Monday, November 17, 2008

Be good, for goodness sake! Part II

The American Humanist Association ad says, "Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness sake." According to their spokesman, this group defines humanism as “a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms our responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.”

The British Humanist Association ad says, "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life." " 'Don't worry, you're not going to hell,' " said Sherine, 28. "Atheists believe this is the only life we have, and we should enjoy it."

On the one hand, atheists believe that they have a "responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity." On the other hand they believe "...this is the only life we have, and we should enjoy it" without any fear of eternal consequences.

Do you see the contradiction?

How do they reconcile the idea of "responsibility" and "ethical lives of value" and the idea they should live their lives to please themselves because there is probably no God to Whom they must give an account? (Probably?!)

There is no such thing as "responsibility" if there is no authority greater than yourself. Without an objective moral absolute there can be no absolute measure of ethics or of "value to self and humanity." Why would you forgo some pleasure because of an abstract idea of ethics or responsibility? Why would you care what might happen to humanity after you are gone from the scene? Indeed, why would you even care about extending your own life, if it means living with difficulty, pain, drudgery or restraint of your own impulses?

Christianity, on the other hand, argues that there is a God who has revealed Himself in His creation, in the human conscience, in propositional form in the Bible, and personally in the incarnation of Jesus Christ. As Creator, His standard of moral right is absolute. He is the Judge of all the earth.

But He is also the Savior of all who will call on Him.

How can atheists see this as a negative message? Only in that it means they can't do just as they please, but must conform to God's moral standards because they are accountable to Him.

To be continued...

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