Time for the latest in my Morality series, which can be found among a range of discussions on religion. This has been inspired by a discussion TikTok of all places (let it be said that TikTok is not a great medium for conversation).
The idea under discussion is that followers of religion do not murder because their holy texts command them not to. The irreligious are merely ‘indoctrinated’ into not killing.
Interesting… indoctrination is one of organised religion’s defining qualities. It does not matter which religion I refer to, they are all designed to sway a person’s thinking and lifestyle via ceremony – and also fear. ‘Universal morality’ is the idea – that religion has a standardised concept for everyone to follow (of course, there are many religions and they all have differing ideas, so which is the standard form?), and punishment awaits those who do not obey the rules.
Here’s the thing – if you have to be told that murder is wrong and if you believe you’ll commit murder unless directed otherwise by religion, your sense of morality is quite weak. If the threat of punishment is the only thing preventing you from going on a killing spree, that speaks more about you than it does anything else. It is also worth noting that religious beliefs have never stopped people from killing (some have even used their beliefs to justify it), just as the absence of religious beliefs does not make someone a murderer.