25 November 2010

Origin of Morality and Sausages

"Clearly we get our moral codes from god, how else would we know how to behave?"

How far would the human race have got if murder and theft were considered fine by everyone?
Obviously not very far. By definition, if people had killed and robbed all the time, society would never have got anywhere. Total chaos.

You wouldn't be reading this now on a developed social network whose existence required the development of organised science. You can't be ultra-selfish in a community, or there will soon be no community.
This presents no mystery to anyone but a hapless baboon or a religious person.

Some cultures had no such silly stone tablet rulings yet still evolved into highly moral (and atheistic) societies, such as in Japan and Sweden where the crime rates are amongst the lowest in the world.

There is just no sense for an all-powerful being to prescribe ludicrous rules regarding the the treatment of your 'property' such as wives and slaves, procedures for animal sacrifice, or prohibitions on eating pigs and shellfish.

Just don't make pigs then.


  1. Alan Farre12/07/2011

    I wouldn't call Japanese society particularly atheistic, considering their rather vast animistic pantheon. I do rather admire their incredibly relaxed attitude to religion, though. Trot it out for weddings, funerals, and new years - ignore it pretty much all the rest of the time.

  2. Thank you for your comment Alan.
    I think Japan is in the top 5 most atheistic countries. If you check that list the correlation with low crimes rates is astounding.

    My observations in Japan, where I live incidentally, have made it plain their various rituals and festivals are more like homage to their cultural history rather than perpetuation of any actual belief. Obon is a case in point, where families even build little wooden ladders so the spirit of a dead loved-one can climb up into the home's shrine. People I have spoken too have no belief whatsoever that the dead come on a home call, any more than I believe Santa might show if I leave milk and cookies out.
    It is particularly amusing when they go in for simulated western-style weddings, complete with hymns, fake priest and "churches" in hotel function rooms. Not a Christian in sight. Maybe one reason I like it here. Don't have to listen to them whining how oppressed they are.

    In any case Atheism requires only a denial of a deity, although I am pretty sure most atheists discount the whole 'spiritual' mumbo jumbo too. I hope so!