Ya Know You’re In Deep, When You Start Dismissing Slavery

My fellow blogfriend, Fribnit, was really pissed off last week when he was accused of being immoral because he is an atheist.  I hear this a lot, “Where do you get your morals if not from god?”  I love how Ricky Gervais deals with it in this article for the Wall Street Journal.  He lists the Ten Commandment, shows how he follows each perfectly, 10 for 10, then declares himself more moral than most Christians. 

I am 58% through The God Virus: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture by Darrel Ray.  The author illustrates in Chapter 6 how morality is not tied to religion, but to culture.  He gives example after example of how ideas about morality have changed over time and how even the Ten Commandments mentioned above are not absolute. 

Slavery is never mentioned by Jesus as being sinful, and Paul even gives instructions to slaves.  It’s hard to imagine something more morally deplorable today than slavery.  Our current society finds slavery more abhorrent that even murder, since murder can be excused in many circumstances.  I once heard a Christian dismiss slavery as “just a political issue.”  To my apologist, Jesus was apolitical so we couldn’t expect him to be concerned with it.  Ok, if that makes you feel better…


About Brick Window

A mother and an atheist--Just trying to do the best I can in a suburb full of believers.
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5 Responses to Ya Know You’re In Deep, When You Start Dismissing Slavery

  1. fribnit says:

    I LOVE LOVE the Ricky Gervais piece with one minor quibble. 10-10 on the ten commandments makes him a good Jew 😉

    I have to get a hold of the book!

  2. fribnit says:

    morality is an ever moving target. during Victorian times showing an ankle made a woman a harlot. I think the entire religion morality link is weak at best, bull feathers at least.
    I am still peeved about it so I am going to stop now. grumble

  3. Jay Walker says:

    Darrel Ray’s book is excellent. And yes, I’m going to drop names and tell you that I’ve met him and heard him speak (you need to get yourself to some of these conventions!).

    Morality does change, but there are some things that seem to be universally immoral, like murder. Since we are social creatures we have a sense of how we should treat each other that has evolved over hundreds of thousands of years. The problem is that our societies are growing far quicker than our ability to adjust to the new circumstances is. This is something that our species will have to figure out how to work out or we will go the way of 99% of all species that have ever existed.

    • Brick Window says:

      Actually, Ray says murder does change. It is so often justified, like in war or when used as punishment. And the standards of how to murder change as well.

      Yea, Jay, you’re impressing me with your shoulder-rubbing….now stop it, would ya? 🙂

      Even the Golden Rule is changing. We used to say, “…as you would have them do unto you” but then somehow someone realized some people like to to be treated like shit.

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