Claim: Atheists can be good without God.
Answer: Since we have our moral values imprinted in our hearts and conscience, and that does not exempt unbelievers in God, they obviously know how to distinguish good from evil. There is an ultimate moral principle by which to measure good and evil. The point is, however, that morals are " ought to be's". They are prescribed by God. There is an ultimate moral standard. This standard emanates from God's nature.
Pope Pius XI, 1937 Mit brennender Sorge,
It is on faith in God, preserved pure and stainless, that man's morality is based. All efforts to remove from under morality and the moral order the granite foundation of faith and to substitute for it the shifting sands of human regulations, sooner or later lead these individuals or societies to moral degradation. The fool who has said in his heart "there is no God" goes straight to moral corruption (Psalms xiii. 1), and the number of these fools who today are out to sever morality from religion, is legion.
If a person doesn’t think there is a God to be accountable to, then—then what's the point of trying to modify your behavior to keep it within acceptable ranges?,” "That's how I thought anyway. I always believed the theory of evolution as truth, that we all just came from the slime. When we, when we died, you know, that was it, there is nothing.”
1. If objective moral values exist, then God exists.
2. Objective moral values exist. It is always wrong to torture, rape, and kill little babies for fun.
3. Therefore, God exists.
The Argument from Moral Truth
1. There exist objective moral truths. (Slavery and torture and genocide are not just distasteful to us, but are actually wrong.)
2. These objective moral truths are not grounded in the way the world is but, rather, in the way the world ought to be.
3. The world itself—the way it is, the laws of physics, or physical being can not account for the way the world ought to be.
4. The only way to account for morality is that God established morality.
5. Therefore, God exists.
1. If there is no God, there are no objective moral values, since they are prescribed " ought to be's".
2. If there is no God, then moral values are just a matter of personal opinion, and as such, no objectively or universally valid at all. According to Naturalism/Materialism, any claims of morality have to be relativistic, utilitarian, and/or cultural in basis but *not* intrinsic or transcendent.
3. If that is the case, unbelievers have no moral standard to judge anything as morally good or bad.
4. Therefore, in order to criticize God, they need to borrow from the theistic worldview, and as such, their criticism is self-contradicting and invalid.
5. Even IF they could make a case to criticize God's choices, that would not refute his existence.
“Where no guiding ideals are left to point the way, the scale of values disappears and with it the meaning of our deeds and sufferings, and at the end can lie only negation and despair. Religion is therefore the foundation of ethics, and ethics the presupposition of life.”
[Heisenberg, Werner. 1973. “Naturwissenschaftliche und religioese Wahrheit.” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 24 Maerz, pp. 7-8. (Speech before the Catholic Academy of Bavaria, on acceptance of the Guardini Prize, 23 March 1974)]
Chesterton was critical of nontheistic worldviews. He called atheism “the most daring of all dogmas.. . . It is the assertion of a universal negative; He criticized pantheism for being unable to inspire moral action. “For pantheism implies in its nature that one thing is as good as another; whereas action implies in its nature that one thing is greatly preferable to another” ( Orthodoxy , 143). Even paganism is better than pantheism, he added. “Paganism is free to imagine divinities, while pantheism is forced to pretend, in a priggish way, that all things are equally divine” ( Catholic Church and Conversion , 89).
The human apprehension of a moral condition is an indicator of something which is possibly outside of humanity in my view. It reaches beyond the Darwinian model of that which would create greater survival as well. Here is why I see it this way. One expectation humans have of the moral condition is that we expect things to be the way they ought to be. That, however, does not fully explain the existence of a moral law. What does rise to the level of a universal is the expectation one has of what others would do rightly toward us. We all have an expectation of what we see as the right, or just thing, as done in our own cases. When that is violated, we are offended. That offense is either a real reaction to a real infraction or it is a fiction. If we are nothing but particles moving, I fail to see how anyone can even use the word “Moral,” except as a colloquialism.
