This report supports the argument that there is no concrete proof that religions promote or justify immoral acts. Some people indulge in immoral behavior such as child marriage, murder and terrorism in the name of religion but there is more evidence to consider the actions a result of corrupt thoughts rather than religious teachings.
With the progression of science, more people now present theories as to how the Divine Command Theory is inaccurate and promotes immoral activities. The article, Religion and Ethics, compares Abraham’s decision to sacrifice his son with the murder of children by their parents.
The article only provides a biased point of view of that the Divine Theory promotes activities such as murder. It does not discuss that, where Abraham only chose to sacrifice his son but did not do so, other people have committed said crimes. The fact that Abraham did not murder his son offers a differentiating point for discussion.
One of the most popular theories that refute the Divine Theory is the Euthyphro Dilemma. It states that morality is independent of religious beliefs. The theory that 9/11 happened due to Islamic beliefs is one of the most popular; and based on Osama Bin Laden’s confession (Bergen, 2006). The majority of the Islamic population has condemned 9/11 and claimed the act was independent of their religion. There are also statements by many renowned Muslim scholars, proving terrorism as an immoral act (Section, 2001).
Similarly, child marriage is prevalent in countries with a higher rate of illiterate population. Recent studies prove that people living in rural areas of third world countries are more open to the idea of marrying children. This is a proof of a lack of education rather than depraved religious teachings. There is no concrete proof that religious books of Christians, Jews, and Muslims support child marriage; it is admissible that these books recount tales of parents marrying their children off in the past but the circumstances in the AD and BC were different. The books do not promote child marriage in today’s time and age.
The religious books of Jews, Christians, and Muslims forbid crimes such as rape. There are also punishments specified in each religion’s book regarding crimes. An individual’s propensity to commit crimes speaks more about the person’s values rather than his religion. The article Religion and Ethics questions whether murder is wrong if God did not explicitly forbid it. It also says religions ignore utilitarianism. Evidence suggests otherwise. In most of the religious books, helping others and making life easier for fellow beings is considered a good deed and one that pleases God; this relates to the utilitarianism’s concept of spreading happiness (Nathanson, n.d.).
God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son as a gesture of his faith in God. The event is considered a test for all pious believers and is said to show the benefits available to man if he obeys God. Religious scholars support giving a test to prove their faithfulness; they argue that every person comes to this Earth to fulfill a purpose. They also explain that God does not try His believer to test his loyalty. The test is more of a reminder of a man’s capability to himself. If Abraham had refused God’s request, he would not have discovered that although he had the ability to sacrifice his son, his God would not let him carry the act out. He also learned that trusting God was the way to go. Similarly, being tested is only a way for a person to realize his capabilities (Oakes, 2011).
Both the Abraham of Genesis 22 and Abraham as Prometheus are good role models. In situations where a man feels like abstaining from crimes is God’s command, he should obey his Creator. If someone misguides a man about committing so and so crimes, such as terrorism, it is better the person questions his views and wonders whether it is a moral act to kill another human being. Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son is not related to his propensity to commit crimes or abuse his children. It is related to how far God tests him and what action he will choose when in a dilemma.
If the works of renowned people such as Thomas Jefferson, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King are studied, the concept of non-violent behavior is prominent. Each of these leaders worked for the benefit of the society and promoted the belief that all men deserve treatment as equals and that all crimes are prohibited. Their viewpoints brought revolutionary changes for Indians and black people among others. People should emulate the virtue of disobedience, while not abstaining from religious beliefs. It will help people progress even further in time.
The concluding fact is that critics use Abraham’s actions to fault religion for all the immoral acts committed throughout the world. There is no proof behind religions promoting unethical activities, yet scholars base their whole paper on Abraham’s actions speaking of his abusive nature. The test presented by God to the prophet is considered unnecessary, yet researchers fail to realize that tests help a man learn more of his abilities rather than the ethical side God stands on. By following the beliefs of both obedient and moral Abraham, man can guide himself towards the right deeds.
Bergen, P. (2006, September 24). What were the causes of 9/11? Retrieved August 2, 2017, from Prospect: https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/whatwerethecausesof911
Oakes, J. (2011, April 4). Why did God test Abraham’s loyalty by asking him to sacrifice Isaac? Retrieved August 1, 2017, from Evidence for Christianity: http://evidenceforchristianity.org/why-did-god-test-abrahams-loyalty-by-asking-him-to-sacrifice-isaac/
Section, S. o. (2001, September 17). Scholars of Islam speak out against terrorism; clarify position of Islam. Retrieved from Statements from Leading International Academic Organizations for the Academic Study of Islam, Religion, and Middle East: http://groups.colgate.edu/aarislam/response.htm