If you have ever been in a position of having to defend your non belief while talking to a believer, you probably have heard the question "Where do you think your morality comes from if there is no god?" Then there is their favorite follow-up question "What stops you from killing another person?" Theists know that the second question is not an easy one to answer but it offers no validity to their way of thinking. It's a hard question to answer because it is a deceptively illformed question. What I mean to say is, murder is not a question of morality, it's a question of motivation.


Think about it. When Police investigate a murder, they look for the person with the strongest motive and not the most immoral person the victim knew. People are motivated by two basic principals; to gain pleasure or avoid pain in one form or another. If the desire for either of the two is strong enough to justify murder, morality (the line between right and wrong) can become severely blurred or even nonexistent.


Theists can say that motivation is guided by a moral compass but is that an arguement they really should be making? When some religious nutjob kills another person for not loving god, not loving the right god or not loving god the right way, they are clearly motivated from both ends. That is to say, hope of gaining acceptence from god and to avoid the pain of eternal damnation. Anyone who can morally justify murdering another person in the name of an unprovable entity is no different that a person with no morals at all.


If believers want to state that atheists can't have morals then they must admit, atleast in certain circumstances, that some believers are twice as motivated to kill than nonbelievers.

Views: 49

Comment by Atheist Exile on December 17, 2010 at 7:29pm

You point about murder is a good one.  I haven't heard that insight before.


I have a post that discusses the best-ever argument against theistic morality.


In a nutshell, here's the argument.

If something is moral because God wills it, why does God will it?

Does he have a reason? If he has a reason, then the moral exists independent of God.

If he has no reason, then the moral exists at the whim of God and is totally arbitrary. "Thou shalt not kill" could just as easily have been, "Thou shalt not cover your bodies", or "Thou shalt not eat after sundown".

Logically, theistic morality -- or any other not based on reason -- can ONLY be arbitrary and spurious.  True morality has its reasons -- independent of God.


Comment by Atheist Exile on December 17, 2010 at 7:30pm

By the way, this argument is not my brainchild.  I read it years ago.  This is my approximation of it.  I don't remember where I got it or who the author was.

Comment by Atheist Exile on December 17, 2010 at 7:32pm

I'm not saying that morality is strictly a product of reason or logic.  I believe morality is born of empathy and matures through reason.

Comment by Cecilia on December 19, 2010 at 7:47pm

Ask a theist this:  if for some reason you suddenly lost your belief in god, do you honestly think that you would immediately rush out to sleep with your best friend's spouse, rob a bank, murder some random person or do any number of other despicable things????  Didn't think so.  On the other hand, if they answer yes, they would do these things I'd seriously try to stay as far away from that person as possible...........


You need to be a member of Think Atheist to add comments!

Join Think Atheist

© 2018   Created by Rebel.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service