Is it Ethical to Teach People About God?

Note to the reader: since this article contains sensitive subject matter, we thought it a good idea to preface it with this message: it is not our intention to offend or upset anyone. We only wish to provoke a conversation about an interesting topic. Please keep an open mind and debate with civility! Thanks!

We cannot understate the influence religious ideology has had on human history, our communities, and our households. As far as we know most, if not all, societies have relied on a religious belief system to establish commonality, enforce regulations, and create a sense of morality. But at its core, religion satisfies people’s need for answers to unanswerable questions and allows them to define their purpose.

Most religions offer concepts of salvation, both in this life and the next, if the person follows specific guidelines laid out for them and accepts its doctrine as the only truth. They also teach of punishment for those who don’t abide by the rules which we think should raise an ethical dilemma for people of devout faith.

Since we are mostly familiar with Christianity, we will use their beliefs as an example but this debate applies across several theological systems. The consensus seems to be (please correct us in the comments section if we’re wrong!), that if someone has never heard of the Christian god and his son Jesus, then they do not have to face judgement and will avoid the fires of Hell–it would be cruel otherwise to commit someone to eternal damnation if they were never given the opportunity to accept the concept of a god as truth.

Other than finding peace while we’re on this earth, why do people continue to spread the “word of God” when mankind would be better off not knowing about it? Many would argue that religion is used as a moral guide for how to live our lives properly, but why would our actions matter if there was no threat of Hell?

Many religions make it part of their mission to “witness” to as many people as possible in order to expose them to a better way of life, or “save” them, and open the gates to their version of heaven. But what if instead, if we truly wanted to save humanity, we stopped subjecting man to the possibility of denying god and avoid facing the possibility of an excruciatingly painful eternity?

If the ultimate goal is to save people from hell, then shouldn’t religious people refrain from telling anyone their god exists so that others can go to a better place when they die by default? Take your children for example, if you teach them about god then they are now at the mercy of his judgement and the devil’s pit. Why would you want to risk that possibility when ignorance could save them?

Sure the world may become even more corrupt and evil than it already is, but isn’t it our moral obligation to do what’s best for others in the long run? If eradicating the concept of god were to thrust the world into utter chaos, we feel it’s better to suffer for a hundred years than for an eternity (if we’re certain there is an afterlife).

Some may argue that hell is needed to punish the wicked, and in extreme cases we may agree (here’s lookin’ at you Hitler), but we would argue otherwise that no crime during this life is worth an ETERNITY; especially the “crime” of objectivity or denial.

In conclusion, we think the moral thing for people with religious convictions to do is to no longer speak of a god’s existence so everyone can have the opportunity to experience a better afterlife.

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5 thoughts on “Is it Ethical to Teach People About God?”

  1. I commend you for tackling a sensitive subject, and a subject that may or may not produce a good old fashion debate. But either way, it should give everyone something to think about.

  2. An articulate atheistic view, however Christian scripture in john 3:17-19 tells us that G-d sent his son to save the world, that those who believe are saved and those who do not are condemned.
    Bob Dylan said it best, “you gotta serve sombody”, and all servants are entitled to a reward.
    Deuteronomy 31:12+13 G-d himself tells us gather the people together and tell them, even the stranger within your gates…nature teaches us that just because you are not participating in a system you are still subject to its laws. Wander around the forest unaware and unarmed,and a mountain lion may eat you, ignorance or non-participation does not exampt us from consequence.

  3. Though well stated the article was poorly researched. Christianity teaches us to spread the word of God and his message. As do all major religions. The teachings of religion have shaped and guided our world for thousands of years. Even primitive man worshiped the forces of nature, certain animals, even death. The worship started as signs of respect and thanks for providing sustenance, generally showing gratitude for survival. Later, early worship provided codes of conduct to follow which would provide better health, longer life, easier survival and a less harsh coexistence with other tribes, families, or nature itself. In net total, despite the wars and carnage wrought by competing religions, if it were not for religion civilization would not be as advanced as it is today. Christianity itself is responsible for educating a great portion of the world. Equal treatment of people has its base in religion. Though you may argue that most are patriarchal in nature, consider that the majority of organized religion preaches education for all and promotes a moral or ethical code of how to treat others with respect and dignity. It is very likely without the existence of religion our society would be no more advanced today then one group killing another for greed, lust, resources or survival with no regard for any but your own tribe or clan. Homo sapiens are carnivores by nature. They are an aggressive and dominant species that without tempering would have long since destroyed itself.

    1. I don’t think it was the author’s purpose to research the depths of Christianity and I think the point was clearly made when the author said that most religious people are tasked with “witnessing” to others. Along with what you said Anonymous, religion was responsible for a lot of good and a lot of bad, but in this modern world it is becoming a hindrance on human growth and accomplishment. And while it’s morally practical for religious people to witness, I think the author is saying it is immoral because of the potential damage that could be caused in the long run…eternally.

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