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Discussion 1 to Reflections on Ethics 89
Religion a cause of immoral behaviour?

by: Kristine Robinson

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Your article reminds me of a debate I took place in some time ago, about whether or not religion causes immoral behaviour. Whether or not the action was illegal or considered to be socially unacceptable, if the act was accepted the holy texts of the person committing it, it was considered moral.

I won the debate. I really only know the bible, so that's what I based my arguments on, and it was all I needed. Because if you believe in the ten commandments, that means that you accept all commands from the Old Testament. And that means that "Thou shalt not kill" numbers amongst them. It also means "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" is amongst them (my quotes are good ol' King James, but you can find a lovely selection of other translations of the latter verse here: What the Bible says about Wicca and Witchcraft).

This puts the believer into the terrible position of being moral and immoral at the same time. On one hand, they're being told to go on a killing spree, and that anyone (whoops, not anyone, just the chicks) practising any of the magical arts (i.e. Neopagan, Wiccan, Asatru, Enochian, etc) is up for grabs. On the other hand, it's a bad thing to do. So bad, in fact, that it made it to number 6 on the ten commandments list.

Which reminds me, if your kid mouths off at you, you're supposed to stone him to death. Honouring your mum and dad makes it in at number 5, so it's much more important than not killing people.

I agree wholeheartedly with you, Michael. The laws that society has mandated for the populace, at least in Western Civilisations, are ones I find much more palatable. Because, to be quite frank, living under laws mandated by God (i.e. some religious text written by someone thousands of years ago) would be quite scary and likely lethal to someone like myself.