“Atheism is a religion, like bald is a hair colour”– so said SpawneeDave, and I’m totally sure he came up with that and didn’t just regurgitate something he saw on the internet without thinking about it.
I replied: That’s clever, Dave. And it would fit on a bumper-sticker. However- Hair color requires hair. Religion would require foundational beliefs about the supernatural, including God, the afterlife, miracles, and the soul. Atheism HAS foundational beliefs about all of those things. Thus, is a religion.
Did you not watch the video? Like I predicted?
And Dave said: I did watch. No new arguments. It did make laugh that one of the presenters claims atheists can’t be moral. If you need a book to learn morals from, then you lack empathy and compassion. Humans evolved with these traits long before humans invented Yahweh, allah, Jesus, shiva, Mbombo etc
Dave had be confounded! So I pondered his jib with a cup of tea, and then I returned to the old keyboard to offer up the following helpful wisdom:
Greetings SpawneeDave! I can see its been a long time since I’ve dusted off the old comments section, but we’ve been trying to focus more on video production for the YouTube channel.
But your comments is worth replying to, as it is a very common reply from atheists in the conversation about morality. You say, “If you need a book to learn morals from, then you lack empathy and compassion.” And naturally I understand what you mean. You believe that the human race is born with an innate understanding of right and wrong. And I agree. This is a Biblical concept. But you’ve missed one important piece of evidence, and the central core of this argument.
Evidence: Children. If you have children, or have ever watched a parent dealing with a very young child, you will notice that small children take things that do not belong to them. If you tell them NOT to touch something, it becomes the one thing they want most in the world. They will double their efforts to take it. This has nothing to do with NEED. These children are born selfish and rebellious.
Children learn to lie when they are caught rebelling and stealing. You have told them, “Don’t touch that!” and then they take it and run off. You ask, “Did you take that?” They will say NO! And blame the dog or any other siblings they have.
And if the other children take something of theirs, they learn to HIT. They scream and they hit.
Children are born selfish, rebellious, violent, thieving liars. No parent has to teach their kids to act like this. It is instinctive. It is born in them. You would say they are evolved behaviors.
But you would also be forced to say that rape and murder and racism and every other wicked behavior are evolved as well. That humans behave in this manner is an observable fact, and that it starts at birth is another observable fact.
But therein lies your first problem.
If we EVOLVED the behaviors of empathy and compassion, and we EVOLVED the behaviors of rape, theft, and murder, then based on WHAT do you decide that some of those evolved behaviors are good and others are bad? Because YOU don’t like them? But what you like or don’t like is also an evolved response which you did not choose, any more than you chose your height or hair color. You have no objective standard by which to judge between good and bad.
The Central Core of this Argument: I never said Atheists can’t be moral. For some reason, no matter how many times I explain this, some atheist shows up in the comments section telling me I said “atheists can’t be moral.” What we said is, atheism is incompatible with objective morality. The difference is this:
Vegans CAN eat meat. Eating meat is incompatible with veganism.
Flat earthers CAN travel to the south pole.
The existence of the south pole is incompatible with a flat earth.
Atheists CAN be moral. Objective morality is incompatible with Atheism
You’ve proven it yourself. How do you explain empathy and compassion? You appeal to evolution. But then, evolution is responsible (on your religious view) for rape and murder. And many an atheist has admitted that rape and murder have evolutionary advantages, where as empathy and compassion do not. On evolution, those Christian virtues are anti-virtues since, on Evolution, the only virtue is that which helps you to survive and evolve. Empathy and Compassion do not primarily help YOU. Thus, they lack and evolutionary advantage.
You have no foundation on which to praise compassion and condemn hate, other than your own emotions which are determined by your evolutionary path. Unless good and evil are real things- real moral laws by which we are all to judge. But then, there MUST be a moral law giver, who can only be the God of the Bible. If empathy and compassion are REALLY GOOD, then Atheism is dead.
You know by your own experience and understanding that compassion and empathy are good things, so you already understand that atheism is false. But now you need to take an honest look at the moral law and seek out its cause- its foundation. When you do, it will lead you to Jesus.
To learn about Jesus, you may need to learn from a book, but as a Christian, I have no opposition to books and literacy. I would encourage you to be open to reading and learning. You’ll be glad that you did.