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Is this the Best Atheists can Do?

Image via I Can Has Cheezburger.com

Image via I Can Has Cheezburger.com

I’ve been entertaining arguments from the atheists that drifted over here from Unreasonable Faith. It’s been interesting, to say the least.

In reading the various comments that have flown my way, I have come to the conclusion that we, as theists, should be utterly ashamed of ourselves for losing anyone to atheism. If the non-arguments that I’ve been getting in my comment section from atheists is any indication of the broader arguments for their worldview, I don’t see how anyone could be convinced. For one thing, most of the non-arguments that fly in my direction don’t even address the issue that I did.

I charge that Daniel Florien gets his morals from the Bible. In response, I’m asked how ancient people got their morals before we had the Bible. This is a point in the argument? How, exactly? I never charged ancient people before the Bible with getting their morals from the Bible, I charged Daniel Florien with getting his morals from the Bible. No one has convincingly responded that Mr. Florien gets his sense of morality from anywhere else, not even Mr. Florien himself. But somehow, ancient people having morality before the Bible was written is supposed to convince me that Mr. Florien gets his morals elsewhere. Pretty shaky logic.

I also have two people bring up the fact that animals have rudimentary morals, as if that somehow breaks my argument. It doesn’t. It actually strengthens my position that the world was created with a specific order in nature, and that points at the universe having a personal beginning.

Okay, atheists, listen up: I don’t have to answer for any culture other than our own because my charge was at our own culture and the fact that our morals are biblically based. Bringing other cultures into this is just misdirection. The fact that the Bible has not been around to influence every culture, yet every culture has similar moral absolutes does not strengthen your argument, it points to the existence of a universally applicable moral law and that strengthens my argument.

Furthermore, pointing to animal morality does nothing to further your case. It actually cements mine. If God created the universe, as I’m arguing he did, then we would logically expect to see an order to the natural world, even rudimentary morality in lower forms of life. Your “arguments” actually help my case out, whether you realize they do or not.

Finally, quit bringing up “points” that you think denigrate the Bible but actually show that your theological knowledge is sadly lacking. I’ve already answered all of that crap before and I’m tired of wasting blog space answering it again. We’re not under Old Testament Law anymore, so enforcing the penalties is solely God’s domain now. We have no right to stone to death anyone for violating a commandment. The penalties are there to show us how seriously God takes what we think are only “minor” sins like working on the Sabbath or disobeying our parents.

If you are still hellbent (pardon the pun) on proving that Old Testament morality is antiquated or insane, consider Paul Copan’s response here. If you think you know better than the President of my own Evangelical Philosophical Society, then try to answer his article. I’ve issued that challenge in the past to one of your own, Reed Braden of Homosecular Gaytheist, and I’m not holding my breath for a response from him. I’ve generally found linking to that article is a good way to silence critics of Old Testament morality.

So, atheists: Is what I’ve seen so far really the best that you can do?

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About Cory Tucholski

I'm a born-again Christian, amateur apologist and philosopher, father of 3. Want to know more? Check the "About" page!

Posted on March 25, 2009, in Apologetics and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.

  1. Your methods are amateurish. Atheists have destroyed the position you are trying to take countless times. Your position is a common first step for an apologist with little to no understanding of those who he wishes to coerce/convert/attack. The fact that morals existed before the bible is clear and absolute evidence that morals exist outside of the framework of your religion. If they can exist before, then the bible cannot be the source. Simple enough, yet to deny this and to pretend it is irrelevant makes you appear foolish and poorly educated. Not to mention that if we lived by the morals of the bible we would be stoning each other for covetting our neighbors slaves. Have you read the ten commandments? Have you asked yourself what a maidservant and a manservant have are doing in the ten commandments when those same words are translated as female slave and male slave in other sections of the book?

    Please educate yourself, you make christian apologists look bad.

