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This essay topic should be easy. All I would need to do is agree or disagree with the moral teachings of the religious texts we had gone over in class. However, after rereading and compiling a list of the stories I would wish to analyze, I was again hit by the question that would never go away: "What is morality?"

Damnit! I thought I was done with the whole issue back when we finished reading Freud. Obviously, morality is in the eye of the observer. However, the eye of the observer is usually directly linked to faith. To a devout Christian, the Bible should be a rulebook of morals. If the Bible tells you that adultery is immoral, then adultery is immoral. End of question. So if I were a devout Christian who only knew to obey and not to think for myself, this essay would consist of how all the Bible stories are moral.

Luckily, I am not such a person, and interpret the Bible as merely a book of stories. The first time I ever read the Bible was for this class, and I found it very interesting. These stories didn't seem to make very much sense to me. Take the story of Abraham and Isaac for example. God tells Abraham to sacrifice his first born son for some reason, and so Abraham shrugs and takes his son out for a "journey," and right as he's about to kill him, an angel comes down and says, "No no no, God was kidding" or something along those lines, and they sacrifice a goat instead, and God makes the nation of Israel for Abraham. End scene. The only moral I can pull from this story is to obey. Obey God, no matter how messed up his requests may be, because he may be testing you. What kind of a moral is that? This hinders any Christian's ability to question anything.

Why did Abraham have to lie to his son? In the Bible nobody questioned God, and if they were truly willing to sacrifice and absolutely obey God, then why did Abraham reply to Isaac that God would provide the sacrificial lamb? This is immoral. Was he afraid his son wouldn't be too up to the task? As the son of an obedient, God-fearing man, Isaac must have known the importance of following God's orders. Thus, there should've been no point in keeping the truth from him. Following the theme of absolute obedience, I think it would've made more sense if the dialogue was written like this:

"Hey dad, where's the lamb we're sacrificing?"

"Actually, son, you're going to be the lamb."

"Oh, awesome! I get to meet God!"

In the way that these stories are written, they seem that God did some of these things "just because." In the Tower of Babel, God screws over man's plans to make a central city by bringing scattering everyone everywhere and making different languages so man can't cooperate. God hinders man's ability to work together. This is also immoral. In Bible times, racial differences caused much harm to mankind, with wars and such. As the story was written, God comes across as some kid who sees ants working diligently on a mountain, and in one swoop ruins their entire civilization. God had no justifiable reasoning in this story for ruining everything, he just knew that he wanted them to stop. What a jerk.

To be fair, these questions arose after reading most of the stories of Genesis. I hadn't even started reading the New Testament yet. However, I did stumble upon the piece de resistance of the Old Testament, the Ten Commandments. Thank God for that (no pun intended), because I had began to feel worried that I would have to search for and interpret the rules of living for myself. The Ten Commandments pretty much covers any question of morality that any person can come up with ever, from "Is it okay to rake my leaves on Sunday?" to "Can I covet my neighbor's manservant?" Obviously God wanted to create a moral world,



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