Assuming you have table manners, of course…
Over the years, I’ve heard and read the crazy argument from morality, the idea that our morals come from god via religious teachings, from many people, even my own brother. He was quick to remind me of my religious upbringing, as if that somehow gave me my moral values. I honestly don’t get it. Maybe he can’t remember back to before Sunday school? I can.
I remember the first time I attended, at six years old. I remember arriving late my first day, to everybody in class singing, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so”… and feeling isolated because they knew the words while I did not. I remember a couple of weeks later, going to Mass alone, until the rest of the family attended with me. My brother, being two years younger than me, missed those years when our family wasn’t too religious.
I remember sitting alone in Mass, thinking of the stories I’d heard about crazy old Uncle Steve and the crazy Old Apostolic church – looking for the holy spirit under the benches. I played a little game… looking around the church, under the benches, in the front of the church, the back of the church, and so on… Where is this god guy? I don’t see him. Maybe he’s hiding behind the alter?
I soon caught on. God is just an idea. An abstract concept (though I did not know that word), but one that I must believe existed in physical form and actually showed up around two thousand years ago. Same goes for angels. I didn’t buy it. I still believed in god then, but never really believed in Jesus, confession, or a while bunch of other things. I was never very good at being Catholic.
The point is, I remember. I remember already having my moral values before I ever attended Sunday School for the first time. I remember not being taught my morality there, but instead being taught a bunch of nonsense, a bunch of prayers to know off by heart, and when I was older, a bunch of harmful nonsense about contraception being wrong.
So my question stands. If you credit god with your morality, do you also thank him for teaching you not to chew with your mouth open? Because it’s the same thing… Like table manners, you learn most of your morality from your parents, and the rest from your upbringing, from the accepted rules and norms of society around you.
Today I’ve written only about the way we actually learn our morality. If you aren’t much of a critical thinker, and don’t look around and observe the way morality differs in geographical regions, even among the same religions and time period, you might still argue for some kind of god given objective morality. But you have to be willfully ignorant to think that.