Chapter 29 - In God We Trust

In American society we have a number of things that we connect to God. For example, all of our money says, "In God We Trust" on it. In the Pledge of Allegiance we say, "One nation, under God." We sing "God Bless America." And so on.

This is rather amazing when you consider the fact that God does not exist.

It is also amazing when you consider who "the God of the Bible" claims to be. Just look at the dozens of things that you have discovered about God in the course of reading this book. If God were to exist, then why in the world would we trust this appalling monster?

  • God is an admitted torturer
  • God is far more heinous and demented than Hitler, having annihilated billions of animals and people in Noah's flood.
  • God is a pervert who demands genital mutilation.
  • God is a huge proponent of slavery.
  • God hates women.
  • God has happily killed millions of children and brags about it.
  • God demands animal and human sacrifice.
  • And so on... (see section 2 for details)
This is God's description of himself, in a book that God (supposedly) wrote. If God wrote this book, then God is a self-described abomination.

Why, then, do we put, "In God We Trust" on the currency? As discussed in the previous chapter, we do it because we use the concept of God as a proxy for Goodness. We overlook all of God's flaws -- we actually completely ignore them as part of the delusion -- and focus on the Good.

Now that we have proven to ourselves that God does not exist, we should stop using a proxy and start being straightforward in what we say. There is no reason to abdicate an idea as important as Goodness to an imaginary being. When we delegate a concept as important as Goodness to a non-existent, imaginary being, Goodness loses much of its power.

When we say, "One nation, under God," what we mean is "One nation, devoted to Goodness." That is what America is all about. America is a nation of good people, honest people, friendly people, helpful people. We want to help others have what we have. We should state it as clearly as that -- we, as a nation, are people who are dedicated to Goodness.

We should then make a clear statement that contains our definition of goodness. The commandments listed in the previous chapter are a good way to do that. They act as the concise summary of our legal system. We can call them commandments, or we can call them our "code of conduct" or our "national statement of Goodness" or whatever term we decide to use. What we are stating is that we have a definition of Goodness, in the form of the commandments that we have settled on as a nation. We are willing to uphold those standards in our country and help other countries to achieve them.

Instead of "In God We Trust," our money should say, "In Goodness We Trust" or "We are Dedicated to Goodness." We should then clearly state and uphold our self-evident standard of Goodness. Print the statement of Goodness, in the form of our commandments, right on the bills. "Do not murder" is a good thing for people to see every day.

In taking this step -- in actually defining and controlling the commandments ourselves rather than abdicating them to an irrelevant book or an imaginary being -- it is important to recognize something. The dictionary defines morality in this way:

    The quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct.
We are now setting these standards ourselves in an open process that includes everyone. This is a far better way to do it than to rely on "religion" and superstition.

In doing that, there will be a small minority of people who will say, "Who are you to impose your standards of morality upon ME!" The important thing to understand is that we can ignore these people. The standards are self-evident. No one wants to be murdered. Therefore murder is fundamentally and objectively wrong. The 99% of us who understand and believe this self-evident truth have the right to impose our "morality" on the 1% of the population who feels the need to kill people. "Do not murder" is a universal truth that every sane person can agree on. We need to weed out the 1% who disagree and restrain them so they do not ruin life for the rest of us. That is why we have a legal system.

America is built on a foundation of Goodness and moral character. These concepts are important because a strong society depends on honesty, integrity and trust as its foundation. Accepting that God does not exist does not change those values -- they are essential to any functioning society. It simply changes the focus of those ideas. The focus moves from an imaginary being onto us, where it belongs.

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by Marshall Brain

New York Times Coverage
discussed in a
New York Times piece
by N. D. Kristof.
For a counter-point to Mr. Kristof, please see
Chapter 26.

Recommendation by Sam Harris
Sam Harris recommends WWGHA in his book Letter to a Christian Nation.

Endorsement by Richard Dawkins
In a New York Times Letter, Richard Dawkins calls WWGHA a "splendid Web site."

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Section 1 - prayer Section 2 - The Bible Section 3 - Jesus What it means


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