A very strange opinion keeps coming up whenever I engage with theists. When asked “why do you believe in your god?” some respond with an ethics based angle, some need for god to make things good and so forth. Well today I was down this line of questioning again, and questioned them on how religion maintains ethics? They responded with something like “well without god there would be no consequences for anyone’s actions” To which I honestly responded more with more confusion than anything. No consequences, I said, well if I stole something (for example) the police would be on me quickly, and if I was known to be a thief then most people wouldn’t trust me outright. In fact many companies won’t even hire me if there is something like that on my record. Committing crimes against other people causes a response and I have to live with that response. How are their no consequences?
Alternatively, religion does nothing to maintain such a level of reactionary ethics. Steal something? Well just ask for forgiveness and then everything is okay. Steal again? Well that just means you have to pray harder. This is not a way to an ethical framework. No consequences to any actions, instead removing responsibility you have and pushing it onto an unseen force.
In fact religious ethics (two words never to be put together seriously like that) has been a chief retardant to real ethical development in the world. Citing ancient ideas for ancient people as more ethical by default, while removing the need to address issues head on, than base them on the new and more complex world we live in today.
I mean really which framework recognizes your consequences better? Basing ethics on mandates from people claiming to hear them from imaginary friends (at worst) or just from Iron Age savages (at best), or recognizing things as they happen and taking responsibility for our own actions, without appealing to any outside force, while seeing how we affect others? Further, my theist friends, why is this a difficult concept to understand, and how does religion even come into play?