02 April 2011

Quote for the day -- religion vs. modern morality

"The point is that we have all moved on, and in a big way, since biblical times. Slavery, which was taken for granted in the Bible and throughout most of history, was abolished in civilized countries in the nineteenth century. All civilized nations now accept what was widely denied up to the 1920s, that a woman's vote, in an election or on a jury, is the equal of a man's. In today's enlightened societies (a category that manifestly does not include, for example, Saudi Arabia), women are no longer regarded as property, as they clearly were in biblical times. Any modern legal system would have prosecuted Abraham for child abuse. And if he had actually carried through his plan to sacrifice Isaac, we would have convicted him of first-degree murder. Yet according to the mores of his time, his conduct was entirely admirable, obeying God's commandment. Religious or not, we have all changed massively in our attitude to what is right and what is wrong."

Richard Dawkins


Blogger John Myste said...

Richard, that is so well said. I am very impressed. No I like your blog so much.

02 April, 2011 10:10  
Blogger Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

There seems to be some implicit incest in the Bible, too. They say that Cain eventually "took a wife". But, other than the additional offspring of Adam and Eve, the Bible makes no mention of God "creating" any additional babage. Ergo......

02 April, 2011 12:00  
Blogger John Myste said...


It does not say that he took a human wife.

It just means he had sex with something he captured. Back then there was no marriage ceremony.

02 April, 2011 14:04  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

So Cain either married his sister or shagged a goat -- either way I suppose we'd all have to be descended from the resulting offspring. Most edifying. In any case neither of those things would be comparable in degree of evil to human sacrifice or slavery -- assuming the sister or goat were consenting adults, anyway.

02 April, 2011 14:20  
Blogger Robert the Skeptic said...

Now if we can just convince Islam that it isn't still the 12th century.

02 April, 2011 14:40  
Blogger mendip said...

Wonderful! Thanks for posting!

03 April, 2011 08:53  
Blogger Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

You don't think that Cain and Eve, do you?

03 April, 2011 19:32  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

RtS: It would be progress if we could even convince them it's the 12th century instead of the 7th.

Mendip: Thanks -- Dawkins is always an excellent source of inspirational truth.

WH: That thought had occurred to me, but I was trying to be a gentleman and not bring it up. It would have given Lot's daughters a precedent, though.

03 April, 2011 19:43  
Blogger Ahab said...

An eloquent and devastatingly true quote. Now if fundamentalists would just come around and see the obvious about their ancient book ...

04 April, 2011 07:51  

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