Is Believing In God Immoral? Prof. Matt McCormick Department of Philosophy California State University, Sacramento firstname.lastname@example.org www.csus.edu/indiv/m/mccormickm www.atheismblog.blogspot.com
Believing in God is Itself Frequently Immoral I propose to turn that argument around completely. Not only is it possible to be a moral person without a belief in God, there are some very good reasons for thinking that in many cases believing in God is itself actually immoral.
The God Urge Step 1: Admit you have a problem. Step 2: Identify the Problem
In general, isn’t it a bad thing to believe claims that : you know are false, contribute to the confusion or false beliefs of others, encourage supernatural, spooky, non-critical, fuzzy-headed thinking, foster fear and anxiety.
Rapture Index The prophetic speedometer of end-time activity Today’s Rapture Index is 159 Net change: +1 In general, isn’t it a bad thing to believe claims that : • encourage complacency about social problems and the future of humanity on this planet.
We Indulge the Self Deception by Feeding It Detailed Fictional Stories
In general, isn’t it a bad thing to believe claims that : • stall our progress in dealing with new, complicated and important moral issues.
In general, isn’t it a bad thing to believe claims that : • encourage cultural and ethnic strife.
In general, isn’t it a bad thing to believe claims that : Foster social injustice, hatred, cruelty, and intolerance.
In general, isn’t it a bad thing to believe claims that : • undermine the advancement of science. • encourage a historically outdated, over-simplified worldview. • contribute to the stagnation of human progress. • have no compelling evidence in their favor. • give people false hopes. • are self-deluding. • foster fear, confusion, and fuzzy, magical thinking in children. • foster false beliefs in children. • impede children’s acquisition of our most important, modern advancements in knowledge.
It’s Not Satan that’s Corrupting You, It’s Religion Wouldn’t it be ironic if you have more to fear from the corruption of religion on your reason than what many religions would have you think: Satan seeks to corrupt your religious faith.
Akrasia: The ancient Greek’s had a concept of akrasiawhich is acting against one’s better judgment or having a weakness of will.
Belief in God? Isn’t it true that your belief in God fits many, most, or all of the conditions we considered before? We’ve elevated the abdication of reason in matters of religion to a noble virtue instead rejecting it for the dangerous and demeaning practice that it is.
Hoping Turns to Believing So they permit themselves to "believe” in the God idea in the "hope" sense of "believe." ("I believe that my husband will make it home safely from Iraq.") Then we find ourselves surrounded by like- minded people who feel the need to believe(hope). We rationalize, we blur, and we feel more and more strongly that this thing that we want to believe really isn't just a hope, it's correct, it's the truth.
Religion Is Like a Drug. It exploits weakness of the will because we want the God idea to be true. We find a way to get what we want and to satisfy our reason: we believe at first because we hope it is true, and we enslave our reason to making it seem like the hope has a legitimate claim to the truth.
To Summarize: The Problem: 1. We have a powerful God urge. 2. Many of us indulge that urge by believing even when we know better. 3. That ill-gotten belief can lead to many awful actions and effects. 4. Akraticbeliefs are bad. The Solution: 1. Recognize the urge for what it is. 2. Take steps in our minds and lives to contain it.
Solving the Problem What we need is a twelve step program for God beliefs and religiousness. "Hi, I'm Matt and I've been clean since 1982."