Sunday, September 03, 2006

If there is no God, why be good?

Newsweek is at it again. This time they act as if the atheists in America are insignificant when weighed against the great Christian hoard. Admittedly, we are the few - but insignificant? I don't think so. The article in question, The New Naysayer, by Jerry Adler, profiles two new books by Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris. Both books question the value and relevancy of religion in light of the damaging affects of fundamentalism. At one point in the article, the author asks, "If there is no God, why be good?". It is a question that causes me to snort - because I know the difference between good and evil without the guidance of god. Of course, the author suggests that without faith, Christians would run amok, society would crumble, the world would end in chaos - you get the idea.

Belief that god's guidance is the sole source of good in humanity is one of the concepts Dawkins will explore in his new book, The God Delusion. My guess is that without the guidance of god, we would all get along just fine. I have always theorized that there is something in us, something evolved from our collective past, that helps guide us towards behavior that is benifical to the whole. It will be interesting to see what Dawkins has to say on the subject.

Regarding Newsweek - I have not been keeping track, so I am not sure, but it feels the editorial team might be developing an anti-atheist bias. Or, at least they may be pandering to their Christian readers by attempting to marginalize atheists in America. Read the article yourself and see if you can detect the subtle undercurrent.

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Anonymous said...

Good, what is good? Being moral (then again, what is moral?), kind, respective or just tolerant in a non-reactive manner that does not impede or adversely impact others except to prevent harm. So if God is a myth, would this not lead to the precept that other God's must also be myths?
The teachings of Allah and Mohammed in the Koran teach that those that do not believe inthem are infidels. Budda is multiple forms of idol or diety worship. With God (Christianity) believers pray to a cross.

What is good related to any of that? Good is a sense of being one with many, not one of many. Not to say group think is good, unless you're a sheep, but the knowledge not to harm, but to protect, let live and live harmoniously amongst others . . . just feels right.


Johnny Crow said...

If that book by Dawkins is out.. then I am so going to buy it afterwork.. I just finished another book by him last month. Thanks for the heads up

Mojoey said...

Johnny - it is on my list too. Dawkins is a good read.

Anonymous said...

Or put in another way - "if there is no heaven or hell, why be good?"

What stops most people from being evil or bad and sometimes getting away with it?

Anonymous said...

IF there is not heaven or hell, then someone who seeks eternal life won't find it, and everything else seems obsolete, therefore removing the restraints of the now and realizing there is no forever. freeing ones self and taking what is beautiful in their own eyes.

Anonymous said...

if someone can't succeed in life, then what should stop them from just taking it? A life of misery or a life of crime. that is the real question, however if there is a god many would be willing to ride out the bad times in hope of an eternal bliss.

Or are we all just dust in the wind?
with about as much significance as a single atom?

a test is a peace of paper that is worth social esteem in society, like paper money; a construct. If free-will does not exist because of sciences need to be able to explain everything. then are we sentient beings or just a cloud of particles that were bound to "live" meaning to be organized in a fashion that we are a machine or to die, or be dissembled into our base components.

Lillianne J said...

This articular still doesn't answer it's title question. It only presents why someone else's reason is incorrect.