the painful truth about the worldwide church of god
Morality Without God?
John B.

            Recent hysterical letters to the Painful Truth seem to have a common theme: "If you don't believe in the Bible, you must therefore be immoral and are probably dangerous." Many sincere Christian people believe some variation of this theme. Jerry Falwell is smugly certain of it, Dr. Laura is hysterically adamant about it, and I used to believe it myself.

Where does  morality come from? Does it require a god  to establish moral principles? Does it take a codified book of laws? And if so, which set of code do you prefer? The Bible? The Koran? The Book of Mormon? Mad Magazine?

It made sense to me at one time. I was big into words and their roots. The word "authority" (as in moral authority) comes from the root word "author", and of course the only real Author of morality was God. (Eh? Heh-heh. See? I was one of 'em, too! Over the years I came up with all kindsa shit like that.)

But is it really true? Did God sit on top of his mountain or cloud or deep in the northern Coal Sack and enumerate morality for us? Is morality possible without the 10 Commandments? Would Dr. Laura be a worse person than she is today but for the 10 C's? (Hard to imagine she could be any worse, but after reading her biography, trust me, she was a ring-tail-tooter - and still is!)

Time and time again, in the pages of the Painful Truth, we have seen religious fantasies toppled by the simple application of logic. Many P.T. authors, diverse personalities all, have shattered centuries-old dogma by simply using their heads. I personally believe that if all humans were logical, religion as we have known it would disappear altogether.

So let's apply some logic to the concept of morality. We could trace the historical roots of law and morality, but why take the time? That's been done already. All we really need to figure out the truth is our "god-given" intellect.

Pick a year. 2000 BC. 4000 BC. Hell, 10,000 BC - it doesn't matter. Two people meet up with two other people, then two others and two others, and they all decide to live together. They form a group: call it a tribe, a commune, a clique - again, it doesn't matter. They begin to work together for survival. Farming, hunting, cooking, raising babies. They share food, shelter, and labor.

Eight people soon become sixteen, then thirty-two, then sixty-four, and the group grows exponentially as babies mature and perhaps strangers join the tribe. Pretty soon it turns into a sizable little community, and every one of these people is an individual. Every one has desires, emotions, lusts. Some are hard workers, others are lazy. Some are meek and others aggressive. Some want to be in charge, others do not. Some become jealous of others, either their positions or their possessions.

Conflicts arise.

Confrontations take place.

Eventually, there is violence.

Now, suppose you and I are two of the tribal leaders. We have a situation, a problem, and if we don't solve it, the survival of the group is threatened.

What do we do?

First we analyze what is going on. What are the problems leading to the conflict? We take a close look: Grog works harder than Borg. Borg is lazy, but he is also bigger than Grog, so instead of working for his own food, he steals Grog's food. If Grog tries to defend his property, Borg assaults him. Maybe even kills him. To make matters worse, Borg has been porking Grog's woman, and she is now carrying Borg's child, which means Grog will have to work even harder to feed the infant when it arrives. Borg had all the fun, but Grog will have to pay for the consequences.

Yes, we have a problem. This just isn't fair. What's more, since Borg has been getting away with these offenses, others in the tribe have decided they also don't have to work as hard. There is Herbert and Garner-Ted and Roderick and Herman, all young and strong, all following Borg's example. Stealing from those who work, porking their women . . . if this continues, in a very few years the tribe will collapse and everyone in it will face destruction.

You and I have to face this problem.

What are we to do?

After much discussion and soul-searching, we decide it is time to institute some rules. We gather together several of the honest, hard-working members of the group and tell them what we want to do. They agree that some action is necessary, and we invite their input. This council, working together, formulates a list of rules that will be enforced upon the entire tribe, for the good of everyone. Any individual who violates these rules will be punished, and if they resist, they will be forced to leave the group. If they resist violently, we might even be forced to kill them!

No one wants to be burdened by a long list of do's and don'ts, so we try to keep it simple. The list is short, but comprehensive:

1. Respect the tribe, and obey the laws of the tribe.
2. Every man shall be responsible for his own family.
3. Every man shall work for his food and the food of his family.
4. Anyone who refuses to work shall not eat.
5. No one shall assault or kill anyone else except in self defense.
6. No one shall steal the possessions of anyone else.
7. No man shall pork another man's woman.
8. Likewise, no woman shall allow herself to be porked by any man but her own.

And that's it. As time goes by, amendments will be made, perhaps additional rules added, but in a nutshell, this is all that's required for a large group of people to live together. A simple code of laws. . .

How hard does it have to be? You don't need a god or a pantheon or an apostle or a priest. It doesn't have to come with a lightning strike or be carved into stone. Simple logic, nothing more.

Stone-age morality.

Any fucking idiot can figure it out.


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