I wanted to share two things today that are sort of related(and a ramble warning. I am not sure where I am going with this…)
The first is a press release from my telescope. This is an AWESOME image in X-rays.
The second is an opinion piece from Judith Warner, whom I don’t always agree with.
So..how are these related? I often think about religion and morality. Do they have to be tied together?
Often I see comments on web articles that indicates YES. Atheists have no morals. Atheists reject God, and therefore are among the most evil creatures on the planet. Atheists suck the blood out of small children and want everyone to have abortions (okay, not the first part, but yes, I have seen the abortion accusation). But I disagree.
I believe that people can be good to other people just because it is the right thing to do. I believe that you can have your own sense of morals. I believe that taking a book that was clearly written by other humans to be your moral guide is a little dicey, but as long as you don’t force YOUR morals on ME, to each their own.
It’s that last bit that gets me. Why does my money have to say "In God We Trust"? That is someone else’s morals put on me. And this was added in the last century, which gets me even more upset that it is legislated morals. However, I still use the money. It’s part of our country and I try to deal with it.
What about homosexual marriage? Hey, it doesn’t bother me. But some people’s morals are offended by that. To those people, this violates all of the good things in their marriage (which I don’t understand). Several states have even legislated their morals to prevent people from marrying. Of course, these morals are based on their religion (and one passage in the Bible).
Then again we can’t forget abortion. Many people use this one issue as a black and white litmus test. Either you are with us or against us. On both sides of the debate this happens. It’s not just the people who use religion as their values, its the people who argue that if you are against abortion you are evil and full of hate. This is the grayest of grays in terms of issues. I
We have a lot of strange morals in this country.
Again, many morals are tied to religion. Some are not.
Why does our country have this need to be so black and white? Why do we humans need to see ourselves in everything?
The first link I posted was an image from the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The blue is a pulsar, spinning, excited, the remains of a star. The reddish orange is a cloud that is being energized by the pulsar. Many people see a hand in this image. Why are we automatically seeing ourselves in the heavens? Why do we make God in our image?
The second link is about religious patterns and traditions and if we follow them anymore anyway. Should we? Should we break free from religions?
These are things that make me think. I am pretty close to deciding that I am an atheist. An Atheist with morals. Yes, I am raising my children Jewish. Yes, I see the hypocrisy in that. Yes, I do get a relaxed feeling in either a church or temple or in a park. A spiritual feeling perhaps.
I am pretty sure that we don’t need religion to have morals, but one thing I am sure about…no body is sure about what life means anyway, most of all not me.