[quote=Bishopite]We all dought from time-to-time because of our concupiscience (tendancy toward sin). Yet, if death is merely a total end to our individual existance, and there is no accountability for our actions in time on this Earth, and no purpose to life then I would ask a few questions for you to ponder.
- Where did morality come from? If it did not come from a higher source (what we call God and what St. Thomas Aquinas called the uncaused cause) and being that everyone human is equal to the other then who in humanity is to say what is moral and what isn’t?
You assume that to reject God is to still accept the idea of a universal code of morality. You also assume that, in absence of God, all humans are equal to one another. (Not that the second assumption matters in light of the baselessness of the first.)
In regards to your question, though, I would submit that, in the opinion of the atheist, morality is merely humanity’s natural attempt to preserve itself. For example, I, as an individual, do not want to die. I therefore enter into an assumption with my neighbors that to kill is “wrong”. I want to possess material things, and I do not want my belongings stolen from me, therefore stealing is wrong. Etc. Arguably, there is nothing implicit about morality itself that infers the existence of God.
- Since all humanity is equal which person(s) decide what is right and wrong? If a person claims that society decides what is right and wrong then logically they would have to agree that the horrible acts of what the Nazi’s did were correct, since their society accepted the destruction of the innocent Jews; which is really scary.
Again, you assume that an atheist still accepts that all humanity is equal, not that it is really relevant.
Strictly speaking, logically, there is no “right and wrong”. There is no morality. There is simply what can be done and what cannot. What is acceptable to individuals, institutions, and society and what is not. What is beneficial and what is not. What accomplishes a certain goal and what does not. Etc…
Well, in the strict sense many things are a possiblity, but in the practical, rational, and philosophical senses they aren’t, since there are MANY truths that point to a higher power and sufficient and persuasive arguments that would out weigh the notion that somehow God doesn’t exist and that is said in some circles that we evolved from apes!
Personally, I believe in God and am not at odds with the theory of evolution, but that’s another discussion entirely.
The Teleological argument I found in a web search:
Premise 1: X was intelligently designed,
Premise 2: X was not designed by humans.
Premise 3: The only conceivable beings capable of intelligent design are humans (who exist) and God (who may or may not exist).
From (3): The only conceivable beings capable of designing X in particular are humans (who exist) and God (who may or may not exist).
Recall (2): that X was not designed by humans.
If God doesn’t exist, then X was also not designed by God.
Thus if God doesn’t exist, then none of the conceivable beings capable of designing X designed X, in which case X was not designed at all.
Since God not existing therefore results in a contradiction of (1), God must exist if (1) is true.
I find the whole intelligent design thing rather flimsy. The whole idea of “design” is kind of beneath the idea of God, in my opinion. The lines between before and after are sort of blurred by a God who is beyond time, in the sense that we understand it.
In my opinion, it was all sort of random in the sense that our origins lie in the natural, scientific progression of matter through the universe, the formation of the earth, life on earth, etc, but that is not to say that it isn’t all God’s will that it happened as such.
On a similar note, we are free willed, in that we have a rational mind and make decisions. We choose between Path A and Path B. We have the potential to take either, and in a sense we write our own future. It is a great blessing that we are highly developed enough beings, higher than all the beasts of the earth, “in God’s image”, that we can perceive and interact with the Universe, the living manifestation of God, the “ultimate reality”, in this way. However, our understanding of time is so limited in that this seemingly contradicts the thought that God knows all and has a plan which will come to fruition. It’s hard for us as humans being tossed around in the flow of the river of time to reconcile those two truths (imho).
Anyway, I’m rambling.