The Importance Of Morality In Monotheistic Religions

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When considering morality from a religious standpoint, a conclusion is often drawn, particularly in monotheistic religions, that goodness is an absolute concept, dictated by a set of God-given rules. It is logical to assume that God, as an omniscient, transcendent and ultimately perfect being, would be the source of moral command. Often, divine moral command is delivered to believers through scripture; however, it is argued that the moral teachings arising from such scripture cannot be absolute because they are subject to cultural relativity. Thus, although divine command theory seems simple, absolute rules are difficult to apply, and many scholars attempt to expose the issues with religious morality.

Aquinas’ Summa Theologica argues that
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Examples from the Old Testament instruct believers to kill any individual who serves other gods, and even murdering everyone ‘save ... every girl who has never slept with a man’ (Numbers 31:18). Dawkins recalls numerous accounts of rape and slavery of young girls, concluding that the Old Testament God must be “the most unpleasant character in all fiction”. He goes on to interview fundamental Christian Michael Bray, “the intellectual father of the extreme radical fringe of the anti abortion movement” who strongly believes in capital punishment for adulterers and those performing abortions. From 1985 to 1989 he served 46 months of his initial 10 year prison sentence for the possession of unregistered explosives for use on women’s health clinics in 3 states. Bray also defended Paul Hill, who murdered a doctor and his bodyguard at an abortion clinic with a shotgun in 1994 and was executed in 2003. These examples provide evidence for Dawkins that Christianity should not be seen as a source for perfect moral guidance, as there are countless cases of criminals and registered terrorists such as Bray using their literal interpretation of the Bible to justify their inappropriate and fatal behaviour. Religion is “lethally dangerous nonsense”, filled with hypocrisy, and a tool that parents use to effectively indoctrinate their children into religious communities without the chance to develop their own autonomy. Dawkins regards strict religious upbringings as almost abusive, forcing children to accept the notion that faith is always moral, and anything other than God’s word is wrong, when in reality there are innumerable examples of faith causing more harm than

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