Morality Without God?

Can people who don’t believe in God still be moral? I’ve read many Christian books that say “No”… For example, in “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist” by Frank Turek and Norman L. Geisler, the authors write:

“… if the atheists are right, then we might as well lie, cheat, and steal to get what we want because this life is all there is, and there are no consequences in eternity.” (p.68)

If that were true, then this world would be pretty unpleasant. Why would atheists waste their one life by acting like savages? We wouldn’t. In fact, those words go against everything I have seen among atheists. Most of us go out of our way to be honest and kind because that’s the kind of world we want to be a part of.

The Institute for Humanist Studies asked the readers of its newsletter to submit their own stories of “Morality without God.” Their (very interesting) replies can be found here. One excerpt:

I was in the checkout line at my neighborhood supermarket, and the guy in front of me was obviously in a hurry. He didn’t notice that when he pulled out his wallet something had fluttered to the floor, landing in a pile of discarded coupons and register receipts. It looked like money to me. I tapped him on the shoulder and told him, “I think you dropped something.” Somewhat irritated that I was slowing up his transaction, he bent down and snatched up a piece of register tape. As he disturbed the pile, I could now see that the item he had dropped was a $100 bill. He was about to leave when I called him back and said, “No, I meant that,” pointing again at the floor. He picked up the $100 bill looking very surprised and thanked me profusely.

I had not one but two chances to take the money he was about to leave behind. I didn’t need the fear of some fictitious deity to tell me not to.

If you have stories to share on either side of the issue, please comment!

[tags]Turek, Geisler, atheist, atheism, morals, Institute for Humanist Studies, IHS[/tags]


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