ESSENTIALS: The Bible God gives commands to love God and love neighbour.  A man asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was and Jesus gave him two not one.  The man was looking for a command to obey at the expense of the rest.  Jesus gave him a summary of the ten commandments as in love God totally and love neighbour for God says so.  Jesus gave lots of commandments too and said if you love him you will obey them.

Despite him, God turns love into an option. Loving anything whose existence you are not totally sure of or can't be totally sure of becomes an option not an obligation. Commands to love God then are just oppression and bigotry. Religion should be suggestions not commands. A command is trying to force a person for it is not confident the person wants to be good.  It sends a bad message that only leads to joyless obedience and rebellion.

What has moral goodness to do with God anyway?

Is good good whether there is a God or not? Does God make good good? Suppose nothing at all existed. It would be good that there are no people around to suffer. So it is clear that you don't need God or to believe in God to believe in good or bad.
Morality is a different issue. Is there no moral law against hurting a baby for no reason unless there is a God to make one? Morality is when God makes it law that you must do good - meaning you will be punished if you break the law and rewarded if you keep it. In fact as good is its own reward and indeed should be, there is no need for God. Those who deny this are unhappy that good is its own reward and want a supernatural entity who is going to go beyond that and administer rewards. That is selfish. The dark side is that they want God to exact retribution if one fails to do good. Those who deny that evil is its own punishment want there to be a supernatural entity who is going to go beyond that and administer punishment. It's vindictive and implicitly threatening.
Is God worried about the baby being hurt or about his rule that the baby must not be hurt? God making a rule that protects babies does not mean he really cares about the babies. You can make a good rule just for the sake of having it obeyed. If you make rules where you don't need them, then you are being vindictive and looking for an ego buzz.

People say they are better than God for they would act to save a baby about to be cruelly violated. Another idea is, “If I could force God to stop it I would. I am better than him for I don’t need to be compelled.”  Such ideas are regarded as sin.  This shows that God belief is not the good help in developing moral feelings we are told it is.  God cannot matter if faith in God cannot matter.  He cannot matter to us.  Yet surely we know that if we dropped faith forever all over the world and hypothetically it would magically save the baby what we would do.  We would ditch faith for the baby.
Our sins cannot hurt a God of perfect happiness and who is all-powerful. He has no need for our obedience. Our disobedience does him no harm. Rights are about needs not wants. Therefore he has no right to command us. Therefore popes and religions have no right to command us. They are man-made.
Why is it important that we believe in God? The Church says it is of supreme importance. It says God comes first. Why? Is it because we need to believe in God to believe in morality? No must be the answer. If the answer is yes then absurd consequences occur. For example, it would match the thought, "I must believe in Santa because Christmas is not the same without thinking Santa is coming."
Morality implies that good is being commanded to be good and a command is not a command unless there is a threat of disapproval which is a form of punishment and of further punishment. A truly good God will not command good. Command implies threats. A real command must prescribe punishment for those who disobey. Rather he will leave us to do good without any pressure. Better to do good spontaneously rather than for the sake of moral law or obedience.
Many believers when you ask them, "Why should I obey God's commands?" say, "Because he commands you to obey." That is not answering the question for it gives us yet another commandment. You are asking for a reason and you are cheated by being given an excuse. The believers beg the question - they assume as true the thing they need to back up with reasons and evidence. It is bullying to refuse to give people reasons to obey and to order them to obey instead.
The believers put the commands above God in the sense that they admit that they would not adore God if it were not for his marvellous commands.
So it is a dilemma for believers to decide if good is good no matter what God thinks of it or is good because God orders it to be good. We have seen how religion deals with the dilemma by saying that the answer is that good is God's nature. Is God's nature or character good because God says so? Or is it good whether he does or doesn't? The latter would indicate that it is good in terms of an autonomous standard. The character thing takes us back to the dilemma again. To say God’s character is good is to say that his character matches good but does not make good. It is not to solve the dilemma at all.
Is morality made by God or not? It is either one or the other.
It is said that the naturalist or non-theist faces a similar problem. Are moral values good because the naturalists or non-theists say so or are they good because of some objective standard?
But no naturalist or non-theist claims that something is good just because they want it to be or say it is. They think there is an independent standard. And so there is. 1 + 1 = 2 even if there is nothing at all and no God. Morality at best is working out what causes the least pain. Will action x lead to pain on a scale of 10 or 20? Maths is the ground of ethics or morality.
And it is more honest of the naturalist or non-theist to argue, "X is good and doing other than X is bad because I say so," than to blame God for saying it.
Is good good because people command it or is it good in itself? That is what should be asked. Not, "Is good good because God commands it or is it good in itself?" It is manipulative to ask the second instead of the first. Why? Because we are only told about God by people who claim to be speaking with his authority. It is really what they say about God that we trust not God. We cannot truly trust God when our knowledge of him is second-hand and hearsay. To ask the second instead of the first is trying to stop people from realising that man tells them what to believe about God. It is hoped that by putting the focus on the alleged divine origin of right and wrong that we will end up considering blind obedience to God. To ask the first question encourages people to think critically about human morality and laws. The second question is about stifling criticism and the first is about encouraging it in a constructive way.
Let us assume we need to believe in morality. The dilemma about good being a command or real implies that bringing God in only makes the problem worse. Bringing God in would be immoral. Leaving him out of the dilemma, means that if the problem is bad then morality is a necessary evil. It would not be immoral but a necessary evil because we have no alternative.
To say that it does not matter if I do good or bad for there is no accountability before God implies that if I do good I should just do it because I will have to answer for it to God and won’t want to be punished by him. It really suggests that good is just a fiction, a chimera and an illusion. It is good in itself to feed a starving dog regardless of God or eternal life. What does it say about a person that they would have a problem with that?
Suppose I steal. Why is this wrong? It may just be bad. Or it may be bad because God forbids stealing. If it is just bad, then it is bad whether there is a God or not. If something is bad, that does not mean that God has the authority to forbid it. If stealing is bad because God says so then it follows that it is not the stealing that is bad but the disobeying of God. That actually shows that if there are moral people among the devotees of God it is in spite of their faith and not because of it. God cannot have the authority to ban stealing because we need to see for ourselves that it is bad regardless of who forbids it. Surely the state has the authority to forbid us to kill? That is different for the state is about control and has to be in a dog eat dog world.
When a claim is very strange and out of the ordinary and/or very important, you need a lot of evidence before you can accept it. That is if you are a self-respecting individual and if you are not self-respecting you will be a danger to others. Suppose as religion says, you cannot believe that morality is real unless you believe in God. You would need the evidence for God to be overwhelming if you need to believe in God in order to justify saying that immorality is objectively real and factual. But it isn't ...
Let us rephrase that. If moral principles are facts, and they are not facts unless God is a fact, then you need to prove God is a fact. You need the same degree of evidence that God exists as that you have the sense of touch. But we cannot know even if God exists that he is a fact.

