We tell ourselves that we can not be morally upright without the revealed books — the Quran and the Bible. People say that humanity would’ve been left without a moral sense if God had not given us moral guidelines that were written down in the holy books. This is popularly called the Argument from the Supreme Law Giver. The argument says that without God giving us revelations that were written into the Bible, the Quran, and thousands of the other religious codes the world over, we would never have known right from wrong or known how to do the right thing.
People even go ahead to say that any country that does not allow these books to be read to children in schools will suffer a moral decadence. I will dedicate a post to that subsequently. But you get the gist. There’s an assumption that if God had not given Moses the Ten Commandments or revealed things to Prophet Muhammad (SAW), we would never have known what’s right from what’s wrong.
There are so many arguments against that assumption anyway. I won’t be taking them here. However, let me state that there is now abundant evidence that humanity’s moral sense predated religious belief or any divine revelation. Religious belief of any sort, especially the organized religions — Christianity and Islam — began very recently in the history of humanity. No religion has been found to be older than 10,000 years whereas the specie called Homo sapiens has existed for a couple of hundreds of thousands of years. Did they lack a moral sense for close to 200,000 years?
The answer is obviously no. The video below just confirms that. In this video, a monkey got electrocuted and another one heroically saved the fellow monkey from death. Note that the human beings in this video who obviously have read a divine revealed book were busy recording the incident without showing any attempt to save the monkey. Watch the video here:
So where did this monkey read his moral sense from? We humans had prophets who received revelations in the past to tell us stuff and we think that’s necessary. Do the monkey have prophets that received this revelation for them? So how did this monkey know the right to do? I don’t think the monkey did this to avoid hell or to be rewarded in heaven. There’s no evidence that he knows anything about heaven or hell. Why do we humans think we need revelations before we could be good? Why do we need the hell scare or the promise of paradise before we help others? Why do you need someone to cajole you by telling you different stories before you help someone? What’s your motivation for being good? Are you really more righteous than this monkey? While humans were watching away, a monkey was being ‘humane’.
So when next you say humans can’t develop a moral sense without reading a book, know that you’re insulting your fellow humans. If animals who are less intelligent than we are know how to show love and help a colleague out of danger, how much more humans that are more intelligent! We’re more capable. We don’t need the books to be moral!
I want you to reflect on this. You have it in you. You have that moral sense in you. You can argue that God put it there. Perhaps just as he put it in this monkey too. But you have it. Where it came from is another discussion for another day but you can use it. You don’t always need someone to cajole you with a revelation. Don’t agree with anyone that says you’re inherently evil and you can’t find the right way yourself. You can. If this monkey found the right way, why can’t you? I think most people can’t find the right way because they’ve been told that they can’t find it.
Look at our country today. Everybody that’s stealing public funds and doing all manners of evil everywhere does read either the Bible or the Quran. Yet it hasn’t changed them a bit. That means reading and believing those books is not the most important thing. Being ready to follow your conscience, your innate moral sense, is what matters.