7 ways the bible will make you an immoral person

7. The Bible has immoral instructions. The Bible says that women are property and should be silent in church and obey their husbands. The Bible says it’s okay to beat your slaves as long as you don’t kill them. The Bible says to kill your children if they talk back to you. The Bible orders you to kill witches.

If you follow every word of the Bible you’ll become a murderous villain. Period. The only way to be a “good” Christian (by modern, Western cultural standards) is to ignore these parts of the Bible or reverse engineer excuses for why you don’t have to follow them.

6. The Bible tells you that sinners are evil. Granted, there’s the old Christian saying, “Love the sinner. Hate the sin.” But let me point out one flaw in that logic. If God loves the sinner but hates the sin then why is God going to punish the sinner with everlasting torture? That’s not unconditional love. That’s a sadistic ultimatum.

If God is going to treat sinners with such remorseless, self-righteous hatred then how likely would it be for a fallible, human Christian to rationalize hating, mistreating and killing sinners? History shows that hurtful and murderous Christians aren’t a rare anomaly. They’re an inevitability produced by a wicked moral guide.

5. The Bible tells you to love everybody. In and of itself this sounds great. In practice it’s terrible for two reasons. First, this moral lesson is vague to the point of being useless. What is love? Should you love an invading army? Should you love a serial killer? Should you love Hitler? Should you love criminals? In what way? To what extent? It doesn’t say. It doesn’t offer any clear guidance.

If you follow an unclear moral code your decision making process will be unclear. So you’ll have to rely on some other form of guidance, like instincts, reason, culture or other people’s advice. This raises the question, if we’re going to end up relying on other methods of guidance anyway then why not cut out the distraction and rely on the final source of guidance to begin with? Unfortunately, if you believe in a book that teaches you not to think critically you’re not going to question that book’s instructions even when they don’t offer clear guidance. You’re just going to waffle through life haphazardly.

The second reason this commandment is bad is because the Bible has already set us up to hate, hurt and kill sinners and infidels. These contradicting moral messages will paralyze your ethical decisions. It becomes exceptionally difficult to know which path to take, especially if you’re a simple minded person, which most people are, especially children.

4. The Bible says the highest virtue is faith. If you know your Bible verses you should be arguing that 1 Corinthians 13 says, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” But John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son so that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life.” So the way to get to Heaven and survive death is to have faith. That’s what life and death is judged by. That’s the test. That’s the meaning of life.

If the most important thing is to have faith then everything else is ultimately irrelevant. You can beat and rape your children, lie, steal, and anything else. When it comes time to make those hard moral decisions you know that if you backslide a little (or even a lot) you can always ask for forgiveness later, and as long as you have faith your sins will be forgiven and you can get away with a lifetime of hurting yourself and other people.

Furthermore, when the emphasis of ethics is taken off of actions and focused on beliefs it cripples your ability to weigh the value of your actions. A real system of ethics, like the one the court of law uses focuses where it should be, on actions that matter, actions that hurt/help people.

Another problem with faith is that it’s the opposite of reason. If you have unyielding faith in the “alpha and the omega” God, the creator and sustainer of the universe, and you have faith in God’s word then what else is there? God is everything, and God’s word is everything. Logic would tell you that you don’t need anything else. But in reality you do need something else. You need a lot more. You need knowledge. You need introspection. You need growth. You need reason. You need money. You need to be selfish sometimes. You need comfort. You need to fulfill your wants. You need self-actualization.

Faith doesn’t fulfill everything. Faith eliminates everything. Faith yields an empty, ignorant shell of a human. Go to any prison and interview the worst of the worst criminals, and I guarantee the three most common traits you’ll find among every immoral person are ignorance, an inability to reason and self-hatred. Those are the exact character traits the Bible crams down its followers’ throats.

3. The Bible says “good” people are scum. This is slightly different than the first point that says sinners are scum. While sinners are the worst scum, everybody is still scum. “All our righteousness is like filthy rags.” Isa 64:4.

