Tag Archives: morality

Why Do I Care?

A few weeks ago, someone asked me: Why do you care about what religious people think? Why can’t you just go on living your life, letting people believe what they want to? Why must you attack and fight against religion? 

About five or six years ago, while I was still a student at Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada), I attended an exhibition and talk on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) at the university. I can’t recall the details of the event – the date or the organizers – but there was something I could never forget. There was this one photo of a young girl, probably aged 9 or 10 years old, sitting in a pool of blood and urine, with a discarded razor not far away. What bothered me was that the girl wasn’t crying, the salt lines of dried tears were visible on her face, but there was something horrifying in her eyes – they were dead and hollow.

I wasn’t vocal about my anti-religious stance back then, and neither did I become one right after that experience. As the years passed, I began rationalizing the world around me, coming to the conclusion that I am an Anti-Theist and a Humanist. Throughout this journey of discovery, I never forgot that horrifying image of that little girl. The eyes, those morbid eyes, never left me.

I am no hero or saviour, nor do I intend to be one. However, if there’s even one person in this world being subjected to such abhorrent evil, we must care. We must fight against it, we must annihilate the source of this injustice. There are many more malfeasance being perpetrated by religion – rape, murder, slavery, oppression, homophobia, and genocide, to name a few. I must oppose these moral crimes, not because I hate religion, but because I cherish humanity. If we don’t care for the weak and the innocent, the helpless and the oppressed, who will then? God? I don’t think so.

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Rape, Christianity, and Morality

Rape is evil, it doesn’t matter who you are or what the circumstances are. By no means, should rape, as a action or a punishment, be considered. It would take a morally-corrupt or a mentally-displaced human being to suggest and/or commit such an act. Theists often utilize the argument from morality as the basis of god’s existence.

In its most general form, the moral argument is that:

  1. Some aspect of Morality is observed.
  2. Existence of God provides a better explanation of this feature than various alternatives.
  3. Therefore, to the extent that (1) is accepted, belief in God is preferable to these alternatives.

As an Anti-theist, it’s rather obvious that every fibre in my body revolts an idea of such absurdity. If morality did originate from god, and we have all accepted that the act of rape is immoral – if you haven’t done so, this commentary will prove to be too feeble for the problem that you are facing as an individual – then let’s put the Holy Bible, the one and only book for Christians, under the microscope.

Judges 21:10-24: Murder, rape, and pillage at Jabesh-gilead 

So they sent twelve thousand warriors to Jabesh-gilead with orders to kill everyone there, including women and children.  “This is what you are to do,” they said. “Completely destroy all the males and every woman who is not a virgin.”  Among the residents of Jabesh-gilead they found four hundred young virgins who had never slept with a man, and they brought them to the camp at Shiloh in the land of Canaan.

    The Israelite assembly sent a peace delegation to the little remnant of Benjamin who were living at the rock of Rimmon. Then the men of Benjamin returned to their homes, and the four hundred women of Jabesh-gilead who were spared were given to them as wives.  But there were not enough women for all of them.  The people felt sorry for Benjamin because the LORD had left this gap in the tribes of Israel.  So the Israelite leaders asked, “How can we find wives for the few who remain, since all the women of the tribe of Benjamin are dead?  There must be heirs for the survivors so that an entire tribe of Israel will not be lost forever.  But we cannot give them our own daughters in marriage because we have sworn with a solemn oath that anyone who does this will fall under God’s curse.”

    Then they thought of the annual festival of the LORD held in Shiloh, between Lebonah and Bethel, along the east side of the road that goes from Bethel to Shechem.  They told the men of Benjamin who still needed wives, “Go and hide in the vineyards.  When the women of Shiloh come out for their dances, rush out from the vineyards, and each of you can take one of them home to be your wife!  And when their fathers and brothers come to us in protest, we will tell them, ‘Please be understanding.  Let them have your daughters, for we didn’t find enough wives for them when we destroyed Jabesh-gilead. And you are not guilty of breaking the vow since you did not give your daughters in marriage to them.'”  So the men of Benjamin did as they were told.  They kidnapped the women who took part in the celebration and carried them off to the land of their own inheritance.  Then they rebuilt their towns and lived in them.  So the assembly of Israel departed by tribes and families, and they returned to their own homes.”

Exodus 21:7-11: Sex Slaves 

When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are.  If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again.  But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her.  And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter.  If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife.  If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment.” 

Numbers 31:7-18: Murder, rape and pillage of the Midianites  

“They attacked Midian just as the LORD had commanded Moses, and they killed all the men.  All five of the Midianite kings – Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba – died in the battle.  They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword.  Then the Israelite army captured the Midianite women and children and seized their cattle and flocks and all their wealth as plunder.  They burned all the towns and villages where the Midianites had lived.  After they had gathered the plunder and captives, both people and animals, they brought them all to Moses and Eleazar the priest, and to the whole community of Israel, which was camped on the plains of Moab beside the Jordan River, across from Jericho.

     Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the people went to meet them outside the camp.  But Moses was furious with all the military commanders who had returned from the battle.  “Why have you let all the women live?” he demanded.  “These are the very ones who followed Balaam’s advice and caused the people of Israel to rebel against the LORD at Mount Peor.  They are the ones who caused the plague to strike the LORD’s people.  Now kill all the boys and all the women who have slept with a man.  Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves.”

There are many more examples of rape in the bible, which can be found here. I am sorry, but for god, this so-called “almighty” to advocate rape in such meretricious manner is rather disturbing. And this is the source of your morality? Christians? In which part of a rational mind decided to ignore rape, a sickening crime, and concluded that you will worship this evil being? Or is rationality something that eludes all religious people? It doesn’t take more than one reading to realize the androcentrism, the misogyny, and the hatred of this god. Which leads me to my next suspicion – doesn’t it sound like a man, or a group of men, conspired to write this book? Put aside your brazen ego about Christianity, and religion for that matter, and ask yourself this simple question: Would god advocate rape?

I refuse to worship a hateful god, I refuse to subscribe to a religion that has no respect for my mother or my sister, I refuse to be part of the problem of oppression and infringement of human rights.

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