Okay, there are several arguments I am damned tired of having to argue over and over and over. The issue of atheist morality is one of them. If you have not yet read an atheist response to this question, or if you are truly interested in how an atheist responds to it then check out the following links.
I believe morality is a social construct, and yet I'm a still a good person.
Scroll down on our FAQ sheet to Atheism, Christianity and Morality, and take special note of this link.
Please read these posts before commenting on morality any more...please.
That's all he says about it. Here are some comments from the comment section.
3:56 PM, March 24, 2009
Blogger SE said...
Trying explaining it to the Christians at Reppert's blog. Any time I, or any other atheist, makes the case for morality without God, they just keeping repeating the mantra that atheism equals nihilism and if you don't agree with them, they say you're "intellectually dishonest" and a "pretend atheist".
I'm tired of wasting my time over there.
5:32 PM, March 24, 2009
Meta: But what case do they actually make? they can't ground their axioms so they can't demonstrate the nature of the good. Its' all basically grounded in personal tastes.
Blogger Kel said...
I've found this as well. The notion that religion gives morality is one that has to die. Though if they want to prove that morality needs God, they can take the Bear Challenge I made.
5:33 PM, March 24, 2009
Meta: irrational emotive comment. I suspect its he can't answer the problems that theists raise that he brings this up. that's why it has to die, so I guess they will ridicule it and try to assassinate its reputation.
Blogger Deist Dan said...
Since only religious people have morality, how shall we decide whose to use? Fight some wars like the religious ae used to?
Which bible morality? The old testament morality....the jesus morality...or the paul morality?
How about islamic sharia morality, or Hindu morality? Witches and Voodoo priests have their own morality also.
What makes christians think they are the only religion with a moral code, or that their's is somehow more superior or absolutely true?
Christians have no argument here, religious freedom, freedom of speech, democracy, representative republic, and due process came not from the bible.
As Kelly from the rational response squad said to Ray Comfort on their nightline debate..(paraphrasing)....morality no more comes from god than democrary comes from captain america. Boy did Comfort and Kirk Cameron get humiliated in that debate.
Meta: Christians really do have to stop making the argument about the people and start making it about the ideas. The moral turpitude of atheists comes into it with the argument that one can't live consistently with one's belief system without the Holy Spirit. But that's an argument I would not expect an atheist to understand. It has to be handled real delicately or it will be misunderstood, and I think it's misunderstood by most of those who make it as well.
the "problem" of many moralities in religious belief is not a problem. That should be lost in the averages between the various systems. For example C.S. Lewis' list of cultures that all have the same basic moral systems he draws upon the major civilizations, sociologists who are fond of talking about the relativity of human culture focus on primitive tribes, soemthing Lewis didn't deal with. But the real difference is in terms of social and cultural evolution. But there will be some level of difference between say the moral motions of Saudi Arabia and those of Alabama. But these are problem of minutia, they come with the package of culture difference. None of them mean that we can have ethical systems without grounding our axioms. So the atheist argument falls.
6:47 PM, March 24, 2009
Blogger Jeff said...
John, you're just tired of arguing about this because you're selfish and immoral! You atheists are all the same, why don't you go out and just kill babies?!
Meta: ahahahahaah there you go! Never say die! keep those misunderstandings flying!
7:05 PM, March 24, 2009
Blogger Eric said...
"Any time I, or any other atheist, makes the case for morality without God"
Se, could you give me a summary of the case you advocate? All I ask is that you clarify your premises and conclusions.
The answer to Blogger Eric:
8:51 PM, March 24, 2009
Blogger Eric said...
Kel, your 'Bear Challenge' does no work whatsoever because you've approached it with the supposition that 'protecting one's young' is moral.
Here's what I mean: there are plenty of 'hardwired' acts that you *wouldn't* consider moral if human beings performed them (think of the female praying mantis devouring the male after mating); hence, it follows that the mere fact that X is hardwired cannot justify the notion that it's moral.
In short, you decided before you chose the specifics of your challenge that 'protecting your young' is moral, and you didn't choose this merely because it's 'hardwired.'
Meta: this is the tactic of a reductionist. try to baffle them with pseudo science. This statement serves no metaethical function.He doesn't draw a conclusion now does he demonstrate a case. Nothing he says tells us what is good, or how to live without a notion of the good.
9:03 PM, March 24, 2009
Blogger Kel said...
Eric I agree it's hard-wired, and in that is my point. That such behaviour has evolved in us as well as other species, and thus if you take God out of the picture it changes nothing. We are moral creatures, we have moral instincts. And as such if we are programmed to behave in a certain way, then those who don't will be seen as immoral.
The point was not whether a particular behaviour is moral, rather that a particular behaviour exists without the need of divine mandate. Society wouldn't fall into chaos if people stopped believing, after all our ancestors survived millions of years as social creatures before religion came about.
Meta: Here we have the typical misunderstanding of the biological ethicsits. He assumes that the behavior would still be there without belief in God that that means it still moral thus atheists have morality. But he doesn't' understand what makes moral vs immoral. He's just assuming it's inherent in the behavior. What makes it moral is the system of valuations that seeks to attach moral value to an action. Without that sytem it ceases to be a moral act. Thus you can't ground the morality of an axiom merely in the fact that said behavior is "natural." Without a means of grounding axioms, which will be a system of ethics, it's not moral anymore. It's amoral. That's why atheist metaethics is basically a theory of amorality.
3:22 AM, March 25, 2009
Blogger J.L. Hinman said...
you are a good person because you have Christian memories, and because you have a moral law God put inside you. There are good people in other cultures and other religions too. But they are not good because goodness is a natural byproduct of evolution.
Jut telling us that you are good (and I know you are) is not proof as to why you are good. Now tell me how nature can make you good when nature is neutral and not charged with moral motions?
I would love to see you confront the higher realities of meta ethics. What makes for "good." How do you derive an "ought" form what is?
10:40 AM, March 25, 2009
Christians may at times overplay the atheism = Nihilism bit. That doesn't mean that there isn't a sound argument there about the groundless basis for ethical axioms once we assume there is no transcendental signifier. That is a whole different ball game that most atheists are not even willing to touch yet.
Without a fixed metaphysical organizing principle to mark out a hierarchy of approbations there is no way to guarantee that what is good today will be evil tomorrow int he shifting sands of relativism.That doesn't make atheists bad people, that's not the issue. The issue is that it makes atheists bad ethicists. They don't understand the basic nature of an ethical system and they can't offer a meta ethical theory that would explain the nature of the good or mark out a hierarchy of values.
The only way to sort between competing values is to mark out an organizing principle which lexically orders ethical axioms. Belief in God is not the only way to do this, but it is probably the best. What really gets me is that the atheist so far are not willing offer one. Loftus doesn't offer one. They substitute instead their alleged goodness for a clearly understand set of priorities that mark out a value system and ground it in something other htan their own tatstes.
Grounding is important because once have marked out values, and anyone an do that, there has to be something that sorts them out as important and mere matters of taste. The atheist's typical approach is one of the three ways:
(1) personal likes and dislikes
(2) grounding in nature or science
(1) is merely inadequate because they can't deal with competing tastes.
(2) violates Hume's fork, you can't derive and ought from an is.
(3) Util has bee soundly thrashed and most mosdern ethcistsi don't take it seriously. Read John Rawls A Theory of Justice.
that basically leaves some form of religious grounding for ethical axioms and that is still the best and most durable approach.