What makes justice and love and compassion obligatory?  Religion says it has an answer and invites atheists to listen.

Do the religious just need a God to think the values are binding?

Or to command them?


Do the hypothetical test.  If a rifle was held to God should he think or should he command?  Clearly thinking comes first for you cannot morally command a moral code you don't believe in.

We already realise this for we affirm that the person who saves a life out of spontaneous goodness and not because anybody tells him or a rule says so is truly the best of the best.

Or is God only thinking and/or commanding because they are already obligatory?

So far we see that if morality does not care what a God thinks or commands there is no need for a God of morality.

Nobody is able to say if God thinking x is wrong makes it wrong or if it has to command it as well.  The argument is not an argument.  It only looks like one.

Anyway some worry that we end up saying that if God commands/thinks something is immoral that makes it immoral leads to chaos.  Anybody can claim a mandate from God to kidnap babies and sell them.  And God can really give a mandate so he can make adultery a noble thing.  This is the infamous divine command theory. 

With God, he may create morality with a simple statement.  Murdering old ladies on Christmas day is declared holy and it is really holy for he says so.  And/or he can make the circumstances warrant the behaviour.  After all he does let you murder old ladies if they go insane, are technically good and innocent, as they come at you with an ex.  That is an example of circumstances making what is evil if done for nothing be bad.  He can do both.  So it is false that God belief necessarily means you will behave as society wants you to.

The only thing that can prevent that is if right and good and fair have nothing to do with God.  They are not things but they are real and they are real if there is a God or not.

Religion rejects this for it denies that God matters morally. 

So many tell us that morality being just whatever God says it is even if it is harmful is out

So with the two options being ruled out then what can religion do?

The contrive a word salad that: good is from God and not arbitrary but grounded in God's nature.  So they have come up with a third "option" which they say is the only real one.

Despite the fact that there are only two options, religion schemes to make us think that this numbering is an oversimplification. It is not.

Anyway religion says that "God is goodness itself and goodness is his character so he does not invent good but is good and God is the objective standard of right and wrong and so he doesn't need to discover it. In other words, God is the source of objective morality. Thus we should value what he values and do what he commands.  God cannot make it moral to torture babies for fun for no reason.  He would never advise or command us to do that.  It is not a matter of command.  It is a matter of character.  He is not the KIND of God that destroys and wants destruction and pain.  It is not about God's commands but about how God expresses what he is like by telling us what to do.  The moral code he gives us communicates that kind of person God is.  Without realising this we can have morality and recognise it but we cannot make sense of morality or persuade others to be moral without God."

It says this is the solution to the problem of how morality and God relate. Its true aim is to avoid a God whose rules do not fit us very well or whose moral rules are arbitrary which is just as bad.  As we have seen, God can and does supposedly make circumstances that force us to do terrible things so that is not going to work.

Something being God's character does not necessarily mean it is not arbitrary in itself. His character is irrelevant to the question. The question is morality decreed as a real or is it just something to be treated as real though it is not?
This third option ignores the fact that or hypothetically we have to choose one of the other two then we must choose the independent moral standard one. It is not really a moral option when it insults that principle.
The third option is that morality is based on the way God is (page 76). Morality is God’s character and it cannot change for God cannot change. To put it another way, somehow God and morality are one and the same - or morality is a person. This view contradicts the Christian idea that faith in God comes first for God alone matters because if God is morality then it follows that the atheist who behaves morally is having a relationship with God but just doesn't realise it. Faith then is not important. The doctrine that God always comes first implies the divine command theory which has caused so much hatred and division and bloodshed is true.
The idea that morality is God's character/nature or is the person of God solves nothing at all and creates a whole new factory of problems and outright evils. God's 'nature' means his characteristics, his attributes and his qualities.  So it is not just love and justice and moral qualities but other things such as his intelligence etc.
Morality cannot really be a person. It is ridiculous to say that saving a baby's life is a person. It is insulting and shows no idea of what morality really is.
And if morality is God's character, then is it God that is making it so or is it an independent standard?   If God's character is good then is it good because he says so or because an independent standard says it? It takes us back to the dilemma. Option 3 does not deal with that question but ignores it which means it is not really any help to morality. It implies then that morality is an invention by God.

And to say God does not invent morality is to say he is the independent standard. But then it is not an independent standard. It is confused and contradictory but is accepting both. That is why it is so jumbled up.

