Archive for June, 2009

08
Jun
09

What made you mad at God and caused you to reject Him?

I’ve never been asked this question personally, but I’ve seen it asked often.

The answer is simple – nothing.

Of course, you can take that answer two different ways:

– There isn’t anything that any gods have done to make me reject them, because I don’t believe in them.

– Gods have never done anything. Therefore, I reject them.

Either answer applies to me, so you can choose whichever you like.

Of course, some could suggest that the real question here is “When did you realize you were an atheist?” I’ll cover that one in the next post.

07
Jun
09

How are you spending your Sunday? (06/07/09)

The grass is getting a bit long, so I’ll probably push the mower around the yard for a good part of the day. My youngest daughter and I planted some vegetable plants in the garden yesterday, but we were too worn out to tidy up afterwards, so I’ll probably take care of that as well.

Other than that, I’ve got more writing to do (I slacked off a bit this past week) and preparations for our family trip in a couple of weeks.

07
Jun
09

Where do you get morality from, if not the Bible?

I’ve taken some time working on the answer to this one, as I think it’s a very important issue to clarify. (That’s why I haven’t posted very much all week.)

I recieved my morality from my parents.

I was raised by my mother and stepfather, and my birth father (whom I visited frequently) to be kind, generous, and helpful to others. Since I’m sure some will wonder – my mother and stepfather were both practicing Catholics during most of my childhood (cutting back to non-practicing through my teens and early adulthood), and my father (as far as I could tell) was an agnostic.

My parents received their morality from their parents, and so on, each generation passing along their established rules of right and wrong to the next. With each passing, the new generation evaluated those rules, considered which still applied and which did not, and adjusted their morals appropriately.

I’m fairly certain that some of the morals that my parents and grandparents followed came from the Bible – but I’m just as certain that much of the morals in the Bible were rejected by them as well. And those morals that they chose to follow are universal to all people, regardless of religion – don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t lie, and treat others as you would like to be treated.

The Golden Rule is a wonderful thing – but it’s not exclusive to the Bible. In fact, it can be found in at least 21 different world religions, some of which predate Christianity and the Bible. That consistency shows me that humans have developed a sense of right and wrong on their own, with no divine assistance.

Human morality has also  improved over time. What was permitted and forbidden in Biblical times has changed, as humanity understands more about the world and itself. I could not see myself adhering to any moral code from the bronze age, or even a few generations ago.

Slavery was permitted long ago, but now we have (mostly) come to the understanding that owning another person (to ANY degree) is terribly wrong. My parents grew up in the 30s and 40s, and maintained certain attitudes that I found to be rather racist – they taught me that whites and blacks shouldn’t be permitted to marry, for example. I rejected that, and still do.

My own attitude towards homosexuals has changed as I have matured and realized that all human beings deserve to be treated as such.  Likewise, there may be things that I do or subscribe to today that my children will find immoral, based on knowledge we develop in the future.

I could never adhere to a moral code that isn’t open to scrutiny and reevaluation.




I am an atheist, a person who does not believe in the existence of any gods.

Many people don't know a lot about atheists, and have questions about them. In this blog, I do my best to answer them, to help build an understanding between atheists and theists.

Do you have a question? You can post it in the comments to any of my blog entries, and I will do my best to answer it in a new entry.