Godstud wrote:Greg Epstein, a Humanist chaplain at Harvard University, dismisses the question of whether God is needed to be good "because that question does not need to be answered—it needs to be rejected outright," adding, "To suggest that one can't be good without belief in God is not just an opinion ... it is a prejudice. It may even be discrimination."
[i]It may even be discrimination,
The idea that God is needed to be good is part of Christian theology; it's the T in TULIP for Calvinists; it's the basis of original sin for Catholics, ancestral sin for Orthodox. Man is fallen, and lives in a fallen world, and our good works are like dirty rags
to God (Isaiah 64:6). There is no one righteous, not one (Romans 3:10). ..No one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin (Romans 3:20)...
Moreover, what good things we have come from God (Lamentations 3:38).
What good I have
comes by the grace of God.
Only by the grace of God was I not born into miserable poverty; if I am tall, it is a gift from God; if I am well-educated, it is also a gift frm God. If I was inclined to study and to achieve,
it is because I was given good parents by God. What good things that we achieve make us better than no one, and what charity we do is always too little.
So, we do not regard any Christian as being capable of being morally good or righteous without God,
so why would there be an exception for others?
In the context of this theological position, we should understand the statements of Christians that it is impossible to do good without God.
Hopefully our Harvard humanist chaplain knows all of this... But if he does, why is he perpetuating bad understanding of theology that promotes dismissive & incorrect views of Christians?
He's got an agenda -- the promotion of humanism over Christianity.
:ix This is in line with the Westminster Dictionary of Christian Ethics which states that religion and morality "are to be defined differently and have no definitional connections with each other. Conceptually and in principle, morality and a religious value system are two distinct kinds of value systems or action guides.":401 Others share this view. Singer states that morality "is not something intelligible only in the context of religion".[a] Atheistic philosopher Julian Baggini stated that "there is nothing to stop atheists believing in morality, a meaning for life, or human goodness. Atheism is only intrinsically negative when it comes to belief about God. It is as capable of a positive view of other aspects of life as any other belief.":3 He also states that "Morality is more than possible without God, it is entirely independent of him. That means atheists are not only more than capable of leading moral lives, they may even be able to lead more moral lives than religious believers who confuse divine law and punishment with right and wrong.[/i]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secular_m ... nd%20wrong.
Atheists aren't concerned with proof or non-proof of a "god". The "god question" is one for philosophers and not for scientists. Legal proof is different from scientific proof.
As someone already mentioned, what religion and "god", are you talking about proof for? There is as much evidence for Odin, than for the Christian god.
Yes, atheists acn develop moral systems, but then they have the burden of proving their moral systems in a materialist universe. Now they have to try to derive an ought from an is.
Quite a task.
Of course, atheists can lead moral lives. They are Christ-bearers. They are rational, smart, witty people; they choose to be kind and benevolent; they choose to love their neighbors. They are inclined to do good much of the time. But, because they are humans just like Christians, they can be incredibly self-serving, and their goodness tends to manifest itself to satisfy their own self-image and to build up fame and glory.
They are in some ways morally better than us Christians because we are such hypocrites.
But... again, the problem is that all men are fallen & depraved, and require repentance. Moreover, people without God cannot practice the Christian virtues, for even a fabricated humanist moral system will be materialistic, and thus will never actually honor what God says to be honored and for the reasn that God says it ought to be honored.
If you do not wish to discuss ethics and religion, perhaps this thread is not for you.
Here in Canada, the greatest human rights abuse in Canada was done with the help of the churches. So, from a historical perspective focused on where I live now, the atheists have far less blood on their hands.
It's a real bummer. But that is the case.
The Church has been complicit in many crimes.
But let us also remember, sometimes they have made good efforts, and have risen above their times. The same can be said of atheists.
I think it was St. Augustine who argued that if the Church succeeded in making men into Saints and avoiding these catastrophes, it'd be proof of Christianity being wrong; the fact that we suck is proof validates our points about man!