Is murder wrong?

I could just say of course it is and it’s a ridiculous question to ask, and I fully agree, but most non-religious people have encountered a wannabe theistic philosopher who challenged you to explain how without god in your life, how can you explain that murder is wrong. First off, let’s assert what murder means. Oxford dictionary describes murder as:-

“the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.”

The important word there is premeditated which means that you’ve considered the action and decided to act on it, often involving some kind of planning. Let’s say that you’re attacked in the street from out of nowhere and you have to defend yourself and unfortunately your reaction causes the death of your assailant. Is this justified to take the life of another human being? If it means that you could potentially be a homicide victim then what choice do you have?

In Exodus 20:13 KJV it clearly states that ‘thou shall not kill’, and it clearly doesn’t define what you shouldn’t kill. The Geneva Convention of 1949 suggests that it’s unlawful to wilfully kill, especially someone who is unarmed. The U.S.A is predominantly religious nation, yet 30 out of the 50 states still have the death penalty for the most heinous crimes. How is this justifiable in the eyes of their god? Leviticus 24:20 says:-

“Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again.”

This suggests that whatever someone does to another should be done to them. Doesn’t this directly contradict the thou shall not kill law? What gives a human the right to take the life of another human, even if that human took the life of another? Killing that person as a result of their crime doesn’t cancel the crime and bring the deceased back to life. Take Islam as a prime example of using execution as a punishment for disobeying the religion. In countries that have adopted Sharia Law, there are a multitude of alleged sins that can result in execution to this day in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Iran and Mauritania that include; apostasy, homosexuality, rape, drug smuggling, treason, blasphemy, adultery, murder and witchcraft. I’d love a Muslim to justify how being a homosexual as an example is worthy of execution. The punishment is extremely severe and inhuman for the alleged crime.

So back to the initial question. Is murder wrong, and how can it be justified without god in your life? To take a life without justification is robbing someone of their future experiences and affects those around them who have to grieve the loss of a loved one. Religious people claim that they have the moral high ground because their god is an unequalled law-giver, and because atheists don’t have this guidance they have no justification as to why murder is wrong. Murder is inherently wrong whatever way you look at it because it causes suffering, and to cause another person suffering is amoral.

From my perspective being an atheist, murder is wrong for many reasons that include observing the golden rule which is essentially don’t do to others that you don’t want done to you. Many societies through history have loosely adopted this philosophy. If you take a life it’s irreversible. That person isn’t ever going to return and the murdered is denied any future happiness. Most societies deem murder to be wrong as it goes against the rules of a society, and if a society constantly has rules disobeyed then it breaks down and becomes a lawless state where anything goes, and no one wants that.

Would you want to be murdered? No, of course you wouldn’t, so surely the distaste of imagining being a murder victim is enough to prevent you from committing an act of murder against another, especially if you understand the emotion of empathy. Murder is perhaps the most harmful and destructive action that one can do against another human being. We all have just one life, and it’s irreplaceable. We value our own lives and the lives of our loved ones, so this logic should be applied to the rest of humanity. We have rights as a human, not only lawful rights but ethical rights and life is precious. I could argue that all life is precious but that’s an article for another day.

God’s law

No one wants to live within a theocratic state unless you’ve been indoctrinated to believe that all of the ‘sins’ that are within their holy scripture dictates the law of the land. I’ve encountered many Muslims that want nothing more than the world ruled by Sharia Law, but if this was to happen the structure of western law, and a right to a fair trial would collapse. When I say fair trial, I mean outside of countries like the U.S.A, who generally have extremely religious Judges who have had the law of the Bible and God’s judgement drummed into them from childhood.

In the U.K the principal of law is no different to America’s other than the fact that religious conviction plays no part in your thought process as a practising judge. The punishment suits the crime (sometimes); and that punishment is based on severity of the crime, not because someone went out to collect some wood on a Sabbath, and god got pissed and ordered some dudes to stone him to death. If people accept stories like that from the Bible that attempts to brainwash its victim into believing that god’s judgement is fair, as he loves us all as we’re his children, should NEVER be put in a position where their religious brainwashing is going to influence them in a decision that could drastically fuck someone’s life up forever.

But it doesn’t just lie with the Judge, as the jury could be deeply religious as well. You’re getting the third degree from some hillbilly lawyer in Alabama, and you’re accused of taking a piss up against the sign that usually reads something like below, and you’ve got 12 jury persons sneering at you whilst tightly clutching their bibles, wishing they’d sneaked a firearm into the court with the wish of putting a cap in your ass. All joking aside, what chance does a person have if they are being put under trial by people that fear God?

This was only a quick thought that I decided to share.

This is an interesting article

Atheism and what constitutes a religion

Religion has been observed for thousands of years across all cultures and continents, but what actually is a religion? As usual I will refer to the Oxford dictionary regarding the various definitions of a religion. Firstly, a religion is the belief in, and/or worship of a superhuman power, especially god or gods. Secondly it’s also defined as a pursuit or interest followed with great devotion. Religions differ depending on regions, cultural differences and belief, but most have set rules and standards that must be adhered to; ie praying, dietary guidelines, standards of behaviour that must be strictly followed with devotion. Most religions that worship a god (monotheistic), or several gods or versions of gods (polytheistic) share a worldview that everything is created by, and ruled over by the creator. This is often a deity that has presented a list of moral expectations that has been written down by their representatives and prayer, worship or disciplines that vary on extremes depending on the religion.

Many theists claim that atheism is also a religion because it takes more faith to reject the belief in a god than it takes to embrace the idea of a supernatural, all knowing, all powerful supreme being. Atheism is however in direct contrast to theism, and is either the outright rejection and inability to accept the existence of any god as the empirical evidence just simply isn’t there to warrant it being taken seriously, or simply they don’t believe any gods exist or have ever existed as it’s a ridiculous concept. Many atheists are extremely vocal about their opposition to deity fuelled organised religions, but how can the rejection of gods, and the need to live without religious doctrines, dogma, scripture and lifestyle be classified as a religion? There’s no ideology, worldview or code of conduct. Each atheist is free to live their life as they see fit without any constraints other than the law of the land, but innatism, which is belief that people are born with knowledge, is claimed that theistic innatism is what atheists are in denial about as they know god exists but refuses to admit it. If anything this is a strong argument in favour of atheism not being a religion as they are really Christians living non-Christian lifestyles.

‘Evil men do evil on their own accord. For good men to do evil requires religion.” – H.L. Mencken