We get such nuggets as this one:
There are plenty of good reasons for conservative Christians not to vote for Mr. Romney, but his religious beliefs are not among them. Do Christians want to be in the position of rejecting a candidate whose political views and moral values they agree with, solely because they don’t like his religion? On what grounds would they condemn secularists for rejecting Christian candidates?
Does freedom require religion, as Mr. Romney asserts? Superficially, no, unless you wish to argue that post-Christian Europe is unfree, which is plainly nuts.
But we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss John Adams’ observation that the U.S. Constitution is made “only for a moral and religious people” and will not work for any other. His point was that maintaining political liberty requires a people capable of governing themselves and restraining their passions for the greater good. He might have said “moral” people, and left it at that, because in his day and in ours, one can find morally upright men and women who have no religious faith and believers who are morally corrupt.
But the crooked timber of humanity is frail indeed. If God doesn’t exist, then by what standard do we decide right from wrong? If a society recognizes no independent, transcendent guardian of the moral order, will it not, over time, lose its self-discipline and decline into barbarism? The eminent sociologist Philip Rieff, who was not a believer, said that man would either live in fear of God or would be condemned to live in fear of the evil in himself.
Of course that’s a bunch of %$#&. Atheists can indeed be moral.
Does acting moral really depend on a belief in the biggest, baddest daddy on the block?
Those of us who have discovered that acting morally is sound, beneficial, socially appropriate, and good for our own sake and the sake of others must be enlightened. No, just humane, reasonable, and empathetic. It’s just plain faith, living and undeluded.
(Thanks to Michael for the link!)
[tags]atheist, atheism, God, religion[/tags]