I’m sure most of you are aware that the Bible reflects the prevailing morals of ancient Israel. Along with the “good” morals there are other not-so-good ones that don’t need enumeration here. Unfortunately, all these morals, good and bad, right and wrong, were permanently incorporated into the Bible.
As humanity progressed, we recognized undesirable moral teachings in the Bible and simply quit practicing them. Even the most devout Christians became “scripturally selective” about teachings they practiced.
Biblical morality is set in stone, like an ancient statue, forever unchanging, because it is God’s word. But the true morality of both adherents and infidels, as actually practiced in the world, is decided by social norms. And there’s really not that much difference between the morality of adherents and infidels. There’s very few points of ethics limited strictly to any group (including Christians and atheists). The operative word in the prior sentence is “strictly”, okay? So don’t waste pixels replying with examples of ethics “favored by”, “typical of”, or “associated with” any particular group.
So WE decide what is moral. WE decide what biblical teachings to follow. We decide what is truly religious.
So why do we need or have religions at all? Whatever the reason, it’s DEFINITELY not for moral guidance. Although Jesus preached love, forgiveness and humility, he accepted slavery as a normal part of society and apparently felt no compunction to speak out against it. Neither did anybody else in the new Testament. In fact, Jesus advocated punishing servants severely for purposely shirking their responsibilities and punishing them less severely if they “are not aware that they are doing wrong” (Luke 12:47-48 NLT). There are many verses in the New Testament advising us how to treat slaves . . . and none of it is very loving, forgiving, or humble. So, in the modern world, even Jesus is morally overruled by adherents and infidels alike.
So if morality isn’t, in reality, the purpose of religion, what is? That pretty much leaves salvation and the eternal reward of heaven. In other words: control through fear — because the alternative is damnation and the eternal torments of hell. In the words of Friedrich Nietzsche, “Morality is the best of all devices for leading mankind by the nose.” As long as religions can convince people they have a monopoly on morality, they can continue to disguise their true motivation: control through fear.
I posted (as “admin”) a reply to a comment, below, that adds to and clarifies the post, above.
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