only help my unbelief

The problem with atheists
December 5, 2008, 1:46 pm
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[Go read this article at CNN.]

For those too lazy to click, in Washington State, a group of atheists put up a sign about the winter solstice next to a nativity scene. Within an hour of the sign being put up, it was stolen. As you can imagine, some people are quite upset.

Let me say first that I believe that those who put up the sign have the right to do so, and so I’m not trying to side with those who stole the sign. It is wrong to steal, but the atheists and humanists have it all wrong. First:

The incident will not stifle the group’s message, Gaylor said, adding that a temporary sign with the same message would be placed in the building’s Rotunda. Gaylor said a note would be attached saying, “Thou shalt not steal.”

Gaylor goes on to say, correctly, that whoever took the sign (assuming they are professing Christians, although couldn’t it just have been some agnostics?) wasn’t following their own commandments. This is true. But the atheists, based on their worldview and beliefs, truly have no right to get upset about it being stolen. They can’t say that it’s wrong to steal, because they have no standard for right and wrong without the knowledge of God.

Later in the article:

In Washington, D.C., the American Humanist Association began a bus ad campaign this month questioning belief in God.

“Why believe in a god?” the advertisement asks. “Just be good for goodness sake.”

There is no such thing as goodness’ sake. There is only God, and He is the only Good. It’s truly impossible to be good for goodness’ sake. Like the Friends episode where Phoebe tries to do something completely altruistic, we are incapable of doing things without ulterior motives without the Lord’s grace.

I wasn’t angered or upset by this article at all. I shook my head because what so many people quoted in the article said was so completely contradictory.

I think a better response would have been to leave the sign where it was, and not make such a big stink out of it. Is our God so small that we have to defend him by committing misdemeanors? I think that He’s big enough to take care of Himself.



So what you’re saying is that the only reason you don’t steal is because God said it’s wrong, and that you yourself have no concept that stealing is wrong?

Remind me not to leave my stuff out when you’re in the neighborhood.

And as for atheists having no moral ground upon which to say stealing is wrong: It’s called the law. And I, as an atheist, personally find stealing wrong. How is that possible if I don’t have God in me? Your blog is also full of contradictions.

Comment by Jim

First, let me start by saying that you have a brainwashed world view. The fact that you think only the “lord’s grace” can lead to doing good just shows how intellectually deficient you are.
Your argument that athiests have no standard of right and wrong is simply an assumption based on your weak grasp on morality, and is completely false. Thus all the conclusions you arrive to are based on this false assumption.

On another note, I agree that they should leave the sign alone. It is everyone’s right to express themselves.

Comment by Agnostic

I find it reprehensible that you seem to think atheists have no standard for right or wrong without a belief in God.

It’s called empathy. I believe I’ve heard it referred to as The Golden Rule before: Treat other people the way you want them to treat you. It’s a simple philosophy that predates the Judeo-Christian/Islamic religions by a long shot.

So what the person who stole the sign was really saying was, “I want people to steal/deface my property.”

Way to go. If those are your standards for right and wrong based on your belief in God, then I’m truly sad for you.

Comment by Gary

“There is no such thing as goodness’ sake. There is only God, and He is the only Good.”

The fact that people even say stuff like that is scary to me. It’s a cult mentality, except that the cult is too large to be recognized as such. I don’t mind people who say that there “could be” a higher power, but people who are desperate enough to put every aspect of their life and viewpoint into the hands of an imaginary parental figure definitely scare me.

Comment by TM

“they have no standard for right and wrong without the knowledge of God.”

Yeah, tell me about it!!! Those Vatican folks that protected those Boston child abusing priests for decades; and those that condemned others for believing that the earth is not the center of the universe!

God’s existence is, at best, an assumption! Religions are nothing but subjugation, including the assumption that there are ties between religion and morality!

Don’t tell me that those Vatican folks don’t touch themselves! 😦

Comment by Hypocrites_are_everywhere

Morals can only be declared by God? How so? You do know about the Euthyphro dilemma as posed by Socrates, centuries before your own Jesus, don’t you? Are actions moral because God declares them so, or does God declared them so because they are moral?

If the former is true, then ultimately there is no inherent basis for morality, it’s just divine whim. If the latter is true, then God need not declare anything to be moral, it’s moral all by itself.

As for the vaunted morals of Christians … what about the morality of slavery? It was perfectly acceptable in the Christian world until the last couple centuries. Did God suddenly change his mind about slavery — an institution which is hard-coded into the Bible by the way — or did we just figure out that it’s immoral, all by ourselves, without having to be told by God to stop it?

Comment by PsiCop

Thanks for the interesting comments, everyone. I wish I had time to respond to every one of them, but I feel like I stated what I believe in my post, so I’ll leave it at that.

Comment by CLK

CLK, Not that you didn’t know, you are a hypocrite! Admission is another story!

No wonder why we invaded Iraq (democracy my a@#!) or why OJ Simpson family still insists on his innocence!

You are no more/less evil! 😦

Comment by Hypocrites_are_everywhere

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