There is no correlation between morality, or ethics, and religion or belief in god. The one doesn’t require, or guarantee, the other.
China is officially atheistic but they have strong traditions and morals. Women are taught to be modest. They might even be considered prudish compared to western women, including Christians. They believe a man wants to marry a virgin, so - no sex before marriage. I’m not saying this modesty makes them better, but a religious zealot would aspire to a society of such ‘virtue’.
Things are changing, now that the country that used to talk of western decadence has adopted the mantra, “It’s glorious to be rich”. So, it seems that economics and the pursuit of material wealth have more to do with influencing ethics and morals than belief or non-belief in a god. You could be a highly ethical atheist or a sleazy believer.
I was once in the presence of someone who I think may have actually killed someone, and he told me he believed in god. I found myself in the London flat of someone who knew someone I knew. Someone else was there, too, sitting across the coffee table from me. The conversation revealed that he was twenty-six and he’d just got out of prison after serving eight years. So, he was sentenced at eighteen.
Maybe the situation is different in Britain these days, but at the time the papers were screaming about wishy washy liberal judges who were soft on criminals and more concerned with their rights than the victims’. They also complained about parole being automatic. So, if he served eight years, he was probably sentenced to at least twelve to fifteen.
I wondered what an eighteen year old kid had to do to get a twelve to fifteen year sentence from a wishy washy judge who thinks he deserves another chance and that, given the position of disadvantage he started from, it was inevitable that he would make some bad decisions. The only two things I could think of were murder or a particularly brutal rape.
But, he believes in god, so, according to his fellow believers, he’s a better, more ethical person than me.
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