As usual Tom Freeman
has been asking some good questions
and making me think much harder than I would on my own. Thanks for that bro! Recently, in the context of one of our back and fourth sessions, he brought up a thought that I'd really like to explore a little further.
Allow me to set the stage. Tom fashions himself as an atheist. He has a very acute sense of right and wrong. Not wanting his sense of right and wrong to be based on mindless chemicals (read feelings), Tom has come to see the concept of moral realism as an appealing option
. The problem is, at the moment Tom is flying his atheist kite and that model doesn't come equipped with a personal God who's character gives a foundation for moral realism. When faced with this Tom has been sort of half-heartedly toying with the dualist idea. But as most atheists realize, there's no answers in a theoretical dualism... just a hope.
So the question that has been coming to my mind is this: If some who consider themselves atheists can begin toying with notions such as dualism, what keeps them from belief in God? More specifically what keeps them from faith in Jesus?
It would seem that many atheists reject the God of the Bible, because they view Him as immoral
Tom says this in response to my claiming that all morality is rooted in a posture of the heart:"The code of behaviour is to adopt a certain posture of the heart, so that you’re then inclined to obey commandments. Never mind whether you think they’re good or bad commandments, just use your freedom of conscience to surrender your own freedom of conscience, and give up your right to ask questions of they guy in charge. “I am the way, the truth and the life” – or, as Judge Dredd puts it, “I am the law”. I’m not sold on this!"
He makes several moral objections in this comment.
1. It is wrong to go along with something you believe is morally evil
2. It is wrong to surrender your freedom to choose to the will of another isn’t a moral outlook
3. It is wrong to have someone tell you to shut your mouth and just go along with X
4. It is wrong for God to claim that He alone is the standard by which all will be measured
Tom adds: 'An outlook that involves surrendering your freedom to choose to the will of another isn’t a moral outlook'
But here's the problem. He's using a standard to say these things. Tom is not ready to say that this standard is purely subjective and only reflects the matter thats clanking around in his head. So where is this standard coming from? How can we use this moral standard to shoot down the only One from whom it could possibly be derived? The more we pursue this end, we are essentially digging out the ground we are standing on. On what then do we stand?... or do we stand at all?
So here then is my proposition. Could it be that our allegations towards towards the God of the Bible might be seen in a different light if we were open to look? Tom made a number of objections earlier, I don't find any of them to be particularly troubling. All they require to be dealt with (and they do
need to be dealt with) is a little perspective. If Tom wishes to maintain that his moral objections have any weight at all, there must be a personal God from whom this standard flows. If he cannot accept that due to some kind of materialistic prejudice, then he cannot appeal to dualism either. If, however, his reluctance to acknowledge the God of the Bible is due to some real moral objection, then we have some work to do to discover where this moral standard is coming from.
As for me, I continue to maintain that God as revealed in these ancient texts (and all of creation) gives us our best shot at sustaining a objective, or 'real' moral framework.
Lastly, one could always take the position that there is a God, but He is not properly revealed in any
major religion. That is indeed a valid move, but I would caution about being to quick to leap in that puddle. Let's at least hold off until we've given a proper exploration of our motives.
Hope you don't mind me picking on you a little Tom. ;-) Just know that I do this only as a means for us to discover the truth of our existence. You know I love you bud!
Labels: Alex, Atheism, Morality