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The Moral Development Test: A Fable

By WizenedSage (Galen Rose) --

A preacher dies and finds his ghostly, semi-resurrected self outside a pearly gate. He is met there by a pleasant middle-aged man in shorts, sandals and Hawaiian shirt with a clipboard.

Preacher: “Thank god! I made it!”

Clipboard Man: “Sir?”

“Heaven. I made it to heaven.”

“No, I’m sorry, this isn’t heaven. Oh, well… through the gates is heaven, yes, but I’m afraid I have bad news for you.”

(His eyes widening in fear) “What do you mean?”

“Well, I’m afraid you’re going the other way.”

“Oh no! Hell!”

“No, of course not. There is no hell. Never was. No, you’re going back to the earth to try again.”

“Try again?”

“Yes. You see, you have failed the Moral Development Test, or as we call it around here, the MDT.”

“But I’m a man of the cloth! I have prayed every day since I could talk. I have brought thousands into the fold, and studied and taught the Bible reverently!”

“Yes, well, you may have taught it, but you did not understand it because you lacked moral development.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, anyone with the most rudimentary moral development recognizes that the god of the Bible is not worthy of worship. That god is not the real god, you see. That god was written into the book to test humans’ moral development. If you had achieved a basic level of moral development, you would have realized that a god who creates evil, as is clearly stated in Isaiah 45, drowns children, as described in the story of the flood, and creates and maintains a torture facility for the majority of humans, called hell, does not deserve the worship of anyone. One does not need to be an expert on morality to see that. The test only requires a most basic level of moral development, which, unfortunately you clearly lack. Now if the fealty you have demonstrated to the God of the Bible was simply a matter of fear, without true worship, as it often is, we might have made an exception. We sometimes do. But, given that you repeatedly recommended that others worship that god, I’m afraid we can’t help you. In fact, you are going to have to go way back to a very long and difficult life because you are also guilty of the Prime Falsehood.”

(Now visibly shaking) “What’s that?”

“The Prime Falsehood is the teaching of the hell concept to children. I’m sure you are blissfully unaware of the grief, nightmares and horrid anxiety you have caused so many of those trusting innocents, but that is no excuse. You are not aware simply because you failed to seriously ask how a moral god could doom the majority of humans to everlasting torture. You see, it is a simple question with a very simple answer. No MORAL god could do such a thing. And a spare moment’s reflection would have revealed to you that children don’t need to know about hell to be moral. Lucky for you there is no hell, I’d say, considering what you have done.” (Shakes his head sadly.)

“But I didn’t know! I was raised in the faith; I was taught not to question!”

“But you did question. Everyone does. You simply turned your back on what you began to discover. You always had doubts about the morality of the god of the Bible, everyone does. But you closed off your mind and thought yourself done with it. You thought you wouldn’t be held responsible for just accepting what you were told. It didn’t feel right, but you just ignored that. Too bad, really. You are certainly smart enough. You just never achieved basic moral development. Anyway, you wait here and you will soon be joined by someone who will show you the way back. Oh, I almost forgot. Unfortunately, from this point forward you will have no memory of this discussion. You must learn for yourself. Good luck and I sincerely hope you make it this time.”