If God does not exist then there is no transcendent source for a universal moral law. There is time, space, matter, and energy, and blind, pitiless indifference.
Think about a meteor smashing into the surface of the moon.
The moon is damaged. It cannot be repaired. The crater will remain forever. Is that evil? Nah. It’s just rocks hitting rocks.
Consider a self driving car driving into another self driving car at at 80 miles per hour. They are smashed into tiny pieces. They cannot be repaired. They are gone forever. Is that evil? Nah, that’s just a machine colliding with another machine. Expensive, but not evil.
Imagine that your dog eats your favorite shoes.
They cannot be repaired. They are gone forever. Is this evil? Nah, he’s just a dog. He didn’t know they were your favorite.
Imagine that I break your favorite pen on purpose. It cannot be repaired. It is gone forever. Those shoes cost FAR more to replace than this pen. You didn’t get mad at your dog, why are you mad at me? The dog chewed up your shoes on purpose. Why is MY choice to destroy your possessions worse than his?
While you’re yelling at me about the pen, Shia LaBeouf kills your mother with an ax. She cannot be repaired. She is gone forever.
You would certainly feel as if one of these acts was more evil than the others (depending on your relationship with your mother, but let’s assume for the sake of argument that your mother was a good mother and you aren’t a psychopath). Clearly, you would say that Shia LaBeouf killing your mother is EVIL when none of the other incidents are EVIL. But based on what? You observe and experience the data that evil has been committed, but
on atheism it cannot be justified.
On atheism, a human is an animal, and animal is a collection of cells, and cells are chemical factories. Matter, all controlled by the laws of physics and chemistry. No different than rock, robo-car, or dog except in structure and ability. You can think different kinds of thoughts than they can, but the dog can smell and hear far better, and the car can calculate different spacial relationships and receive and process traffic data.
Why, if atheism were true, would a human be held to a different standard?
Those self driving cars made decisions which resulted in the irreversible loss of one of their own kind. But we don’t consider that an act of evil, so why do we consider it an act of evil if Shia LaBeouf kills your mother with an ax? Why is human choice worse than robo-car choice? Why is human death worse than robo-car death? Why is the irreparable damage done to a collection of matter which happens to be human worse than the irreparable damage done to other collections of matter, such that we acknowledge that the destruction of the human object is EVIL?
None of our judgement, observations an experience would make sense unless the value of human life was a REAL THING. The Bible tells us that God made us in His image, and so we have value. Every human being is valuable, more than anything we can discover or create. We all know this to be true, and yet, on atheism is makes no sense. This is how the observable data once again shows us that atheism is false, and the facts lead us once again to the Bible.
Oh, also, I’d encourage your mother to steer clear of Shia LaBeouf if I were you. Just in case.
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