- How would you feel if someone stole your lunch, son; and
- What would the world be like if everyone stole each other's lunch?
The first question relates to the Golden Rule: treat others as you would like to be treated; the second question emphasises the fact that no person is an island: the survival of each individual is dependent on a society that functions, and there are various types of behaviour - those that should be avoided - that threaten the well-being of society.
McGowan points out that he has never heard a religious parent tell her/his child the following: “I have no idea why you should not steal another child's lunch, but I do know that God commands us not to steal.” In other words, religious and non-religious parents always explain the reasons why a child should be good, but religious parents are the only ones who add the additional, and seemingly pointless, coda at the end: “. . . and God does not want us to steal.”
This raises an interesting point: if humans already know the reasons why we should be moral (reasons covered by the two questions above), then why do we need God's commandments at all?