These thoughts were inspired by and my most recent discussion with friends on concerning absolute morality. It's also slightly inspired by my experience with the JW ladies.
As an atheist, I don't see harm in religiosity. At least not to the point of those such as Sam Harris do. I do wish people would accept less stringent ways of life, and do wish people would have foundations for their beliefs that can hold water. But if you tell me you are happy, then I have no desire to change you.
As a Christian, I would have never allow such words, much less thoughts to be connected with myself. As a Christian, it was either Jesus or Hell. Your happiness, internal peace, passion, or inspiration drawn from your religiousness was actually just a lie from the Devil. Why the Devil would lie by providing such peace is beyond me now, but I suppose then I would say "because it lured you into Hell." In fact, I've been told by some close to me the same about my disbeliefs, that they are lies from Satan!
This sounds okay to those of us with.. I'll say.. more open minds? You'll forgive me my Christian watchers, I can't at the moment find a better phrase. I do not mean it in any condescending fashion. But I'm going to press it to a degree that can often times become unacceptable to even self-acclaimed open-minded Agnostics and Atheists, as it has recently among the above quoted forums.
JWs do not receive blood transfusions. This means that if their child, due to an accident, a disease, whatever, comes to a point where they either receive transfused blood or die, they will not permit their child to take the blood.
It seems many people are outraged at this. It is considered mistreating and harming a child. I am not convinced of this. Mainly because I understand the deep conviction of religiousity. For the JW, perhaps they truly believe if they accept the transfusion they have committed a sin and put themselves on the road to Hell. Can you, with clear a clear conscience, force a parent to send their child to Hell? It doesn't matter if you don't believe there is a Hell, these people do. For them, they live happier and more self-gratifying lives if they follow what their God tells them to do.
Do I think it's personally sick? Yes. I have my levels of morality that I follow. If God told me to sacrifice my son, I'd probably tell him to... well... I would spout unhappy things that shan't be repeated here. But can I force someone to follow my morality? Just what makes my morality, my beliefs, more important than theirs?
It's been spouted, and angers me to no end, that "secular laws must be subservient to religious laws." I've been wrapping my mind around it since I heard it, and I still can not see the logic in it. The secular world is just as corrupt, if not more than religious circles. There is nothing to logically state that somehow laws created by secular governors are any more sensical that those fashioned by religious hierarchies.
Philosophically, I think it makes zero sense. I do hope I am not alone.