Whenever an atheist makes any moral statement, a Christian will inevitably offer up some version of the argument from morality. Sometimes the argument will be that you can’t make any moral statement at all without believing in God. Sometimes the argument is that we only think those things are immoral because God has planted in us a moral conscience that intuitively knows what is right and wrong. Either version fails if you’ve read the Bible at all.
Here’s the next question I like to ask people making either argument: Give me a list of things that are morally wrong, things that we simply know intuitively are wrong because God has given us a moral conscience that says is wrong or because God explicitly commands that those things are morally wrong in the Bible. A few obvious answers: rape, genocide, slavery. Nearly everyone will intuitively agree that these are moral wrongs, whether they are Christians or atheists. But that leads to one rather obvious problem:
God ordered every one of those things in the Bible. The argument from commanded evil, I think, is a much stronger argument than the argument from natural evil. God commands genocide over and over again in the Old Testament, and of course the very idea of hell is inherently genocidal. God commands slavery over and over again in the Old Testament and tells slaves to obey their masters in the New Testament. God commands the rape of the virgin women of Midian (he commands that they take all the virgin women hostage and distribute them among the soldiers of war; if killing their husbands and families and giving them to the soldiers who killed them to “marry” them is not rape, nothing is).
The Bible makes much more sense as the record of a culture that worships a god that doesn’t exist. That explains the inconsistencies and incoherencies and contradictions far better than all the post hoc rationalizations of Christians.
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