What I admire about WordPress is that the biggest part of the users is American. While Germans are concerned about having a stable society, Frenchmen about beauty and pleasures of life, Russians about absolute truth, Americans are in obsession to prove that they are “good persons”.Whether they are Christians or atheists, this is not the essence of philosophies they care about, but their own morality. Why are Christians better than atheists? Because they are moral. Why are atheists better than Christians? Because they are moral. Why are republicans better than democrats? All the same answer. Everyone is absolutely convinced that one is moral and this is somehow utterly determined by the group they belong to. Physicians, philosophers, sectarians, politicians, scientists and actors – all find themselves to be “moral” or ”ethical” – as long as they are ”us” and not ”them”.
Even this short list of examples shows that the precious “moral” and “ethical” are nothing more than labels without any content, the tools of self-satisfaction. Who has even said “I didn’t behave morally” or “I am so ethical today”? No, we save “moral” and “ethical” for those who we are dissatisfied with. Business and terrorists are immoral; health policies and our opponents are unethical. When it comes to us, we are simply “good”, this is out of question. Even if we did something wrong, we still are good, because we are we.
Today I came across an article where the author was not even trying to prove she was moral – she was trying to show why the others did not accept it (since she was atheist, the explanation was “because the others are Christians”). Have you ever noticed that “I am good” assumption is really the last being questioned? Similarly, if you meet a Christian that claims that he is moral – don’t believe him, he is not Christian. Despite of both atheists’ and Christians’ delusion, real Christianity is not at all about being “moral”.
Just as for real scientists the Socratic “I know that I know nothing” should be the first commandment, real Christians start with “I know that I am not a good person”. To be “good” is not even a goal for Christianity – the goal is to become a God’s tool, one does not speak about morality then. Something similar to what is called “moral” comes as a consequence, but it is not a direct aim. A Christian being proud of his morality is ridiculous. But to accuse Christians of not being moral does not have more sense. This cannot work, because they, ideally, are not even aiming to.
Do you think this accusation can work in general? What do we actually mean by “being immoral”? That one does not pay one’s bills? That one does not vote? That one ate one’s own dog? For atheism “moral” is determined either by unconscious convictions or by conscious randomness. For example utilitarianism is a random choice to favour the “well-being” as the absolute criteria. As we claimed a lot at this blog (see the link below), atheism does not provide a justification for any criteria at all. Therefore an atheist cannot possibly be determined as “moral” while he stays at the realm of “atheism”.
Therefore, I fully agree with the author: “Being a Christian does not make you moral”. Whatever doctrine we choose, religious or philosophical, “moral” does not make any full sense. And if I am to choose, I would claim all the words with the root “moral” to be immoral, and be done with this.