The Morality of Common Sense

(I wrote this as a persuasive essay in high school about six years ago.)

"Regarding your editorial on morality or religion, you can't have morality without Christianity. You can't necessarily have morality with religion. Where does morality come from? Does it come from being good? If so, where does being good come from? Being good or moral comes first from the Judean Laws of God, then the Ten Commandments. Now that the liberal radical left has been able to remove the name of God from schools and the Ten Commandments off the walls, and Bibles from the libraries and have replaced them with condoms, New Age, devil worship, guns and knives you see what is happening."

Recently, this letter to the editor appeared in the paper. I find it appalling, that there are people who still think like this. If this letter had been written before the twentieth century, I could understand it. But these views have no place in our modern world.

The author first asks two questions. "Where does morality come from? Does it come from being good?" Being good comes from adhering to a moral code that benefits the society as well as the individual. Goodness comes from morality, not the reverse as the letter-writer would have us believe.

The author's main idea is that, "you can't have morality without Christianity." It is absurd to believe, much less say, that there was no morality on this planet until the so-called Judean laws of God. Human beings have been on this planet for three million years, sentient humans for nearly that long. Are we to assume that before Christianity there was no morality? Were the Native Americans immoral because they were pantheists and saw divinity in everything surrounding them? Before Christianity spread across Europe, the pagans that peopled that continent had a very highly developed moral code. One can go back to the very beginnings of civilization, long before the people that would evolve into the Jewish nation had developed a monotheistic culture, and find evidence of moral codes that protected both the individual and the society. It was the Jews, and later the Christians, that obtained their moral code, or Ten Commandments, from the pagans that came before them.

The writer next states that Christians followed the principles of the Ten Commandments after Christ's death as though this were some great moral breakthrough. But non-Christians the world over were practicing the same principles and had been for thousands of years. Indeed, you don't have to have religion to be moral. As an atheist, I am as moral and in some cases even more so than some Christians or anyone else of an established religion. I loosely base my morals, as do all atheists, on the Ten Commandments. But what exactly are the Ten Commandments? They are the morals of common sense that have been held thousands of years before Christ. They have been codified into a religion, a set of rules to live by, "sent by God" so people will be frightened into believing and living by them. In short, saying that I base my morals loosely on the Judean laws of god is only more understandable and streamlined.

When the author writes that the "liberal radical left has been able to remove the name of God from schools and the Ten Commandments off the walls, and Bibles from the libraries", does he realise that it is the Constitutional law? Isn't it written that the state is to be separated from the church? Isn't it also written that people are to have the freedom of religion? To be fair to all people, teachers must either spend the time to teach the concepts of every religion represented in the classroom, or take it out altogether.

Furthermore, children are supposed to learn their morals in the home, from their parents, where Christianity can be taught. It is the parents' fault if their children bring home condoms, practice New Age, worship the devil, and buy guns and knives.

Morality does not come from religion, it comes from common sense.

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