"Can atheists be good?" and the answer from both sides is always yes, but after long consideration, I'm here to emphatically disagree, and here's why. Good as well as evil are religious concepts. In an atheistic/materialistic/Darwinian framework, human beings are nothing more than animals, and in the animal kingdom there is only one law. The law of the jungle. Kill and eat...... I recently watched my cat play with a lizard to within an inch of it's life. Was what the cat did wrong? of course not. Neither was it right or wrong, good or evil, for that lizard to eat all the bugs it had consumed, because right and wrong, good and evil don't exist in the animal kingdom, otherwise there's a whole lotta beasts, bugs, birds and fish that need to be tried for murder. This is why atheism is totally self refuting. As soon as the atheists complains about any wrong, any evil, or approves of anything good, he completely contradicts himself by appealing to a standard of behavior that can't, and doesn't exist according to his world view. Although, I, can recognize the good or evil behaviours of the atheist, to his credit, or not. There is absolutely no basis for the atheist to make any, that's ANY, value judgement, of any kind, because life has no intrinsic value or meaning in an atheistic frame work. We're all just a meaningless compilation of chemicals in a random, purposeless universe that somehow sprouted out of nothing. We are all just part of the same decaying compost heap. Therefore, logically, in his own eye's, the atheist cannot be good, or bad, because he's just a dumb animal, No offence. So. The atheist is either blind as a bat, or very dishonest, or both.....Thus endeth the rant........................ Oh no! There's more. A real, 100%, died in the wool, card carrying atheist, would never open his mouth for any reason other than to meet his physical needs, or perhaps to howl at the moon. The reason being that, there is no point. Life is pointless. Atheistic existentialism acknowledges the meaninglessness (pointlessness) of existence. Therefore, to open ones mouth (as in to make a point, or to persuade) is once again, contradicting the basic premise of the atheist.
“Duty arises in response to an imperative from a competent authority. For example, if some random person were to tell me to pull my car over, I would have absolutely no legal obligation to do so. But if a policeman were to issue such a command, I’d have a legal obligation to obey. The difference in the two cases lies in the persons who issued the commands: one is qualified to do so, while the other is not.”
Morals can't come from a natural contingent force, or nature since these are impersonal sources, and no morality can come from impersonal energy, matter, since there is no scientific rationale for energy/matter/nature providing a standard of behaviour and thinking that we ought to follow with true and right values, nor is there a means for it to translate it to humans, since impersonal objects/entities have no proven means of language to convey such moral standards. Only a personal being who is not contingent or temporal, maximally great, not just quasi maximally great, and eternal with language capability, and the means to convey his standards to humanity would be the only logical answer for a transcendent moral lawgiver that can actually have a conscious mind with language capability to formulate and articulate and express to humanity moral standards. A theistic God fits the bill nicely, who conveys his morality via conscience, the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.
Atheists commonly argue that the Bible is full of lies, atrocities and crimes and that the biblical God is evil, but can't explain why all this is wrong without assuming a biblical worldview. The fact of a rock rolling down a hill and randomly and accidentally killing people on its way, cannot be classified as good or evil. If atheism is true, someone PURPOSEFULLY triggering a rock rolling down, hitting and killing who is on its way, cannot be classified as good or evil either. Based on the naturalistic worldview, all actions and intentions are equal. Neither can love be classified as good, since love is unprovable, and abstract. Makes sense ?!!
If you agree, that its wrong in any circumstances to rape, torture and kill little babies for fun, then you agree that objective moral values exist. Since that is the case, this takes you to really believe much more than you might think you do. This is a very big thing that you are admitting here. I don't think you realized how big. You are saying that you are confident -- you have a reasonable certainty -- that something exists somewhere in a realm which you can't see, taste, touch, smell or hear. You believe something exists that you can't prove empirically. Think for a moment about a moral absolute. Where did it come from?
The implications of this fact you believe that that rule applies to everyone, in other words, it is a moral absolute, then you have just affirmed a belief in something that is immaterial that you don't access by your five senses but you do access with some certainty by some other means. There is a sense of moral intuition that has a play here. If a moral absolute exists, it's fair to ask the question, what kind of thing is it? It's not a physical thing. A moral thing is not physical. It doesn't extend into space, it doesn't weigh something, it has no physical qualities or characteristics. It is a non-physical thing that really exists. It's an immaterial thing, something that you know exists but you can't get at with any of your five senses. If it seems that the moral thing exists and has moral force on our behavior, then it seems to me the most reasonable option is that Someone made that moral thing and so that moral rule is a rule of Somebody's, and it's not just a disembodied principle. When you break the moral rule, you offend the Person Who made the rule itself.
