Hoo boy, found a fountain of stupid this week. PragerU.com has ‘instructional’ videos, in this case, on religion and the old, worn out trope of objective morality. Quite a few Atheist YouTube channels have made response videos,
And many more.
but I prefer the written form, so here are my comments below:
Do you believe that good and evil exist?
No. They are adjectives or adverbs, not nouns.
The answer to this question separates Judeo-Christian values from secular values.
Let me offer the clearest possible example: murder.
Is murder wrong? Is it evil? Nearly everyone would answer yes. But now I’ll pose a much harder question: How do you know?
There are three questions here, and he is trying to conflate the first two. Is murder wrong? Yes, most of the time. Is murder evil? No. How do I know murder is wrong? The wrongness of murder is relative. Is it wrong during war? I don’t think so. It is relative. I don’t know if it is wrong, it is relative.
I am sure that you think that murder is wrong. But how do you know?
I, personally, think murder is wrong, but I understand when murder is necessary. The key word here is think. It is my opinion that murder is wrong and a species that didn’t think murder was wrong, most of the time, would survive long.
If I asked you how you know that that the earth is round, you would show me photographs from outer space, or offer me measurable data. But what photographs could you show, what measurements could you provide, that prove that murder or rape or theft is wrong?
No, I can’t prove murder or rape or theft is wrong, objectively.
The fact is…you can’t. There are scientific facts, but without God there are no moral facts.
There are no moral facts, it is a nonsensical phrase.
In a secular world, there can only be opinions about morality. They may be personal opinions or society’s opinion. But only opinions. Every atheist philosopher I have read or debated on this subject has acknowledged that if there is no God, there is no objective morality.
So what? Yes, morality is an opinion and IT IS CONSTANTLY CHANGING. Doesn’t bother me at all the morality is not objective.
Judeo-Christian values are predicated on the existence of a God of morality. In other words, only if there is a God who says murder is wrong, is murder wrong. Otherwise, all morality is opinion.
Even if there is a god, morality is still an opinion, since it would be a god’s opinion. Even in your own holy book, your god murders everyone and everything.
The entire Western world – what we call Western Civilization – is based on this understanding.
That is an assertion, and most of the values of Western Civilization are a result of the enlightenment, which is in turn based on Greco-Roman values.
Now, let me make two things clear.
First, this doesn’t mean that if you don’t believe in God, you can’t be a good person. There are plenty of kind and moral individuals who don’t believe in God and Judeo-Christian values. But the existence of these good people has nothing – nothing – to do with the question of whether good and evil really exist if there is no God.
Then what was the fucking point of this video???
Second, there have been plenty of people who believed in God who were not good people; indeed, more than a few have been evil – and have even committed evil in God’s name. The existence of God doesn’t ensure people will do good. I wish it did. The existence of God only ensures that good and evil objectively exist and are not merely opinions.
If the existence or non-existance of gods don’t change how people act, why should we care? It is a needless layer of complexity.
Without God, we therefore end up with what is known as moral relativism – meaning that morality is not absolute, but only relative to the individual or to the society. Without God, the words “good” and “evil” are just another way of saying “I like” and “I don’t like.” If there is no God, the statement “Murder is evil” is the same as the statement “I don’t like murder.”
So? There are many societies in the world right now that don’t follow the Bible and Yahweh and Jesus are just fictional characters, and they are doing just fine.
Now, many will argue that you don’t need moral absolutes; people won’t murder because they don’t want to be murdered. But that argument is just wishful thinking. Hitler, Stalin, and Mao didn’t want to be murdered, but that hardly stopped them from murdering about a hundred million people.
I don’t know what the point of this statement is. Belief in a god does not stop people from murder either, so it is a non sequitur.
It is not a coincidence that the rejection of Judeo-Christian values in the Western world – by Nazism and Communism – led to the murder of all these innocent people.
And is also not a coincidence that Judeo-Christian values led to the largest genocide is human history, the massacre of the Native Americans.
It is also not a coincidence that the first societies in the world to abolish slavery – an institution that existed in every known society in human history – were Western societies rooted in Judeo-Christian values. And so were the first societies to affirm universal human rights; to emancipate women; and to proclaim the value of liberty.
I really don’t think this statement is factually correct. Liberty is a Deist value, not a Judeo-Christian. Your values come from a book that supports slavery, demeans women (most of whom are unnamed) and has nothing to do with liberty.
Today, the rejection of Judeo-Christian values and moral absolutes has led to a world of moral confusion.
We live in the most peaceful time in human history, how this a bad thing?
In the New York Times, in March 2015, a professor of philosophy confirmed this.
He wrote: “What would you say if you found out that our public schools were teaching children that it is not true that it’s wrong to kill people for fun? Would you be surprised? I was.”
What the fuck are you talking about? I went to public and secular schools only. I don’t remember anything like that.
The professor then added: “The overwhelming majority of college freshmen view moral claims as mere opinions.”
So? Who should I care about the opinions of college freshmen?
So, then, whatever you believe about God or religion, here is a fact:
Without a God who is the source of morality, morality is just a matter of opinion. So, if you want a good world, the death of Judeo-Christian values should frighten you.
No, doesn’t frighten me at all. See Sweden.
I’m Dennis Prager.