Codswallop on the Web has an article titled, “Can we be good without god?”
To the atheist, this question need not even be answered since we have no gods yet we’re “good.” Sure, there are “bad” atheists. Arguably fewer than there are “bad” theists, but then atheists don’t walk the Earth with an imagined “get out of jail free card” like those deluded by cults of Christianity do. We don’t assume that whatever we do, we can always just ask for forgiveness from an unseen and imaginary agent and all will be well.
For the atheist, this life is it. This is all there is and there’s no promised afterlife to strive for. And, for the atheist, any required forgiveness must be solicited from those whose lives were affected by our decisions. Therefore, we’re careful to live our lives as if though they were special and that we, alone, are responsible for who we are or what heights we can acheive.
Morality is the product of human experience and observation; ethics are not dependent upon religious superstition -though I will acknowledge that religious superstition can provide ethical and moral guidelines, but this is not because they were put there by any gods.
To demonstrate this, one need only note that the Judeo-Christian gods (there *are* more than one) are relatively new in human history. Cultures, both extant and extinct, exist that have gods that differ greatly from the Christian gods, yet these cultures have established moral and ethical guidelines. Indeed, there are universal commonalities between cultures of varied and often conflicting supernatural deities. In no culture, for instance, does it appear to be moral or ethical to murder one’s parents in order to assume their wealth.
Christians who make the argument Codswallop on the Web makes do so from an ignorant and undereducated perspective. From their ill-informed and irrational conclusion:
Morality is real precisely because God is real. As our Creator, He is the transcendent authority—the law-giver who gets to tell us what we ‘ought’ or ‘ought not’ to do.
The first sentence, of course, affirms the consequent, stating that morality is true because god is true. It also implies that without a god, there can be no morality, which is clearly hasn’t been shown to be the case. Such fallacious mistakes are common among those that seek to confirm only the conclusions they’ve already arrived at, remaining unwilling to open their minds to other alternatives. In addition, the ignorance of such arguments is further demonstrated by the second statement above since, if true, our society would embrace atrocities such as stoning adulteresses and victims of adultery, slavery, and the notion that it is better to offer up a daughter for rape than to permit a gang rape of a stranger. The god from whom ignorant and unquestioning Christians today believe their morality is derived has no problem with genocide (Joshua 6:20-21), yet few can be found in modern Western society that are willing to approve of the mass killings in Darfour. Then again, there’s little being done to stop these actions by Western society, dominated in the U.S. by Christian cults.
Moreover, I’ve little use for the morality of a god that approves of the pretty girls from the enemy for sex and forced marriage and, if she no longer “delights” me, I can simply let her free (
Deuteronomy 21:10-13). This after the pathetic and immoral god in question permitted me to slay all the males of my enemy and plunder not only the females (the young ones) but the livestock and whatever else I wanted. In the eyes of such a god I can be a thief, a murderer, a rapist, a slaver, and an asshole -but I can still have “everlasting life” as long as I “believe.” Codswallop.
So, when the poor, ignorant individual who wrote this article on Codswallop on the Web concludes that “atheists are in dire straits,” the rational mind is left to, therefore, conclude that apologists for Christian cults and their adherents are to be pittied. What a sad existence they have where they don’t see the glory and wonder in reality, chosing instead to bask in delusion and fantasy throughout their entire lives. Can such a person truly ever be free?