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More Dumb Tweets: Belief and Morality

Juan A. Raposo put up a fascinating tweet:

The implication being that theists are only moral because our belief in God keeps us moral.

So if not for that belief, we’d be vicious killing machines.  That thought misses a grand contradiction: Ask yourself, “What restrains the atheist from raping and pillaging?”  Belief that those things are wrong.

Is that belief fundamentally different from belief in God?

The atheist would say yes, but if he were consistent he’d be forced to admit that it differs very little.  After all, the Atheist Mantra is that there is “no evidence” for God and  God can’t be scientifically proven, right?

And that means that belief in God is worthless.  The underlying principle is a form of logical positivism, variously called empiricism or scientism.  It accepts only that which can be proven scientifically (scientism) or that which can be experienced by the senses (empiricism) as valid evidence.  Most atheists use this to disqualify evidence or argument that God exists.

The flip side is that morality can’t be scientifically proven, either.  So the belief that it is immoral to rape and pillage local towns is on the same grounds as God.  If one accepts the implied tenet that only that which can be scientifically proven is worth believing, then one cannot be consistent and also believe that raping and pillaging are morally wrong.  One has to prove that case.

So we both believe, without empirical evidence, that something restrains us from committing grievous harms against our fellow humans.  And that, by Raposo’s estimation, means neither of us are moral — but that’s the whole point of needing a Savior, isn’t it?

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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 8, 2013, in Apologetics, God, Philosophy, Religion and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. descriptivegrace

    Surely the doofus in the tweet meant to say “If your RELIGION” (not belief) “is ALL that is keeping you from doing bad things, you are about as moral as a handcuffed criminal.” Because just as the criminal will go back to doing bad things after the handcuffs come off, so the person whose RELIGION is all that keeps them from doing evil will do evil when their religion poofs away in smoke in a deconversion. But someone who has a solid moral belief that is independent of religion will stay a good person even after their religion is gone.

  2. “After all, the Atheist Mantra is that there is “no evidence” for God ”

    Almost. I would correct that to saying that there is no evidence as far as we can tell. And it’s not a mantra it’s got to through understanding.

  1. Pingback: How To Convert An Atheist? | Why I Believe in God

  2. Pingback: Lack-Of-Belief-Position | Life is Mysterious

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