Saturday, August 27, 2011

Answering "Tough Questions" Why Should We Be Good?

I found another interesting Christian apologetic blog recently called "Tough Questions Answered" and felt compelled to make a few comments of my own on their blog post titled, "If There Is no God, Why Be Good?" Unfortunately, I failed to take a photo of my comments before they were deleted. I did however, find it amusing that the moderators/writers of this blog felt it necessary to delete my comment in the first place, as it illustrated to me once again how weak their position is, and how pathetic their attempts are at upholding their nonsensical beliefs.

The post itself was a critique of Richard Dawkins arguments in which he contends that Christians are only good due to the fear of "divine wrath," and the writer goes on to say that he is unaware of any Christian scholar who makes these types of arguments. He obviously does not get out much, as I have heard this argument from scholars and lay Christians alike. Lay Christians actually LEARN this belief from other supposedly learned Christians and even from unlearned Christians.  Why, it is one of the basic messages taught to little children in Sunday School.

A person also learns right and wrong by experience, and the laws and morality of his particular group or society dictates what is accepted as right and what is wrong. Some societies for instance, accepted cannibalism as being right, whereas most would not. Why, even the early Christians believed cannibalism to be "right" as they routinely sacrificed living babies by rolling them in flour, dismembering them, and drinking their blood as a sacrifice to their god! The Romans who witnessed this practice however, thought of it as "immoral" and made note of this in court records. The view of a Roman Christian apologist who disagreed with this practice can be found in the Octavius, chapter 9. Dawkins was indeed right when he claimed that morality based on the bible is outdated and obnoxious. It is also totally unnecessary, as we, as societies, develop our own morals and ethics via Normative Ethical Theories such as Utilitarianism--which means doing what is right for the overall good--no gods or goddesses required.

This is how morals and ethics develop in society. They are relative, and they change accordingly. Another instance would be slavery. At one time, it was considered ethical to keep slaves, whereas today it is not. As a pragmatist, I am willing to change my views and beliefs if a "better explanation" is developed, and unfortunately for Christians, the supernatural is ALWAYS going to be the LEAST likely explanation for any phenomenon--including ethical behaviors.  Christians may claim that the belief in Jesus as their lord and savior improves their morality, but the state of Christian society in general proves otherwise. In fact, the belief of Christians that they are born sinners, and cannot help but do bad things, has led to what the Christian philosopher Pelagius called "moral laxity" in which Christians commit rape, murder, incest, etc. believing they cannot help themselves, but that is ok according to them, because they can repent to jesus and still go to heaven. There is no eternal justice for the victims of Christian crime. The only real justice can be found in secular courts.

Bill Pratt, the writer of the blog post claims that god writes the "basic moral law on every person’s conscience," and in my deleted comment to him, I made mention of Gandhi, and if what Bill said was true, then it would be grossly unfair for Bill's god to write the laws in the heart of one of civilizations greatest humanitarians, but then fail to give him "grace" in order to save him from the fires of eternal hell. As the Christian god decides who receives grace and who does not, as it is "not of themselves" (Ephesians 2:8) it is grossly unfair, and unethical to banish such a great humanitarian to eternal punishment for not believing in god--when according to the bible that would be god's fault to begin with, as he is responsible for meting out grace to whomever he pleases. It is again, "not of themselves"--grace is a "gift" from god.

So why be good?  One quick answer to this question is that we are good because it increases the overall good of society.  It is in our best interests to be good.  Our survival depends on cooperation. 

This is why my comment was deleted. They have no argument that stands up to scrutiny. Their efforts are pathetically futile.

Addendum:  Bill Pratt did eventually post my comment, claiming it was not deleted intentionally.  I will give him the benefit of the doubt, but that does not take away from the fact that his religious beliefs and his arguments are flawed, as I have demonstrated.


Brap Gronk said...

When I saw your comment in my RSS feed for that article's comments I clicked over to the page, hoping to find some interesting discussion between you and Bill. Needless to say, I was disappointed.

Do you feel like you've been blackballed by some of the Christian apologist community for not making your true identity and school known? Assuming that was your first comment on Tough Questions Answered, I can't think of any other reason why it would have been deleted. It does seem rather childish (and telling) of them to worry about your identity instead of engaging your arguments. I do enjoy the discussions that do occur. Keep up the good work.

A is for Atheist said...


Lol--yes, I have been blackballed by quite a few Christians on the net. Thinking Christian,Wintery Knight, and now Tough Answers are just two of the Apologetic sites along with several Christian youtube users that no longer allow me to comment.

Apologists are supposed to be able to defend their faith--but they obviously cannot do so ecause it is so indefensible due to its inconsistency and contradictions. I would literally make WL Craig cry on stage--just as I have done with others of his ilk. They have no legs to stand on.

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