RR writes: If I understand your argument -if atheists have ethics different from yours, ATHEISTS BAD
Apparently you did not understand. As I expressly pointed out, atheists can be good, even according to various religious moralities. They simply have no reason for doing so – excepting the virtuous elite – and in so doing are irrational. Irrational isn’t bad, though it is a red flag to the atheist bull. Almost everyone is irrational, at least part of the time. I prefer to think of myself as extra-rational in certain areas.
if atheists have ethics similar to yours, ATHEISTS BAD (parasites, squash!)
Who said anything about squashing, or being bad? I just find it amusing and ironic that atheists often claim to have independently constructed independent moral systems that just happens to be identical to that of the culture in which the atheist is steeped. I am sure there are a few hard-core thinkers who actually have done so. They are the virtuous few for whom Socrates felt the secret knowledge was to be reserved. I simply don’t believe the vast majority, and I conclude that they are piggy-backing on something in which they don’t believe. They are Judeo-Christian atheists here, and they would be Hindu atheists in India. Had I used the term cultural moralists, very few people would have complained, but it is the same thing. I prefer the term moral parasite, as I do believe that the secularization of American society will eventually kill it. Could I be wrong? Sure, it’s possible.
Sorry if this humble parasite fails to do you justice. I saw Joe Sobran bring up a presumably old question: Is the Good good because God commands it, or does God command it because it is good? If the latter, then atheists might duplicate God’s reasoning and not be ethical parasites. If the former, then God could command all manner of atrocities, and they would be Good.
No apology needed. In any case, doesn’t being an atheist mean never having to say you’re sorry? I conclude the former. If the king makes the law, which requires a tax of five gold coins from every subject, it is a crime to fail to pay five gold coins. However, if the king decides that subject X does not have to pay the tax, the citizen commits no crime by failing to do so. If God is the authority, he alone defines the good. The Bible not only suggests but outright declares that God’s wisdom (and presumably his notion of good) is beyond ours. It is also pretty clear that God has commanded all manner of what we see as atrocities. Then again, if we’re living in some material form of a Matrix construct, as Christians believe, there are no atrocities per se, there is only the fundamental test. Can you kill a digital bit, even if it thinks it’s alive?
I imagine there will be many who say that they cannot believe in such a God. That’s fine. It is also irrational and irrelevant. The truth is what the truth is, regardless of what you or I believe. I happen to see more truth of the world as it is through the lens of the Bible than I do from the cockeyed, imaginative tangents of pseudo-science which emanate from the hard core of hard-won truth as understood by properly scientific knowledge.