Belief in God. Do people really need a belief in a higher being to believe in doing the “right thing”? To know what is positive and what is negative? To practice love instead of hate? In many of my debates about religion in government, several times people have asked the question: “If we don’t have God, where will we get our moral compass!?” Well, how about this? How about we get our moral compass by looking at the results our actions have on others we touch? I don’t need a deity to know when I’m wronging someone. I don’t need a set of commandments to tell me I shouldn’t kill another human. I don’t need a “Living God” to prove to me that every life matters. I believe most people don’t need that. I think most people learn this on their own through experience. The “Gee. I didn’t like when that was done to me, so maybe I shouldn’t do it to someone else.” idea. I don’t think we need a God to learn that.
The Bible says that God is omnipotent. (No, that doesn’t mean He can’t have children.) That means, among other abilities, He knows and sees all. Everything! He is everywhere, all the time. That creates a dilemma for me. When I was a child, I was once told that good character meant doing the right thing when no one is looking. In the Christian faith, that opportunity is never available. They are always on God’s radar. They are never doing anything without someone seeing. More so, their actions are always being seen by the one and only individual that matters. The one and only true law enforcer. You want to talk about the ultimate “Big Brother” situation? It’s right there. He doesn’t need cameras. He doesn’t need bugging devices. He doesn’t need to send a mole in to spy on you. He’s always watching. That doesn’t give anyone the ability to earn character. At that point, it simply becomes ‘following rules’.
When someone tells me that they are doing something good because ‘God told them to’, it sort of makes me sad. It makes it look like they don’t have a mind of their own. It makes it look like they are not personally sincere in their actions. It makes me wonder why they can’t simply see it’s the right thing to do. Or when someone uses the argument of ‘What if you are wrong, and there is a God and a Heaven and a Hell?’ That tells me they are only trying to be righteous to avoid punishment. That wont be true righteousness. That’s control by fear. They aren’t being good, they are acting good out of fear of eternal damnation. Where is the character in that?
Some will argue that it isn’t a situation of Big Brother is watching, because God is perfectly good. Now, they don’t mean that in the context of “You ruined a perfectly good day.” They mean that He is so inherently good, it is impossible for Him to do anything but. That doesn’t hold water for me. I think that even the most perfect leader should give those under him the chance to act without being watched. That’s a good way to learn about true character. I know, I know believers. He knows what is in your heart. He doesn’t need this ‘test’ to know your true character. But what about you? Do you actually know what you would or wouldn’t do if you knew your God wasn’t watching? Would you still do your best to follow His word if you knew He would never even know about it? So, my question isn’t WWJD?, it’s WWYDWGW? What would you do without God watching? And don’t forget, he is watching! So even if you aren’t honest to me (or more importantly, to yourself), ‘He knows your heart.’ What do you say? Any of you up for this?