Thinking it through…being godless is hard!
One of the most difficult stumbling blocks on my road to not believing in a god or gods (and it was definitely a road, not a moment) was realizing how hard it was to get rid of the religious framework and actually start thinking about my actions.
As a Christian, specifically a rather liberal Roman Catholic, I didn’t have to think about good and bad. I just looked at what those two stone tablets said. Plus the other 613 commandments in the OT that weren’t chiseled into stone.
Not so surprisingly, I discovered when I became a full-blown heathen that a lot of the religious rules were pretty good. (Certainly not all…some are horrible, some make no sense and a fair number are just silly.) But that wasn’t enough for me. I didn’t just want to know WHAT to do certain things. I wanted to know WHY.
That’s a good rule. But why?
Because God will roast you for eternity when you eventually die.
That no longer works because I don’t believe a god exists.
How about this: you wouldn’t like it if someone killed you, or someone you cared about. You get certain benefits living in a society in which the majority of people don’t try to kill each other. Pragmatically, killing someone can inspire the people they care about to try and kill you back.
And in extreme circumstances, like self-defense against someone trying to murder you, it isn’t the end of the world if you have to kill someone.
Who told me that? No one. I came to that conclusion myself. I didn’t read it in a book, and I wasn’t told it by someone preaching from a pulpit.
And I think I’m all the better for it.
How about you?