    • I’ve never denied that morals exist outside of the framework of my religion, nor have I have ever stated that the Bible is the only source of morality. Your strawman argument is exactly the kind of thing that I’m talking about in the main article: I say one thing, but the atheist attacks something completely unrelated to what I said. God is the source of all morality, and the Bible is the definitive work on morality. You don’t need it to be moral, but it will guide you to be moral if you read it. Next, you must not have read all of my article, because as Caleb points out, I answered your point about stoning. You make atheists look bad. And finally, you would do well to check some of my other writings on God is NOT Imaginary, especially under “Slavery,” because I’ve answered your arguments on slavery before.

      Please read more carefully next time. Now who’s uninformed?

  2. “If God created the universe, as I’m arguing he did, then we would logically expect to see an order to the natural world, even rudimentary morality in lower forms of life”

    That wasn’t your point. Your point was that morality came from the Bible. Not god, the bible.

    If you want to change your argument, of course, go for it.

    • The atheist commenters are the ones who forced me to change my argument. I was arguing that you “enlightened” 21st century atheists got their morality from the Bible. But you guys wanted me to answer to how cultures that existed before the Bible got their morality without the benefit of the Bible. Now, of course, that has nothing to do with anything that I’ve been trying to discuss, but rather than try to curb the off-topic discussion I allowed myself to be forced into it. Obviously, the Bible as the only source of morality is an indefensible position, but God as the only source of morality is a defensible one.

      It’s my fault for not keeping the discussion on topic. But it is not me who wandered off topic in the first place.

  3. To AOR in regards to your OT comment… Cory said in the article:

    “We’re not under Old Testament Law anymore, so enforcing the penalties is solely God’s domain now. We have no right to stone to death anyone for violating a commandment. The penalties are there to show us how seriously God takes what we think are only “minor” sins like working on the Sabbath or disobeying our parents.”

    and in regards to the rest…

    All of our morals are in us from the beginning. The Bible makes it very clear that He’s written His laws on our hearts. I could be wrong but I think what Cory is trying to say is that those of us that choose the Judeochristian viewpoint use the bible to reinforce His will for our lives. Because of our fallen nature and the ways of modern society, we are easily led away from the ways in which God expects us to live. This is going on all over the world. Humans in general want to be independent from God. We want to do things our way and have no problem “making up the rules as we go” to achieve it. Yet since God is omniscient and omnipotent, He knows what works, after all, He designed us. But since humanity has generally chosen independence from God, God made sure we had all that He required written down to keep us accountable. I like to think that because we chose to leave His presence, He gave us His presence in the form of a book, and the Holy Spirit of course.

  4. And other religions claim their morals come from other sources.

    Let me ask you some questions, to see if your position is internally consistent:

    For a Hindu, eating beef is immoral. Is this because of your god? If all morals come from your god, then the Hindu moral stance on beef is from your god also. Yet, it is not part of your religion. That alone is enough to state clearly and definitively that all morals DO NOT come from your religion, your bible, your god. For your position on morals to be non-hypocritical, you must accept 100% that the Hindu moral stance on beef is actually from your god. Pretty ridiculous, don’t you think?

    But that is just it.. you clearly haven’t thought it through. Please, read about these issues. There are plenty of rigorous and serious and well informed writings on all sides of this issue, and when poorly informed people like Cory (and now you, Caleb) speak as if they fully comprehended this issue they merely make themselves appear foolish.

    Get informed. It is bound to be quite humorously offensive to Hindus if you claim that your version of the christian god created their goodwill toward cows, but that is so obviously ridiculous that you will only be met with laughter. Yet, for Cory’s position to be true then your god is also ‘taking credit’ for the Hindu moral position. I am sure you can see how silly that is. Sadly, Cory should have been able to see it before he wrote this tripe.

    • Once again, I’ve never denied that morals can come from sources other than the Bible. Those morals may be for good or ill, but they are not from God. Only what you find in the Bible is from God, since the Bible is God’s Word. That means that this example is completely irrelevant. Nice strawman, again.

      When I speak of morals, I mean those universal morals between cultures. Not religious dogma. There’s a difference, surely you can see that since you’re so much smarter than me.

