and fails. All such attempts are doomed. You either wind up borrowing some Transcendental Ought from supernaturalism, or else you wind up (as this poor fellow does) frankly saying “Might Makes Right”. Hand-waving about the obvious differences in sundry human moral systems is just that: hand-waving. Talking about it like it’s a stunning new discovery that never occurred to dumb Christians is, well, much of a piece with the provincialism that unfortunately tends to reign in New Atheist circles.
Oh, and could we drop the straw man notion that atheism = immorality? Atheists are frequently intensely moralistic. Indeed, a constant theme of the New Atheists is that the Christian God is immoral, what with all that evil he allows. The first of the only two serious arguments for atheism that ever have or ever will exist is “Life sucks, so there’s no God.” That is a fundamentally moral argument and depends for its very existence on the claim that there are Transcendent Oughts which express, not merely the atheist’s personal preference for Cheddar over American cheese, but transcendent universal goods, rooted in the dignity of the human person and the goodness of creation that *nobody* can wave away with “Well, that’s true for you but not for me.” The whole trick of the thing is to say that even God himself has no right to violate these goods and that appeals to his omnipotence or omniscience are really simply appeal to Raw Power over Justice, Goodness and other Transcendant Universal Oughts. Where would atheism be without the delightfully self-congratulating moral vision of the Rebel Liberating Free Men from Divine Tyranny: as moralistic a vision as ever there was.
The alternative is to say “Might makes right” or “Morality is an evolutionary imperative” (which we ought, of course, to obey, though nobody explains why this artefact of evolution alone is something we are bound by a transcendent Ought to obey). You can say Might Makes Right, of course (though I doubt anybody will much enjoy a civilization that really pursues that as an ideal as distinct from laboring against it as permanent feature of fallen man’s thinking.) However, if you do, could you kindly shut up about the whole Defying God’s Omnipotent Tyranny in the Name of Justice schtick? You’ve just said Might Makes Right dude, so Omnipotence wins. (Not that Catholics think this a sane argument for God’s goodness–that’s more a Calvinist thing). But for sheer incoherence few things beat the odd combination of atheist rhetoric about the Glory of Freedom with atheistic attempts to say Might Makes Right.