That's true for a lot of people who object to the idea of God because they can't find Him with their senses. In other words, there are other ways to learn about things than just the five senses. I think there is a sense of moral intuition that has a play here. But in any event, you can be considered rational in believing that such a rule actually exists. Once you do that, it does a lot of work for you.
Well, when you say that a thing like an absolute moral rule exists, you've made an admission that has profound implications for many other beliefs. In other words, a whole bunch of other beliefs are bound up in that statement.
For example, when you say that some absolute moral laws exist, you're saying that immaterial things -- like moral laws which aren't made out of physical stuff -- certainly do exist. Therefore, materialism as a worldview is false. Instead, it is reasonable to believe in things you don't see and can't test with the five senses. Strict empiricism would be false, then. Now this is a big step, because in the case of many atheists one of their frequent arguments against God is that He hasn't shown Himself to us. But by your own admission, it can be reasonable to believe in something you simply can't see. In other words, there are different ways to "show" things to people, ways that don't involve the senses.
Given that this moral rule is out there somewhere, where did it come from?
You have only a limited number of options.
1. It could have just come into existence out of nowhere. It could have just "poofed" into existence.
2. It could have self-created itself. Though if it did then one could ask how is it that an arbitrary thing like a moral rule could have any moral force? If it is an accident, if it just comes from nowhere, why would it have any moral force on me? And part of our argument is that a moral rule does have moral force. Maybe it assembled itself by accident out of available immaterial stuff floating around in wherever that world is that morals float around in. Of course, if it happened by accident then you'd still have to answer the question, how does an accidental thing have moral force? Or,
3. it could be that the moral law was made by Someone Who lives in that immaterial realm. Now, those are your options. I don't know how many other options there are, but it seems to me you are stuck with these three.
You see, you do not have the liberty of standing in a neutral place on this issue. You've got to believe something. If you refuse to believe God made moral laws, given that you admit that they are there, then you're opting for one of the other two alternatives. And if you say that they just popped into existence or that they assembled themselves by chance, you have new problems to solve. In other words, I don't think those are tenable alternatives.
My point is to look at what seems to be the obvious existence of moral absolutes and to then look and see where that observation leads us, and it seems to lead us to the existence of a God who makes those moral rules because moral rules are designed kinds of things that don't make themselves, it appears. And it seems that a very good explanation for their existence is that a God with moral character made a set of moral rules that express His character and those rules then become absolutes which are incumbent upon us
Apart from God, there is no ultimate reference point to distinguish between what is human and what is inhuman. There is no ontological human compass - certain actions may be held in contempt by society because those actions jeopardise the safety and flourishing of others, but there is no ultimate anchor in which to place those OPINIONS – no commandments from the Divine to endorse or condemn
I usually use a imaginary illustration to make a point in regard of the moral argument of Gods existence. I ask : Is there a case where it could be considered a morally good thing to torture, rape, and kill babies for fun ? Obviously, the only correct straightforward answer is: no, its always wrong ( which has the implication that it would be then objectively wrong ) , and a pointer to prescriptive moral values that can only derive from God. A better illustration is this real life case :
Grandmother admits to horrifying abuse of two grandchildren while dressed as her witch alter-ego Nelda
OKLAHOMA CITY - A shocking confession from a little girl as she exposes an Oklahoma City woman's alleged child abuse scheme, which includes dressing as a witch. Geneva Robinson, 49, is in jail for the allegations. This all came to light when she took a severely abused child to the hospital, and what that little girl told the workers lead to the discovery. Police said the child was "malnourished and very thin,” her "armpits were bruised with small cut” and " "her face had scratches and whelps on it.” They also said "the back of her neck had scarring" and "along her jaw line she had whelps and bruising." Reports state the child's skin was coming off her infected ankles. Hospital workers called DHS, and the little girl told them Robinson "would dress up as a witch, wearing a green mask, and would take her out to the garage, bind her up at night and make her sleep on a pair of jeans, because she was in trouble." The child told them "the witches name was Nelda," and that "she got the marks under her arms because Nelda would take a pink dog leash and hang her in the middle of the garage underneath her arms.” The girl also said Nelda told her "the creatures in the attic were going to come and get her at tonight,” and that she was "hit with an orange and black whip.” The girl "talked about fire and being burned" and said "Nelda would use a wand knife and put it to her neck." Police showed up to Robinson's house, and they said as soon as they walked into the garage, they saw "a pink dog leash hanging with a black dog leash connected and attached to the garage door railings on the ceiling."