  5. In case that is not clear or general enough, I’ll rephrase it.

    If all morals come from your god, then that means good and bad (and neutral) morals come from your god. That means that believing it is moral to beat your children if they disobey, or believing it is immoral to not sacrifice blood from your penis to ensure the sun rises the next day, or believing that not wearing a long narrow gourd on your penis is immoral, all must have come from your god. You must take the bad with the good, or accept that morals do not come from your god.

    Now, I understand that essentially Cory’s position is that since his version of the christian god created the entire universe and everything in it, which means that all morals within that universe must have been created by that same version of the christian god. The mere existence of morals that come from outside of judeo-christian thought is evidence that either their god is not the source of all morals or that god chose to reveal different ‘truths’ in different nations. That would make this god imperfect and deceptive. These conundrums have been discussed by people who are informed and they have far more intellectually honest and internally consistent things to say than Cory seems to have.

    • No, the existence of morals outside of the Judeo-Christian thought process is evidence in my favor, not yours. God created people in his image, which includes a sense of morality. That means that the Bible isn’t the sole source of morality, which I’ve never denied. But it does indicate, because of the presence of universal morals outside the cultures influenced by the Bible, a source for that morality that transcends humans. That source is God.

      Now, if I’m so intellectually dishonest, internally inconsistent, and amateurish, how come this is your fourth comment, and I fully expect it not to be your last? (In other words, you don’t seem to be a hit-and-run specialist; I think you’ll still be here to argue with my answers.)

  6. This topic is as humorous as it is unneccesary given that you just posted this topic yesterday. I am convinced at this point that you are just name dropping Daniel Florien and his very successful blog in order to drive traffic and comments to your blog and by association somehow derive credibility for yourself.

    Your comments dried up on your post about the lying pastor posing as an athiest so you then capitalize on Daniels morals, comments dried up and you ran out of arguments so you simply start a new post rehashing the same thing.

    Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors blog!

    Your Blog has had 42 entries this year of which 7 of them have been about Daniel or Unreasonable Faith 16.66%. However your topics about him have generated 81 comments out of a total 128. 63% of your total post traffic is based on Unreasonable faith and the capitalization of someone elses Ideas. I don’t have access to see your site visits but I would venture a guess that your visits increase 10 fold on such topics as well.

    Ya I know, I know, my blog gets no comments LOL but I don’t care, that is not why I blog, I blog for self exploration and discovery. You are clearly trying to draw some sort of attention to yourself with this topic in particular.

    • I’m not even going to lie; getting a bigger readership is one of my goals, and Unreasonable Faith has generated quite a bit of readership for me.

      However, if you scan back to earlier this year, you will see that I made a New Year’s Resolution to offer better content to my readers. The Rational Response Squad doesn’t offer the argumentation that I’m looking for, Reed Braden from Homosecular Gaythiest doesn’t offer it either. Daniel’s blog has good arguments to consider and that is why I’m using it quite a bit.

      I don’t have the time I’d like to scan the Atheist Blogroll and try to find a greater variety of sites that offer good arguments. So I stick with the best ones I have in my RSS reader, and right now that happens to be Unreasonable Faith.

      • Rev. Reed Braden

        What “argumentation” are you looking for? Something nice that will coddle your ignorance and tell you that it’s alright to be an idiot? Good luck trying to find that.

  7. “Okay, atheists, listen up: I don’t have to answer for any culture other than our own because my charge was at our own culture and the fact that our morals are biblically based.”

    That sounds like special pleading. How can you claim people get their morals from the Bible when they aren’t even the same as the Bible’s morals? Got you there, genius!

  8. And you ignore the fact that MORAL and KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL are one and the same, and according to the Bible we got that from Adam and Eve disobeying God and eating the forbidden fruit when Wiley the Serpent “tricked” ’em. So, we got our morals from a tree, not from the Bible.

  9. “Furthermore, pointing to animal morality does nothing to further your case.”

    Because only humans ate the forbidden fruit. Although an animal did tell them to! But he got zapped for it.

    So, why did God not want man to have morality? Yet Mr. Snake did want man to have morality. And no, Mr. Snake is not the devil, as you can plainly read in Genesis 3:1 “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made.” He was just a wild animal. A smart booger! But just an animal nonetheless.

