Thursday, 13 October 2011

It's Been Emotional

Something I have seen levelled at atheists on a few occasions during Facebook debates is that we allow our emotions to cloud our judgement. I'll give an example.

Make ready to slaughter his sons for the guilt of their fathers; Lest they rise and posses the earth, and fill the breadth of the world with tyrants. Isaiah 14:21

"Then I heard the LORD say to the other men, "Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked.  Show no mercy; have no pity!  Kill them all – old and young, girls and women and little children.  But do not touch anyone with the mark.  Begin your task right here at the Temple."  So they began by killing the seventy leaders.  "Defile the Temple!" the LORD commanded.  "Fill its courtyards with the bodies of those you kill!  Go!"  So they went throughout the city and did as they were told."  Ezekiel 9:5-7

If you were to cite either of these passages you would likely be told you were taking them out of context, they had to murder the children to prevent them growing to take vengeance later. Counter this by saying that murdering children is wrong, there had to be another way, end of story, you run the risk of being told that you're letting your emotions get involved. Apparently to correctly interpret God's commanding of wholesale slaughter of innocents you must look at it dispassionately.

Bollocks! Say I.

Murder is wrong at the best of times. Heck, even the Bible says this in the Ten Commandments. Murdering children is even worse, they cannot protect themselves. Murdering children for the actions of their parents is beyond wrong, it's nothing short of evil. Yet this is precisely what God would have his chosen people do.

If you have to somehow justify the murder of children in an attempt to mitigate God of blame then you are immoral in my opinion. Under no other circumstances would you consider murder of children a moralistic act so why would you make a special case when it is God requiring it?

Recently I got into a debate about homosexuality being a sin. The Christian was arguing that it is a sin and they know several former homosexuals who have been saved from their sins and are now straight Christians. Now, presuming this Christian isn't as full of bullshit as their vile little book, I would argue anybody now straight who was homosexual probably wasn't homosexual but going through a confused period in their lives (for more information, enrol in a UK public school). The other option would be that they remain homosexual but repress those urges in the belief they are wrong, often through religion fuelled peer pressure.

When I pointed this out and stated how many young people are driven to suicide because of the misery brought upon them by religious communities and the pressures of conforming I was told I was bringing my emotions into it. So fucking what!? Does it happen? Yes. Should it be happening? No. If you don't have an emotional response to people killing themselves out of despair and self hatred then clearly you're a sociopath.

I'm a heterosexual male. I've not gone through that homosexual phase, but I have seen and read of the effects religious bigotry brings to bear on those who have. It's easy enough to find studies into it on Google. I'm allowed to be appalled that in a civilized society such abhorrent hatred and judgmentalism continues with such grotesque consequences. Am I supposed to repress my distaste in the same way Christians repress their morality in the face of their God's evils?

I'm not a cyborg, I cannot simply switch off my emotions or my feelings. When I see somebody propagating hatred and bigotry I find it offensive. I've seen this 'emotions' line used when arguing against other of God's actions, such as when Christians lay claim he controls everything yet don't apportion blame to him when thousands are killed in earthquakes or tsunamis, defending him by quoting some asinine scripture.

When somebody defends their God's evils by telling me I'm allowing my emotions to interfere I can only come to one conclusion; What God wants. What God requires. What the Bible too often breeds is dispassionate, heartless and woefully immoral followers, ones willing to forego any right to consider themselves moralistic.

Count me out. I care about my fellow humans.

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