They also found a "horse whip" and "dagger" along with a witch hat, black wig and "hooded cloak with red eyes costume." They said the items are evidence that backs up the child's story. Robinson's home was described as a "house of horrors," the outlet reported. "What she did was horrific and what she did will forever impact this child and her siblings," assistant district attorney Merydith Easter told the judge. "She deserves the same amount of mercy that she showed this child, and that's none."
Geneva Robinson, 51, was sentenced Thursday to three consecutive life terms, The Oklahoman ( http://bit.ly/2pf0p6u ) reported. Her boyfriend, 33-year-old Joshua Granger, was also sentenced after he admitted to helping Robinson frighten her granddaughter. According to the outlet, he would dress up as a demon named "Coogro." He will serve 30 years in prison.
Could there be a situation, where we could classify Geneva Roberts behavior as morally justifiable, or even as good, or morally virtuous ? What, if we would invert our moral standard ?
The founder of an orphanage in Burundi, Marguerite Barankitse, defied death threats and witnessed unspeakable violence as she saved thousands of children from ethnic slaughters in the 1990s. She was the winner of a new prize created in memory of the Armenian genocide a century ago. 2
Could we imagine to invert moral values, set a new standard, and it would become suddenly extraordinarily good and morally desirable, and apprechiable of what Geneva did, and give the prize , which Marguerite won, to her and her boyfriend ? Imagine : " Geneva Robinson is the winner of a new prize created in memory of the Armenian genocide a century ago because of her extraordinary humanitarian achievment of torturing little children." In other words: could it depend just on someones or a societies preferences or a new determination , or simple change to introduce a new moral standard ?
Steven Guzzi Posit another adequate source of morality as a proper foundational source for a moral lawgiver other than God, but if you can't then God stands as the most probable moral lawgiver. Polytheistic gods don't work, since they are temporal semi quasi maximally great beings who are contingent beings, thus can't be the foundational moral source of morality since they owe their existence and their qualities and morality to outside sources on which they are contingent upon. It can't be a force or entity, or nature since these are impersonal sources, and no morality can come from impersonal energy, matter since there is no scientific rationale for energy/matter/nature providing a standard of behavior and thinking that we ought to follow with true and right values, nor is there a means for it to translate it to humans since impersonal objects/entities have no proven means of language to convey such moral standards. Only a personal being who is not contingent or temporal, maximally great, not just quasi maximally great, and eternal with language capability, and the means to convey his standards to humanity would be the only logical answer for a transcendent moral lawgiver that can actually have a conscious mind with language capability to formulate and articulate and express to humanity moral standards. A theistic God fits the bill nicely, who conveys his morality via conscience, the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.
If there is no God, there are no objective moral values, since they are prescribed " ought to be's".
Then, moral values are just a matter of personal opinion, and as such, no objectively or universally valid at all.
If that is the case, unbelievers have no moral standard to judge anything as morally good or bad.
So, in order for an atheist to say that he is moral without God, he has to borrow from the theistic worldview.
Thats cheating. And cheating is immoral.
So, in order for an atheist to say that he acknowledges morality, he must adopt a theistic worldview.
If he adopts the Christian worldview, he will have to recognize that he is a sinner, unable to meet Gods standard of perfection.
So he either is not aware of the discrepancy, or he has to deal with cognitive dissonance.
In one case he is ignorant, in the other, he will remain dissatisfact until he becomes a Christian, submits to Christ,
surrenders and starts a new life where Christ is the boss.
Last edited by Otangelo on Sun Apr 11, 2021 4:21 am; edited 53 times in total