In the name of god

Sanal Edamaruku speaks out against a religious ritual in Bihar where a “godman” literally tramples on infants to bless them.

When people argue with me about all the good done in the name of religion, I’ve come to respond by describing religion as being like the Batman villain Two Face. Two Face may save your life. . .or he may kill you. He is completely amoral because he is incapable of making moral decisions on his own. So he leaves his moral decisions up to chance via a coin toss. If the coin happens to land on heads, he does the right thing. But if the coin lands on tails, he does the wrong thing. So whether he does good or evil is entirely determined by an arbitrary process.

So it is with religion. Religion may cause someone to act morally. . .or it may cause someone to commit evil. Religion is completely amoral because the system of morality it promotes is built on authority rather than reason and its holy books are vague and often contradictory, which allows any reader to read whatever they want into the text. If someone happens to have a solid, rational sense of morality, religion can further motivate them to do good. But if someone happens to have a twisted sense of morality, religion further motivates them to do commit evil. So whether a person using religion as their basis for morality does good or evil is entirely determined by the arbitrary process of how they interpret the will of their authorities.

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