Atheists Without Moral Foundations
Cory agrees that Pastor Chris did something wrong when he impersonated atheists, but he also agrees with Pastor Chris’s original point that atheists have no morals. Cory gives advice to Christians about the right away to show atheists the error of their ways:
What he should have done was to engage the issue intellectually. He should have logically demonstrated what we theists have always known: atheists have no foundation for morals, so they borrow morals from the Judeo-Christian worldview and declare that those are the morals that society has “evolved” with. Without God, life has no transcendent value and therefore things like “good” and “evil,” “right” and “wrong” have only what value we humans assign to them. Wrong and right become a matter of opinion in the atheistic worldview.
I’m all for believers engaging us intellectually. It rarely happens, but I must say I am in favor of it.
I find it ironic that Cory accuses atheists of “borrowing morals” — does he really think that Judeo-Christian morals are completely original? That they were not influenced by cultures like the Sumerians, Babylonians, and Egyptians?
The 15 Commandments
So what do we do without a foundation of morals?
Well, they create the New Ten Commandments, of Which There are now 15 (listed on p. 263-264 of The God Delusion).
Wait, what? We created the new 10 — nay, 15, Commandments?! I wasn’t invited to that committee. And I didn’t even get a memo that it happened. Shucks.
But even more shockingly, it ends up these mysterious 15 Commandments are actually based on the Bible! And that’s how we knew what Pastor Chis did was wrong!
This is how Daniel Florien and his readers knew what Pastor Chris did was wrong. They knew it was wrong because the Bible said that it was wrong, and that means that they get their morals from the same place as Christians.
I’ve studied the Bible quite a bit, and it never says it’s forbidden for pastors to pose as atheists on the internet. So how did I base my moral judgement of this on the Bible?
Let’s Be Biblical
According to Cory, we’re all biblicists and get our morals from the Bible. So, anyone up for slaughtering some innocent children and women, selling our daughters into sexual slavery (Ex 21:7-11), stoning homosexuals (Lev 20:13), disobedient children (Lev 20:9), adulterers (Lev 20:10), non-virgin brides (Deut 22:20-21), Sabbath breakers (Ex 31:12-15) and practicing some polygamy (Ex 21:10)?
Oh, right, that’s the “Old” Testament — only Jews have to do that stuff (unless it’s stoning homosexuals). So how about we gouge out our eyes (Matt 18:9), hate our families for Jesus (Luke 14:26), sell everything we have and give it to the poor (Mark 10:21), and by the way — give me $10,000, your car, and your house because I asked for it (Matt 5:42).
No? Why not? God commands those sorts of things in the Bible! You must obey His Holy Word! These moral teachings are absolute — plus, every time you disobey, Jesus weeps!
My Morality Isn’t From The Bible
I can’t speak for everyone here, but I don’t get my morals from the Bible. It has good moral teachings and it has bad ones — just like most holy books. I’m a free thinker, which means I’m not bound to a book.
I get my morals from myself and my society. I treat others like I want to be treated, because that’s how I want others to treat me. I don’t steal because I don’t want to be stolen from. I don’t murder because I don’t particularly want to be murdered. And so on.
Morality has nothing to do with the Bible. It has to do with reason. If we abandon our reason, then we have to rely on someone else’s opinion — but then how are we to choose which opinion is the right one? Why choose the morals of the Bible over the Quran, the Vedas, or the Iliad?
As for myself, I choose none of them. They are not the source of morality — we are.