It is always man commanding you when  you hear that God is commanding you.  Proudly defy this God for he is not real.  He is only faith, that is he is in their heads.  And if you suspect there might be a God defy him anyway if he should command you.
Religion is merely setting morality up for collapse! It's record shows it is capable of that! Many would say it is to blame for the dictatorship of relativism that we have now.
Even if we do think morality or the right and wrong principles is or are ultimately useless, we still need to practice it or them and we want to. If a painkiller stops a toothache for seven seconds it is ultimately useless but we might still take the painkiller. It is what is immediately useful that matters more than what is ultimately useful. So ultimate usefulness or uselessness is not a relevant concern.  

Morality is about rules that are enforced by law. Morality is a law. Rules that are said to be about helping to make you happy, are really saying you cannot be trusted to make yourself happy and so you need to be kept in check. The rules are not rules unless God or the Church or society is going to admonish you and make you suffer should you flout them. This principle is one of the reasons why even if religion seems easygoing we should see that in principle it wants to take away our freedom. Why do we need rules? Why not suggestions? It is better to do the right thing because of a suggestion than a rule! Doing good should be spontaneous.
It is said that if atheism is true, then it ultimately does not matter if we are good or not. In other words, we will all be dead and then any good we have done will be useless. This contradicts the idea that good is just good in itself. As we have seen, Catholicism says that though the virtues or many of them are no good in Heaven, what matters is that we will be good if we go there.
Good exists. We know it's good to be happy. Morality is about doing the greatest good. Not everybody believes in morality but they believe in good. They believe good exists but that nobody can really be sure what the greatest good is for our actions all have consequences that we cannot control. Thus they insist that we must be humble and instead of thinking we are good we must say we have tried our best. Religion does not have this humility. It claims to know what is right and what is wrong clearly. And it distinguishes between "good" people and "bad".
The wrong we do is none of God’s business. The priesthood knows that well enough for it is the chief argument today defended by those who wish to live their lives as they see fit. The principle is the reason why so many Catholics for example ignore the teaching of the Church.
The Church targets and attracts the vulnerable and the uneducated and the thoughtless. The lies surrounding God and morality show that Christianity is manipulative. Manipulative means having a hidden agenda and not telling the whole story. The faith even when it's not expressed in extremist terms is an open invitation to extremism. 

Disobedience to God should be a badge of honour. Do good but do it with pride that you are doing it in disobedience to God in the sense that you are not doing it for he expects it or commands it. Make it about defying him and remember that most of what you think of God comes from people so in a way you are including them as well!  Disobedience to God and disobedience to an image of God that people present to you are different things.  We choose both.


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