"Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake," advertisements will be appearing on Washington, DC, buses starting next week and running through December. The expected responses from infantile religious spokespeople have been prominently reported in the media and, as usual, they have been treated as if their comments are obviously true. (See also our earlier post.)
The Newsmax story said, “Some experts from religious groups criticised the campaign, saying that morality and the intention to do good is based on belief in God.”
Bill Donohue, president of the conservative Catholic League, responded in a press statement, saying, “Codes of morality, of course, have always been grounded in religion. We know that militant secularists are busy flexing their muscles these days, but is it too much to expect them to act rationally?”
Such responses are a sad reflection on the education system.
Morality must be, and always has been, distinct from religion. Otherwise the actions of the gods could never be judged as morally right or wrong. One example should suffice even for the likes of Bill Donohue.
The god of the Judaists, Christians, Muslims and Mormons is reported in the book of Exodus in the Bible as having sent an angel to kill the entire first born in Egypt, excepting only the chosen few. The festival of Passover is said to commemorate the event. But does this fable describe a moral action? Anyone who says yes it does, or no it does not, rather than that they cannot say because it was an act of God, demonstrates that actions can be judged as moral or immoral without any reference to religions.
It is necessary to challenge these religious claims because media bodies like the BBC report the comments and give religions status they do not deserve.