditional apologetics; we must also...