The foundation of any reason-based moral code is the value of life. The United States Declaration of Independence doesn’t begin by saying, “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all humans are like filthy rags, that women should be silent in church and slaves should be obedient to their masters.” The Declaration of Independence said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

When the foundation of your moral guide says that every human is scum who deserves to burn for eternity then you’re going to end up hurting yourself and others. It practically obligates you to hurt yourself and others. It certainly allows God’s spokesmen the right and obligation to hurt sinful, heretical infidels.

Even if you pick and choose the parts of the Bible you follow and devote yourself to “loving” other people, you’re probably going to end up hating yourself and punishing yourself for being human. A perfect example is Mother Theresa. Yes, she helped a lot of people, but intertwined with her devotion to helping others was an irrational devotion to personal suffering. Her own life was a celebration of agony. The Bible took a kind hearted woman who was willing to sacrifice everything to help others and made her hate joy and comfort.

Actually, that’s a generous remembrance of Mother Theresa. She was once quoted as saying, “Today the passion of Christ is being relived in the lives of those who suffer. Suffering is not a punishment. God does not punish.” and “ “I was talking to our lepers and telling them that leprosy is a gift from God, that God can trust them so much that he gives them this terrible suffering.”

These aren’t the words of a sane person. These are the words of a person whose mind has been tragically disfigured. The reality of human psychology is that we tend to treat others the same way we treat ourselves. So if someone or some book teaches you to hate yourself and hurt yourself you’ll tend to hate and hurt other people. That’s the stage that the Bible sets for us.

2. The Bible tells you to give money to God. Let’s pretend that there aren’t hundreds of passages in the Bible directly commanding and encouraging you to give money to God. Even without that, God still created you. Therefore, you owe everything to God. Plus, the only way to survive death is to please God. So it stands to reason that the more you give to God the better off you are.

The problem with this is that there’s a correlation between financial stability and crime. Being poor doesn’t cause you to be a criminal, but poverty makes crime more rewarding and eliminates many support structures that would prevent you from resorting to crime.

If you don’t have money then you can’t afford an education. You can’t afford to start a business. You can’t afford to survive. This sets you up to be an ignorant, suffering, desperate person. This sets you up to take desperate and illogical measures to survive. This sets you up to be a criminal.

The more money the family you’re born into has, the more money they’ll be able to devote to your education and setting you up in life. The better you’re set up in life the less likely you’ll be to have to resort to crime to survive. Yet when a family has been devout Christians for generations upon generations the amount of money they’ll have given to the church that could have been spent building personal wealth will be compounded. Thus, their loss is compounded, and the chances of raising a miserable, ignorant desperate child who is likely to become a criminal is compounded.

To this you might argue, but the church does help people. Sure, but it keeps more than it gives. Look at the cathedrals and opulent churches all over the world that have been built instead of building schools and half-way homes. Plus, the church spends a great deal of its time and money spreading the word of God: the word that makes people hate themselves and give up their financial security for a dream that’s never going to pay out.

If all the money the church swindled out of people over the past 2000 years had been spent solely on schools or technological research the world would be much closer to utopia. As it stands, we’re on the brink of an apocalypse, not despite what religion has done for humanity but because of it.

1. The Bible doesn’t offer any clear moral guidance. This has been the theme of this list. So this point pretty much goes without saying. However, it’s important enough that it needs to be stated clearly.

At no point in the Bible is there a coherent, systematic break down of morality. The 10 Commandments is the closest it gets, and even those (on a whole) do more damage than good, and the rest of the commandments following those 10 are maniacal and contradict other commandments elsewhere in the Bible.

Using the Bible as a moral code will leave you confused, self-loathing, illogical and fanatical. There’s a reason the Bible isn’t used as the state code of law anymore. That was tried, and it led to hundreds of years of oppression and misery culminating in the Inquisition. That wasn’t an accident, an anomaly or the fault of a less-evolved, less-knowledgeable culture. That’s the path the Bible leads to. If you follow the Bible you will become an immoral person. Period.

To this you might argue, “I know lots of Christians who are the nicest people you’ve ever met.”

That’s because they’re not following the Bible. They’re following an idealized version of their culture’s values and projecting that into the Bible, not the other way around.

Originally published at thewisesloth.com on May 22, 2010.

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