Wednesday, February 18, 2009

For Goodness Sake

Once again, I'm going to piss Christians off. Specifically, Christian parents.

They don't seem to understand that they should teach their kids right from wrong. Instead, they want laws and restrictions put in place for every conceivable frowned-upon action; they want the government to do it.

If We Don't Chain Them Up, They'll Run Naked!
They seem to think that unless there are laws in place, kids will do whatever they want. Even their own kids will become swayed by the evil influence of non-believing children! Christians don't realize that they should be the ones teaching their children about morality. There's a novel idea, huh? That way, when the children grow up, they won't want to do just anything -- not because it's illegal, but because it's simply not the right thing to do.

This is the common false moral argument from theism: if kids learn there is no invisible God watching their every move (and thought), then they'll become evil, bloodthirsty savages. I've written pages on secular morality so there's no need to rehash it here. I instead want to focus on the reason why somebody would think this way.

He Knows If You've Been Bad Or Good...
More than likely, the problem originates from their mindset -- their religion and theology molds this sort of thinking. In the Christian worldview, God places rules and laws on you because you're innately evil. According to their Master, they would do whatever they want if they ignore God. This is obvious to any Christian who uses the "just look at the horrible state of society these days!" argument. They blame humanity's "rejection" of Jesus for everything wrong with the world (even though over two billion people believe in Christianity).

Theism fundamentally changes your way of thinking and leads to this sort of mindset. Ethics, morality, and integrity therefore fall in to fit this worldview. Christians necessarily believe in punishment for thought-crime (and take their moral lessons from horrible scripture stories). It's all according to God's List, so you'd better make sure you're on it!

Giving a child the sense to take responsibility for himself is one of the jobs of being a parent. If you're teaching your child that they can be absolved of their responsibilities simply by talking to their ceiling, they're not going to develop a sense of integrity. They won't have that pain in their gut when they realize they've done something wrong...nope, Jesus will forgive them! They won't understand that they need to make up for the wrongs they commit in this life. They won't learn to avoid behaviors that are "wrong" not because they're afraid of hell, but because they're afraid of the sour taste of guilt and injustice it leaves.


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