I’m going to keep this short, because I want to mainly present this potentially interesting documentary in the works: “Skipping Sunday School“:
I’m amused and annoyed by the old and ridiculous canard of Pascal’s Wager used at the end of the clip. Spoken by the guy who throughly didn’t believe that a person could be good without the indoctrination of religion. The truth is, there are countless people throughout the world who are perfectly ethical and moral people without having been indoctrinated into religion. If, without religion people would go wild and be amoral, northern Europe should have self-destructed by now! The Scandinavian are majority atheist/agnostic, and yet they have far lower crime rates and a far better social structure than certainly the U.S.
I used to think myself that, even as an atheist, a religious upbringing was still important for the learning of social rules and guidance. I am now horrified I once thought that. Terribly embarrassed. The morality that religion instill is not a thoughtful, empathic, selfless morality. The basis of religious morality is carrot-and-stick: Do what God (who is so hidden as to be indistinguishable from invisible, so you need this book to know what God wants) and you’ll get rewarded. Don’t do what he wants, and you get eternal torment. What kind of basis for ethics is that?!
No, the ethical guidelines and morality a secular humanist upbringing can provide is, in my opinion, a “truer,” more sincere and responsible ethics.