If you truly think the answer does start with a big fat 'B,' then Richard Dawkins has something for you to consider. In his book The God Delusion he argues that it can't be from the Bible since as we've seen here over recent weeks so much of Biblical morality is bloodthirsty drek; modern Christians don't buy it all; they pick and choose, says Dawkins, they "contextualise" the obvious into something other than the obviously bloodthirsty (and thank goodness they do, lest we return to a time when yesterday's Christian would have been indistinguishable from today's Islamofascist).
He points out that no modern Christian or Jew would (thank goodness and reason) be likely to follow the Old Testament moral examples of Abraham (Genesis) and Jephthah (Judges) who both were willing to offer their children as human sacrifices to please God. Nor are they likely to share the morals of Lot (Genesis, here and here) and a Levite priest (Judges), who when demanded by a mob to hand over their male guests to sodomise, offered up their own daughters for rape instead. Dawkins notes:
…we do not as matter of fact derive our morals from scripture. Or, if we do, we pick and choose among the scriptures for the nice bits and reject the nasty. But then we must have some independent criterion for deciding which are the moral bits: a criterion which, wherever it comes from, cannot come from scripture itself and is presumably available to all of us whether we are religious or not.An interesting thought, don't you think? If Christians are prepared to throw out the unreasonable from their big fat Book, then which for them comes first? Reason, or the Book? And if so, then why don't they go full speed with the former and abandon the latter altogether?
And from whence do your morals come? If, like me, your answer is: by reason from this earth, then may goodness and reason follow you all the days of your life.
Have a happy Sunday.
LINKS: Family values - Skeptics Annotated Bible
Cruelty and violence - Skeptics Annotated Bible
Cartoon from Russell's Teapot
Morality without God? - Not PC
Is-Ought? Not a problem - Not PC
RELATED POSTS ON: Religion, Ethics