Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


The morality standard - ad infinitum?

The believers think God is the law of right and wrong or good and evil not some law outside of him. They deny that God has to keep up to a standard he does not make. They say it is God's nature to be good. But why should God's nature be considered to be good just because it is God's? Why not say that Zeus's nature is good just because it is his? And though they say God does not have to keep a standard he does not make, they say then that he does not make the values he has. He is kindness he does not make it. Thus if God could be unkind he is entitled to be!


Few believers care to admit that they believe in a God who makes cruelty kind by merely commanding it. It is too nasty and absurd of a doctrine. It suggests morality is not real but merely invented by God.

Believers say that if we suppose that there is a law of right and wrong that even God must obey then we must ask, is what is good commanded by this law because it is good or is there another law that decides that? Those of them that say that God's goodness is about his good character not about the rules he makes have the same question to deal with except it will be phrased: Is God's character good because it is God's or God's nature or is there some other standard that even God's character has to match to be good? (page 159, The Future of Atheism, Alister McGrath and Daniel Dennett, SPCK, London, 2008).

Suppose God can't be good unless his goodness matches some standard. What about the standard? How do we know it is good? Perhaps there needs to be another that decides that? What about this new standard? Perhaps there needs to be another that decides that? Perhaps there needs to be yet another and so on and on to infinity. Where do we stop? They say there is a need to stop somewhere. They say they choose God as their stopping point - but they admit given their reasoning that this is arbitrary (ibid page 160). Again, we see them left with the problem that if a moral authority is decided arbitrarily and chosen arbitrarily then the morality itself is no better than invention. Again, they are back to the idea of a God that invents morality after all. They want to accuse disbelievers in God of being arbitrary while they are arbitrary themselves.