Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Reply to Katherine Kersten: Morality IS Man-Made, and Always Has Been

One of the great deceptions of religion, which most recently was repeated by Katherine Kersten in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Star Tribune, is that atheism offers no foundation for morality, that without God, we'd have no moral compass, and anything would be OK. This is absolutely false, a specious claim that atheists, humanists, and free thinkers everywhere should refute at every opportunity.

Kersten's argument contains a simple but fatal logical flaw, the usual circular argument that you find in religion: Either there is a God, or there isn't. If there is a God, then morals came from Him. If there isn't, then humans invented God, and humans invented morals.

Kersten's argument is thus circular: Her argument presupposes that God exists and gave us our morality, and presupposes that without God there will be no morality. But if you drop the presupposition, that is, assume God does not exist, then the Bible itself proves that Kersten is wrong! The Bible (and many other supposedly God-inspired writings) is full of all sorts of great moral lessons (and some terrible ones, too), and since these were written by men and women, not God, it proves that humans can be moral without divine guidance.

The fact that these morals were created under the guise of religion is irrelevant to this argument. Just because someone thought they were hearing God's voice makes no difference; ulitmately, those words sprang from the material cells and the electrochemical system that we call a brain. QED.

This does not prove that Kersten is wrong, only that her logic is flawed and the entire premise of her article has no foundation. If she wants to argue for the existence of God, she needs to find a better starting point.

1 comment:

  1. Just one thing. I agree with everything in the article besides the one and only flaw. Morals are not man made, we are innately moral, we dont create the morals we are intrinsically altruistic. It is a survival technique.


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