Good without God
Christopher Hitchens, a British-American writer and journalist once said, “Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it” (Quotes About). Human decency comes from the morals that people learn. There are good and bad morals, but human decency can only be established through good morals. One of the most influential yet controversial ways morals can be learned is through religion. Other ways it could be learned is through older generations, life experiences, and through culture. Religion can cause a lot of difficulties when it comes down to making the right decisions. It should not interfere with one’s morals and ethics. Religion is not needed in a person’s life to teach good morals. Religion is often confused with social customs. By definition, religion is an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a God or a group of Gods (Religion Merriam). Social customs, on the other hand, are activities that are considered normal or expected in a particular area (Social Customs). There is not much relation between these definitions. In Africa, it is believed that many of the Islamic countries practice Female Genital Mutilation, also known as FGM (Female Genital). As defined on World Health Organization’s (WHO) website, FGM is a procedure that involves partial or total removal of the external female genital (Female Genital). In Africa, it has been estimated that over 100 million girls who are above the age of ten have undergone this procedure, according to WHO. However, in the Muslim countries that are partaking in this activity, FGM is justified by saying that Prophet Mohammad favored circumcision (Debates About). The circumcision involves a small cutting in the clitoris (Debates About). This, however, is not true. Female Genital Mutilation is a social custom in Africa. Doctor Ashenafi Moges had written a report on FGM and stated that it has taken place in at least twenty-eight different African countries (Moges, Dr. Ashenafi). Dr. Moges also stated that FGM is neither an Islamic or Christian rule (Moges, Dr. Ashenafi). It is just a norm. There are many religions around the world, and not all of them have a decent representation of morals. Many religions teach followers good things and other things that are taught can be questionable. During a debate at Oxford University between Dennis Prager and Johnathan Glover about having good morals without religion, Dennis Prager said, “…you better do what God says or he will punish you. If not, he will reward you” (Can We). It is as if one is being threatened into following the rules. One could argue that citizens of Iraq might have followed their past leader, Saddam Hussain, for the same reason. If one goes against Saddam Hussain and his rules, they will be punished – and the punishment could have easily been death. A philosopher named Richard Dawkins had written a book named “The God Delusion”. In this book he states many immoral religious acts that have taken place throughout history. For example, Dawkins stated that Adolf Hitler and the Nazis held broadly Christian beliefs that inspired the Holocaust on account of anti-Semitic Christian principles. The reason for this is that Christianity had a troubled relationship with Judaism; this involved anti-Semitism – the hatred of Jews (Christianity And). However, it is not just the Christian religion that shows imperfect impressions. Muslims believe in Jihad. The influence of media makes people believe that Jihad is a holy war, which is not the complete true definition. A Bollywood movie named “My Name Is Khan” shows the hardship Muslims had to endure through the tragedy of 9/11. A teacher in the movie was teaching her class about religions and said, “…of all the world’s religions, Islam is the most violent and aggressive. It encourages killing, or “Jihad”, as they call it, in the name of God” (My Name). The Qu’ranic definition of Jihad is ”the strive to struggle” (Naik, Dr. Zakir)....
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