Saturday, 6 April 2013

Things Christians say, part 48: How can there be goodness without a measure?

A (more-or-less) weekly series (although there was a pause for a while) of responses to the things Christians say to atheists, based on the video reproduced here on 30th January 2012.  The aim is to tackle one every weekend, to give both a moderate, polite response to each question ('Piano'), followed by a more forceful rebuttal of the same question ('Forte'). 

How can there be goodness without a measure to judge it by?


The human mind is good at finding meaning in patterns of the world around us.  Sometimes we find meanings that are real and measurable.  Sometimes our meaning detector misfires and we get a false sense of what is true.

We see faces in the clouds or the trees.  Does that mean that someone has put those patterns there for us to see, or does it just imply that our imaginations are exceptionally active?

By the same token, just because Christians think that there must be a fixed objective morality defined by their God it doesn't mean that it is true.

Even if we accepted that some individual god had set things up this way, it has to be said that it is not overwhelmingly probably that the Christian God was the one.  After all he has plenty of competition from other extant deities, let alone the extinct ones.

In fact, on the evidence of the bible alone God manages to be inconsiderate, immoral, unreasonable, violent and cruel.  Do you really suggest that  we measure 'good' and 'evil' by such a yardstick?

Christians - when you say things like this you might not realise that it opens up a much bigger topic than you expected!



Doesn't the bible (Matthew 7:1) implore us not to judge?  If so, how would it help to have a measure?

And as French philosopher Michel Onfray says

" . . . good has no need of God, of heaven, or of any intelligible anchorage. It is sufficient unto itself and arises from an immanent necessity - proposing a set of rules, a code of conduct among men."  - - Atheist Manifesto page 56

Last episode: Atheists have no reason to live
Next:  You don't want God to cramp your lifestyle

1 comment:

YouKnowI'mRight said...

The Bible teaches not to "toot your own horn"..That automatically cancels out any and all good deeds when someone tries to make others aware of some type of "goodness" they have done. You don't need the measure, just the great feeling you get for having done something good and anonymously as well -