Secularists: We’re Fine Without God, Thanks

Feb 10, 2015

To the Editor:

Re “Building Better Secularists” (column, Feb. 3):

David Brooks says secular individuals have to build their own moral philosophies, while religious people inherit creeds that have evolved over centuries. Autonomous secular people are called upon to settle on their own individual sacred convictions.

Secularists don’t have to “build” anything; we can choose moral philosophies from what’s already well tested. If religious people think that their “faith” excuses them from evaluating the duties and taboos handed down to them, they are morally obtuse.

Does Mr. Brooks think that religious people are not “called upon to settle on their own individual sacred convictions”? Children may be excused for taking it on authority, but not adults.

Mr. Brooks writes, “Religious people are motivated by their love for God and their fervent desire to please Him.” We secularists have no need for love of any imaginary being, since there is a bounty of real things in the world to love, and to motivate us: peace, justice, freedom, learning, music, art, science, nature, love and health, for instance.

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10 comments on “Secularists: We’re Fine Without God, Thanks

  • If your moral system is not quite close to those of your neighbours, you will quickly hear about it. Very few people actually construct one from first principles.

    Religious moral systems are supposedly based on sacred texts, but if you read the texts, you discover there is almost no overlap.

    Do you think you base your morality on the bible? No you don’t. You don’t kill gays, stone pregnant teens, kill people who eat shrimp, sacrifice your first child, murder your bride if she is not a virgin, slit the throats of people who wear cotton blend socks, beat your children to death if they sass you, beat demons out of people when they are sick, refuse to wash your hands… You lie! We atheists have talked some sense into you.

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  • secular individuals have to build their own moral philosophies, while
    religious people inherit creeds that have evolved over centuries.

    No, we do not. We already have moral philosophies. The problem is that we are not loud enough, we do not criticize enough devious religious moralities. Religious organisations have some “moral” postulations which are unchangeable and fixed thousands of years ago, and we all know that morality is changing social fabric. Modern societies can not function on morality of a bronze age. And we, secular people have to be loud enough and persistent in exposing lies and outdated morals. We need to advertise more.

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  • Brooks concludes his piece with “…the spiritual urge in each of us, the drive for purity, self-transcendence and sanctification.” In other words, the good ol’ “need for the ABSOLUTE” every theist is so obsessed with – he simply cannot grasp that growing up into the full adulthood of secularism means also to finally grow out of self-centered notions of that kind.

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  • 5
    aquilacane says:

    “Religious people are motivated by their love for God and their
    fervent desire to please Him.”

    Here’s your fucking morality right here:

    Kill People Who Don’t Listen to Priests (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)

    Kill Witches (Exodus 22:17 NAB)

    Kill Homosexuals (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)

    Kill Fortunetellers (Leviticus 20:27 NAB)

    Kill Children Who Hit Mom or Dad (Exodus 21:15 NAB)

    Kill Children Who Curse Parents (Proverbs 20:20 NAB) (Leviticus 20:9 NLT)

    Kill Adulterers (both of them) (Leviticus 20:10 NLT)

    Kill Fornicators (burned to death BTW) (Leviticus 21:9 NAB)

    Kill Followers of Other Religions (Exodus 22:19 NAB)

    Kill Nonbelievers (This I accept as a personal hate crime against my people and I hold guilty any person who sells, prints or promotes the bible) (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)

    Kill False Prophets (Zechariah 13:3 NAB)

    Kill the Entire Town if One Person Worships Another God (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)

    Kill Women Who Are Not Virgins On Their Wedding Night (Deuteronomy 22:20-21 NAB)

    Kill Followers of Other Religions (Deuteronomy 13:7-12 NAB (Deuteronomy 17:2-5 NLT)

    Death for Blasphemy (At least you are stoned) (Leviticus 24:10-16 NLT)

    Kill False Prophets (Just about every evangelical preacher) (Deuteronomy 13:1-5 NLT) (Deuteronomy 18:20-22 NLT)

    Kill Anyone who Approaches the Tabernacle (Numbers 1:48-51 NLT)

    Kill People for Working on the Sabbath (Exodus 31:12-15 NLT)

    God Kills Bratty Kids (2 Kings 2:23-24 NAB)

    God Kills Curious People (1Samuel 6:19-20 ASV)

    God Kills Those Who Will Not Be Violent Without Good Reason (1 Kings 20:35-36 NLT)

    God Kills The Good Samaritan (2 Samuel 6:3-7 NAB)

    God Will Kill the Children of Sinners (Isaiah 14:21 NAB) (Leviticus 26:21-22 NLT)

    God Kills Lots Of Jewish Children (Hosea 9:11-16 NLT)

    God Kills Men, Women, and Children Missing the Mark (Ezekiel 9:5-7 NLT)

    God Kills all the First Born of Egypt (Exodus 12:29-30 NLT)

    God Kills Old Men and Young Women (Jeremiah 51:20-26)

    More Rape and Baby Killing (Isaiah 13:15-18 NLT)

    Samson (‘nough said) (Judges 15:14-15 NAB)

    Peter gets in on the Killing (Acts 5:1-11 NLT)

    Mass Murder (1 Samuel 15:2-3 NAB)

    You Must Kill or be Cursed (Jeremiah 48:10 NAB)

    The Danites Kill the Next Town (Joshua 19:47 NAB)

    God Kills Some More (Jeremiah 15:1-4 NLT)

    God Promises Even More Killing (Ezekiel 35:7-9 NLT)

    The Angel of all Death Threats (Exodus 23:23 NAB) (2 Kings 19:35 NAB)

    Destruction of Ai (Joshua 8:1-29 NLT)

    Killing at Jericho (Joshua 6:20-21 NLT)

    God Kills an Extended Family (1 Kings 14:9-16 NLT)

    Mass Murder Again (Judges 20:48 NAB)

    Kill Your Neighbors (Exodus 32:26-29 NLT)

    Kill the Family of Sinners (Joshua 7:19-26 Webster’s Bible)

    Kill All of Babylon (Jeremiah 50:21-22 NLT)

    Micah Kills a Whole Town (Judges 18:27-29 NLT) (Note that God approves of this slaughter in verse 6.)

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  • Aquilacaine; Thank you for this damning list. The Bible is clearly the fruits of besotted human minds and also proof that no god in his right mind would inspire any writer to record such rubbish. We are proudly atheist and are amused by the gullible followers of thousands of unseen and illiterate gods, prophets and angels.

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  • A great list. Hope you don’t mind, that I made a copy. I noticed you missed out the keeping of slaves, the stoning of your daughter or selling her into prostitution. Of course the Christians will say that was how it was a few thousand years ago and written for the people of that time. But as the story goes, Jesus did endorse the whole of the first testament and there has been nothing in the new cooked up version to take into consideration of the passage of time. So Christians and I guess Muslims too, obviously decide themselves what they will accept as a moral guide from their religious text and what they won’t.

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  • Also important to remember that what Jesus endorsed was “the law” and not “the old testament” which technically didn’t exist then. I love that Christians I know use the, it was “written for the people of that time” argument, but then rail that it is God’s perfect word and must be obeyed explicitly. They hate when I point out Matthew 5: 17-19.

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