Religion has been with us for a very long time. It changes, expands, and dies off all throughout history but it always makes the same claim, “We are right and all the others are wrong.” Some religious people demand the holy text they follow to be thought of as the word of reason, while others claim that reason will lead one to seeing the validity of the aforementioned holy text. Whatever the methodology, they claim to be following what they deem reasonable.
I attest that piety warps the boundaries of reason and morals. Your morals are affected by your reasoning. Think of jihadist suicide bombers. These people believe that after they die they are guaranteed eternal bliss in paradise, and pursuing this is a righteous endeavor. It makes perfect sense for them to bring these violent acts to fruition, they believe the metaphysical claims of the Koran to be true.
If you are a Christian you believe the bible to be inspired by God and you believe that by accepting the grace extended to us by the holy father we can repent and attain salvation in the name of Christ. Enter reason and logic after these religious claims are accepted by an individual. If one accepts these certain metaphysical claims to be true, then some very abnormal and or immoral actions cannot be condemned.
Should not Christians celebrate the death of their saved loved ones? Why do Christians struggle with death if they believe that after life those who are saved receive eternal happiness? Surely eternal happiness is nothing to get upset over. It will be claimed that sadness caused by death is human nature, but this is a scientific claim. Somehow, despite all the faith in the world, an individuals brain still reacts according to natural law. When someone we love dies, we feel sad. Interpret this however you will, but to me it suggests a naturalist view is more accurate than a supernatural one.
If one accepts that one is going to heaven post-salvation, does it not open the door to very dangerous ideas that are indeed logical if one accepts their religious foundation? For example, logically the most moral thing for a parent to do is to kill their child after he is baptized or saved (the theologies differ widely). If this statement seems ludicrous, think about it. If you believe death is not the end, but simply a step into eternal damnation or eternal bliss, and your child is at the moment guaranteed the latter, shouldn’t you prevent the risk of them losing faith in this life and being damned in the next one? Is not killing your saved child the biggest act of love possible? You are guaranteeing them eternal happiness. There is literally nothing you can do for someone that’s better than guaranteeing eternal joy.
Of course theologians argue over the rules. Some would say if you kill a person in a way to force God’s hand then you will be punished. But others say you could be forgiven for the murder. Before long all the different rules for where one’s soul is bound after death begin to sound very imaginative and extravagant. Such as dead babies go to purgatory unless they were baptized, or an elderly person questioning their faith moments before death and being damned despite a life long dedication to Christ. I am reminded of the South Park episode in which the children believe that if they die before having confessed their sins they will be damned. This causes them to cautiously make their way to the confession booth right after committing a sin, fearing that they will be killed in some sort of accident in the time in-between.
Everyone’s beliefs are different, not all Christians have the same theologies of course, but it can be said that religion twists logic and therefore twists morality. If you believe that those who are saved are destined for eternal joy, then you are morally obligated to kill them. The reasoning is very clear and coherent and even coincides with morality, yet somehow most of us recognize it as being unreasonable and immoral. I think that says something about the religious beliefs that must be assumed in order to come to such logical conclusions. One’s morality and logic must maintain consistency with one another or else it renders both insincere.