Jewish Atheist

An agnostic atheist perspective
from a once orthodox Jew.

‎Tamarin ran a fascinating control group in his experiment. A different group of 168 Israeli children were given the same text from the book of Joshua but with Joshua’s own name replaced by ‘General Lin’ and ‘Israel’ replaced by ‘a Chinese kingdom 3000 years ago’. Now the experiment gave opposite results. Only 7% approved of General Lin’s behaviour, and 75% disapproved. In other words when their loyalty to Judaism was removed from the calculation the majority of the children agreed with the moral judgements that most modern humans would shame. Joshua’s action was a deed of barbaric genocide. But it all looks different from a religious point of view. And the difference starts early in life. It was religion that made the difference between children condemning genocide and condoning it.

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins (via ifwewerefeckless)

I suppose there’s what to argue with Dawkins’ point here. For instance, that if god dictates morality and owns us, then it’s not only within His right to kill whoever he wants, but that it’s impossible for Him to do s/t “wrong” since “right” is defined as His will!! {And what does that say about morality? Might makes right? Anyways…}

That’s just one argument, amongst many, in which god is given special treatment. But what I think is interesting from the study is that when god isn’t given special treatment, when viewed objectively, we find that His actions are judged as immoral. Though, to be honest, I don’t think that should be too much of a surprise. Afterall, he drowned the planet, was complicit in job’s torture, the holocaust, and more. I guess the question and the leap for many people is the realization that we can judge Him by our own standards - even if only as a thought experiment.

Oh, and of course, there’s the fascinating point that people have blindspots for their beliefs. Again, not too surprising, but I suppose this is a rather stark example. It was religion that made the difference between children condemning genocide and condoning it.

{Oh, and I really need to read Dawkins’ atheism books already. His books on evolution are terrific!}

(via ifwewerefecklessold-deactivated)

  1. relunrelated reblogged this from jewishatheist