In response to the recent letter entitled "Jesus Affirmed Moral Standards":
It is a fallacy to believe that morals originate in the Christian Bible, or from Christianity as a whole. This belief asserts that human beings were incapable of morality before about two thousand years ago. Aristotle and Plato may take a dim view of this concept, as would Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine. These great folks lived centuries before the birth of Christianity, as did many other just and moral people. In addition, if you take the view that the ultimate source of morals is the Bible, you are essentially saying that without that book, you could not decipher right from wrong.
A scary prospect indeed.
The reality is that our morals come from within us, from our biology, as the product of billions of years of evolution. The problem with mistakenly considering the Christian Bible as the source of morality is that the Christian bible is a complex mixture of valid moral rules and dangerous, divisive dogma. This is a quote from the author of the previous letter: "Homosexuality and real Christianity - a transformed life in Christ - are incompatible." Is this the kind of philosophy we should be teaching our children? Should we be teaching them to judge others based not on their accomplishments, their thoughts, emotions or integrity, but rather based on their sexual orientation alone?
The reality is that the Bible does not only consider homosexuality a sin, it also states explicitly that homosexuals should be put to death, as can be read in Leviticus 20:13, among other places. The Bible also states that adulterers should be killed (Leviticus 20:10 and others) and perhaps worst of all, that those who worship other gods should be put to death (Deuteronomy 13:8-10).
The illustration I am attempting to make here is that Christians do not adhere to these passages in the Bible. The vast majority of us are not routinely murdering adulterers or homosexuals, and the reason for this is because we instinctively understand that it would be wrong. And the reason we understand this is because our morals come not from the Bible, or any other single book, but rather from our consciousness itself.
We have evolved a mind that is capable of both the most wonderful ideas, and the worst prejudices and atrocities.
Don't let someone else choose which path you take.
Ralph Greggs lives in Jamestown.