Recently, I have been doing a lot of thinking and reading about morality and its relationship to the idea of God. Is God necessary for an objective moral framework? And if He isn’t, does it matter? I have often wandered if moral or cultural relativism is enough to keep humans acting the way that they do.
If God is a mere delusion, I find it impossible to develop any objective moral framework. I think most atheists and naturalists would agree with me on this statement, but most would say that it doesn’t matter. When asked about absolute morality, atheist Richard Dawkins claimed “The absolute morality that a religious person might profess would include stoning people for adultery, death for apostasy, punishment for breaking the Sabbath… these are all things that are based on absolute morality. I don’t think I want an absolute morality.” First of all, there are several things wrong with this statement. Number one, he takes into consideration only ancient religious extreme morals. This just goes to show how incredibly ignorant Dawkins is of Christian moral values. The second problem with Dawkins’ statement was how he didn’t give any explanation for the moral framework that everyone seems to follow. Why are we moral creatures? Why are all of the terrible, awful people such as Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc. not justified in what they did? Under an atheistic system, I will admit, you can see the evil of a situation for your own personal value, but you cannot in any way, shape, or form claim that the situation is absolutely evil or unjust. The last part of Dawkins’ statement about not wanting an absolute morality is absurd, considering Dawkins puts so much emphasis on what is absolutely true and what is absolutely not true. Just because you don’t want something to be true, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
I often hear the argument that we are moral creatures because it is necessary for our survival. After all, humans do seem to desire to keep our own species alive and well. You could even make the argument that it is “wrong” to murder, steal, etc. in this sense because it affects your fellow man’s survival. However, what if someone comes along and decides that they want to take control of humanity because they think they know what is best for everyone. This could include killing off certain people groups just because that individual doesn’t like their species. We have seen this happen before, and we often view these people as the most terrible people in all of history. However, from an atheistic perspective, you cannot absolutely make this claim. In fact, some of these dictators and rulers who have committed these atrocities are doing a great thing for their own personal gain, so why shouldn’t they do it? There is something deep inside everyone that just speaks out as “this is wrong.” And that feeling isn’t just there from brute force and natural processes. If it is, then we have no reason to follow it.
Do not hear me wrong, I am not saying that atheists are immoral people. I am saying that they are following an objective moral framework and they can in no way explain it properly from their worldview. However, my concern is that beliefs do impact ones actions.
The fact of the matter is more people have been killed under atheistic based government systems than any religious system. Atheists try to get out of this by claiming something like “atheists don’t kill in the name of atheism, but religious people kill in the name of God.” This is an absolutely ridiculous assertion. Atheism, while it may not be a religion, is definitely a belief system, and, if followed properly, can have huge implications. A worldview that is void of an objective moral framework will lead to immoral things happening, it’s just unavoidable. Stalin hated religion, and wanted to kill religious people. How on earth is this not killing in the name of atheism? The claim that “we’re atheists, so we can’t possibly commit immoral behavior in the name of our belief system” is just simply false. And even if it was true, then how can they claim that these awful things that religion is doing are wrong anyway? They aren’t following any objective moral framework, so they have no right to claim that anything religious people are doing is immoral.
Frederich Nietzsche, an atheist philosopher, often spoke out against human equality because he felt it was a crutch on humanity. I have to admit, at least Nietzsche was being honest about his worldview, unlike these “New Atheists” who act like there is some objective morality but have nothing to back it up. Overall, an atheistic worldview presents no moral framework which is much more dangerous than religion.