Sunday, May 02, 2010

Richard Dawkins on absolute morality



Its so easy to get away with such statements without debate or cross examination isn't it? Something that constantly amazes me about atheists are their repetitions of age-old canards. For instance,

"An absolute morality that a religious person might profess includes...stoning people for adultery? Death for apostasy? Punishment for breaking the sabbath?...I don't think I want an absolute morality."


It is quite unfortunate that Dr. Dawkins is unable to be corrected at the moment, due to the fact that his ears are filled with cement and refuses to debate anyone who might have the theological capacity to say, "um, Dr. Dawkins...did you know that the morality you mentioned was under a particular cultural and political context? Have you ever heard of Jesus and that thing he established called the New Covenant?" However, we all know how Dawkins might respond to such; "Oh, so you just pick and choose what you want to believe in the Bible!" I would challenge Dawkins or anyone to even begin to formulate an exegesis which would lend any credibility to the idea that, given an objective reading of scripture, the old covenant administration can and should apply today in our modern, western, political/cultural context. But as we know, Dawkins probably doesn't even know what "exegesis" means, and probably doesn't care. But that's atheistic ethics! Since the universe is nothing but raw matter and energy, what in the world is "honesty" anyway? The universe doesn't care about honesty.

"I want a morality that is thought out, reasoned, and discussed."


So...as long as "morality" follows this criteria, you'll agree with it? What if it is "thought out, reasoned, and discussed" that a particular race be wiped off the face of the earth? "No, no no, that would be wrong! That is causing harm to society!" Again, in a universe that is simply matter in motion, all you would be doing is wiping out complex bags of cells. The universe doesn't care!

"We don't believe in slavery anymore. We believe in equality of women. We believe in being gentle. We believe in being kind to animals...these are things that have very little basis in Biblical or Qu'ranic Scripture...We've grown out of [religious morality] because of secular moral philosophy and rational discussion."


Without the God of the Bible, you have no basis by which you can establish morality, other than "moral consensus." But Dawkins and other atheists don't really believe that. Why? Because there are entire societies out there with moral systems which the atheists find to be morally repulsive. But what happened to moral consensus? Those millions of globs of protoplasm in Islamic nations think that it is quite all right to imprison and kill apostates. What happens when they convince western nations to do the same? It sounds like Dawkins will be quite happy with the results, given that it would happen under "rational" discussion! But no, Dawkins and most atheists will reject such a consensus because they are made in the image of God and seek to borrow from the Christian worldview when push comes to shove.

(ht: Richard Dawkins.net)

15 comments:

Rey Discomfort said...

Was the conquest of the Cannanite people as God commanded, morally Good?

Mike Felker said...

Yes.

Rey Discomfort said...

So Genocide/infanticide/slavery is morally Good, when it's promoted by God?

Mike Felker said...

In the particular social/political/historical context in which those acts were administered, yes.

Rey Discomfort said...

How so?

Mike Felker said...

Because God had established a particular theocracy in which His law would be fully upheld. And the Israelites, like me, agreed that God was the standard for morality and thus followed Him.

(Any further responses from me probably won't be until tomorrow night)

Mark Hunter said...

You have to remember that the Caananites were bent on destroying Israel. Yahweh was going to use Israel bring the Messiah and Saviour into the world, so under God's direction, Israel was protected and promoted.

That's theocracy, where God is the highest moral judge.

Mark Hunter said...

Dawkins accuses Christians of only picking out the good bits of the Bible and ignoring the 'bad' bits. Can the same standard be applied in reverse to atheists?

Rey Discomfort said...

He doesn't only accuse Christians, he accuses all theist.

So What evidence do we have that Israel acted according to Gods will?

What I don't get is why do we have to accept that the bible is the perfect word of God, especially given that Christians have failed to prove the existence of their God.

If the bible is to be taken literally, why do we have a conflict with genesis (creation story) and what we actually know? The lack of evidence for a global flood, the conflicting evidence against a young earth ...

And I don't see how atheist or any other non-Christian falls back on Christian Morality I don't see how what fundamentalist muslims do is any different than what the early Jews and christians have done, given that they too derive their morality from a holy book.

Mike Felker said...

Rey, what evidence could I show you that would convince you to believe that Israel was acting according to God's will? Obviously, you don't believe that God exists, so is this even a relevant question?

As to accepting the Bible as the Word of God, in order to have a foundation for rationality and logic, you must do so. Otherwise, you are simply just a complex bag of cells interacting with other complex bags of cells. "Proof" becomes essentially subjective and meaningless.

Next, when atheists argue about the "unscientific" nature of the Scriptures, I allege that without them, you can't have a basis for science in the first place.

Last, there is a vast difference between the basis for Muslim beliefs and Christians. But that would be too complex a subject to get into here.

Rey Discomfort said...

By proving that the Bible is true you would already be proving that, Israel was acting according to God's will, being that the Bible would be the perfect word of God.

I don't see what accepting the Bible as the Word of God have anything to do with having a foundation in rationality and logic.

Again, I don't see how the Bible is a basis for scientific methodology.

I understand there is a difference between Muslim and Christian beliefs .. but both Religious parties claim that their holy book is the basis for, Morality.

Proof, Evidence: If you wanted to convince me that the Bible is the perfect word of God you could start by explaining the creation of the universe Vs. what we actually know, and can provide proof for.

Noahs Ark: What evidence do we have that suggest a global flood took place almost 5000 years ago?

志義 said...

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Mike Felker said...

Rey, given that your worldview is naturalistic materialism, can you please explain to me how a universe consisting of nothing but complex arrangements of atoms banging around against each other can produce something like the laws of logic?

Rey Discomfort said...

The last time I checked the Laws of Logic were more or less created by pagans, one in particular.

If were to apply logic to Genesis, with the creation of all things be the focal point, would we not conclude that light being created before light sources (Stars) be incorrect? Or is this misinterpretation, or do the laws of the physical universe only take place when God isn't around?

I wouldn't exactly call my worldview 'naturalistic materialism", i'm an atheist only because my answer to the question of wether or not I believe in a God(s) is no. I don't have the knowledge, nor tools available to "know", there very well may be a God, but in my opinion, the God of Abraham is not likely, I feel this way because to my knowledge no evidence exist (I've mentioned the lack of, and my problem with the creation story).

Now you're right, if Israel felt that it was their duty to conquer, that's obviously something that would have to be looked at under the circumstances at that time (political/cultural)

I'm still not seeing the moral authority of the Bible, I'm only seeing the cultural and political mindset of that time period.

And I'm sure we can agree to an extent that there is no one mode of thought for Atheist, an example of some atheist I find rather repulsive: The Rational Response Squad.

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