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  • Darwins +1134/-27

Indeed.  First off, his argument is a strawman.  Atheism only states that there are no gods.  That's it - the single assumption that exists within atheism - not the three that he claims must be.  And it just gets plain silly from there.

You don't need to have objective morality in order to have morality.  That is the fallacy that he commits - especially since his own morality is just as relative as any atheist's.  We can prove - not 'know' without thinking about it, not believe without proof, but prove with evidence - that theistic morality has changed over time.  Early Hebrews thought nothing of holding slaves, of executing people for violating religious laws, of sacrificing animals to appease a jealous god, of committing massacre after massacre, mass rape after mass rape, and that's just what I can remember easily.  Yet somehow, despite the fact that modern-day Jews no longer do that, their god has not once punished them for violating this early version of "objective morality".

Christians underwent the same process.  Things that past Christians thought nothing of are thought to be purely evil by modern-day Christians.  How many people were enslaved by Christians in the past two thousand years?  How many people were massacred by Christians during the same time period?  How does this radically changed morality support the idea of objective morality to begin with?

Then there's his quote-mining, a favorite pastime of theists to try to throw 'atheistic' arguments at people who would oppose them.  But for the sake of argument, I'll grant his premise that atheists can't be objectively good without objective morality.  So what?  Since when have humans cared about what is objectively good for the universe?  What we care about is what's good for us, personally, and if we're particularly moral, what's good for other people.  And that's where his argument fails miserably.

He seems to be under the impression that in order to be an atheist, one must believe that nothing matters.  This is effectively indistinguishable from nihilism, another mistake that a lot of theists make about atheism.  But the fact of the matter is that this is not true.  An atheist is certainly capable of caring about humanity, of believing that our actions have consequences, and that what we do matters, at least to us.  So my position is that an atheist does not have to be objectively good in order to be a good person.  They just have to act in a way that's viewed as good by other humans.
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Quesi Well that sums it up December 19, 2013, 02:59:55 PM