    And this animal gave man morality! For which reason God cursed his sorry hide and all his descendants–and man’s too. That’s how much this God hated morality! So, does it not stand to reason that this God would attack morality with his Bible rather than establish it?

    In fact, this is exactly what he does! He tells you that ceremonial infraction are equal to moral infractions. Eating shellfish is equivalent to adultery–all sin is sin. Not observing communion is equal to murder–all sin is sin. Thinking thoughts is equal to committing the acts! (Come on! Give me a break!) And, of course, he tells you that you can be saved by mere FAITH and don’t actually have to be moral (at least most Protestants say that’s what he means). So, the Bible DESTROYS morality, and not establishes it. But Mr. Snake and his magic tree establish morality.

  10. Atheism is another religion and therefore destroys morality. In atheism’s religion defending homos sticking their slongs up each others butts is the ultimate in piety. Kinda tends to indicate that the God who didn’t want man to have morality is the author of atheism.

    The only good philosophy related to God is the Declaration of Independence. So, go and become a true American, not one of these phoney “Good Americans” from Sean Hannity, but a real American. God creates man, endows him with inalienable rights, expects us to establish just government to protect these rights, and to overthrow governments that do not protect these rights (or instead protect fake rights, especially immoral “rights” like the bum-stuffing “rights” of fags).

    • Gays are people too. Gays deserve every single right straight people have. You are a bigot.

      Also, atheism is not a religion. If atheism is a religion, then bald is a hair colour and not-playing-baseball is a sport. Also, if atheism is a religion, then you have an infinite amounts of religions. You have a religion for believing in God, a religion for not believing in Allah, a religion for not believing in Zeus, a religion for not believing in the FSM, etc.

      • “Gays are people too. Gays deserve every single right straight people have.”

        Which does not include the right to make out with or have sex with people of their own sex. Straigts don’t have that right, so neither do fags you stupid AIDS spreading rodent.

      • And atheism IS a religion. Religion doesn’t mean worship of God. Sure, atheism has no God. But it is a religion. Religion is a way of life, a set of beliefs, a set of rituals. Your way of life, set of beliefs, rituals, consists of defending faggery and attacking theism.

      • Straights do have the right to make out and have sex with those of their own gender. They just don’t exercise that right very often.

        I am straight, just so you know, I just can’t stand for this bigotry and hatred based on the way one is born.

        For example, replace ‘gay’ with the word ‘black’ or ‘Jew’. Does that seem wrong in that context? It’s the same with gays.

        Wanna get together for a game of the wonderful sport of not-playing-baseball sometime soon?

  11. If we got our morals form the Bible, we would be stoning homosexuals, women who weren’t virgins on their wedding day, unruly children, and those who curse or blaspheme.

    We would be able to rape women (as long as we then proceeded to give her father silver and marry her).

    We would be a very much immoral society.

    But we are not. What does that say?

    • “For example, replace ‘gay’ with the word ‘black’ or ‘Jew’. Does that seem wrong in that context? It’s the same with gays.”

      This comment shows that you are a total moron, way surpassing idiot. Black and Jew are ethnicities, whereas faggery is an activity. Replace fag with ‘murderer’ or ‘rapist’ (they all are rapists anyway) and you’ll see what a fool you are.

    • Haven’t I answered this about 1000 times before? Oh, yeah, I have. Maybe I need to say it louder and slower for the benefit of those who just don’t get it.

  12. “But people are born homosexual…”

    Then polygamists are born polygamists. What, is your brain in your butt or something? Why are you so stupid? Oh, because you were born that way.

  13. Rev. Reed Braden

    Hey, windbag, you can’t brag about me not responding to a challenge when, a) you never informed me of a challenge, or of this post, and b) the post you link to contains no challenges, just feeble responses to my old arguments.

    • Rev. J. Reed Braden

      And then I call you out on it and you again wimp out. Classy.

      • But, see, you never responded to any of my arguments, just asserted that they were weak with no supporting documentation. So I didn’t wimp out–I’m still waiting for an actual reply. Give me an actual reply, and I will respond in kind.

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