It still takes us back to the other two options.
Worse, in a way it is just accepting both of them at the one time and disguising this and disguising the fact that they are irreconcilable. So if each one of them is bad this mock hybrid is worse. It is based on lies. The God of Christianity and Islam is a man-made idol.
To say morality is God's nature or character is saying morality is what God's nature makes it to be even if this is not voluntary. That is back to the problem of divine command. Here we have a God who does not freely command but is forced by his nature to command.  So in a way it is worse.  God could not be to blame if the way he is forces him to command the slaying of babies for fun. And we would not be to blame for obeying. 

So religion is saying these days that when God commands us to do good, we are doing it not just because he commands it but because he is good in his character. It says God being of good character and who never does evil, has the qualities of goodness and so he is goodness itself and makes it real. Religion says God does not invent the values about what is right and wrong. Religion says something is wrong because it is wrong and not just because God says it is wrong. Religion argues then that the doctrine saves you from the notion of a God who can arbitrarily command you to do great harm and who makes evil good merely by calling it good.
But their scheme gives you a God who will not command you to torture a baby for fun and for nothing but what if there is some mysterious reason why doing this evil is unavoidable? What if God who tolerates evil is forced to command you to torment a baby for a laugh for it somehow is the best thing under the circumstances? The "morality" does not help much. It is interesting that what God commands according to religion fairly well matches what they want to believe he commands!

Why must we do what God tells us to do? Is it because he discovers what is right? Or is something right just because he says so? There is no other alternative. One must choose one of them. Christians fudge by chanting, "What God commands must be obeyed because his nature is good." That is really evasion. It is like offering two options tea or coffee and somebody pretending that vodka is an option. The evasion is very insulting and manipulative. The issue is too serious and important to be defaced by such evasion.

Their "solution" fuses two positions both of which they consider evil! Both positions are about power. Those who say that morality is whatever God wants it to be regardless of how much misery it causes are looking for power. They want to control what you consider right and wrong. The view that morality has nothing to do with anybody's views but is about facts also grants power in the sense that it opposes an arbitrary morality. It remains though the least dangerous option and morality by definition is law.

The "solution" tries to say that the only real moral rules come from God and the moral rules are not arbitrary. That way it tries to grab the power that both the other views have. That is the bottom line. It is the two "bad" solutions for both are about power. If they are bad it is because of power so it makes no sense to say that a third solution which is based on their power is really a third solution.

The third solution is just the other two in disguise.


Some Christians have started to say that both of the options, "God invents morality so evil is good if he says so" or "God is subject to right and wrong and does not invent the standards but obeys them himself", are unacceptable and bad (page 76, The Handbook of Christian Apologetics*). The first implies morality is just obedience and is nonsense in itself.

Because of atheist criticism, some of the Christians have started to reject the view that the cruellest and most worthless act of hatred would be right if God commands that it be done.  They are aware that saying that God by chance will not do that is saying it is luck.  But talk of luck assumes that God would be wrong if he commanded abuse.

The second implies there is no need for God that we should care about morality more than him and can dispense with him entirely and let him worry about himself.
But if you had to choose one or the other then what? That question is a good way for weeding out the one that is less important or valuable. Obviously, it is better to adopt the view that right is right no matter about God or anybody else. Believers complain that it means dispensing with God! So what?! It is totally sick to put a religious theory and a person who might not exist above the belief that hurting a baby is just wrong no matter if there is a God or not. It is so wrong that God is irrelevant. God cannot come first because even if we are not forced to choose one or the other the fact remains that the notion of a moral standard that is independent of God is the important one.
If the notion of an independent standard being above God is the best one then God is not the best. If it is true that God did not create his moral character or nature but just has it then whatever is behind that is better than him so we are back where we started. The independent standard option is the best one but if you bring God into it you ruin morality as much as the notion that God can invent right and wrong arbitrarily ruins it. On its own, it is a guard against people who say morality is whatever they want it to be.
You might decide that morality is independent even of God and that even God cannot create it.  What if you resort to mystery how it connects to God.  This is avoiding the difficult questions and is cheating.  If an independent standard condemns hurting a baby for fun then it is evil to reject that standard and then reinstate it by making it depend on God.  It is not really reinstating it at all but hiding your rejection of it.  It is adding fuel to the fire of evil and downgrading the baby and her suffering.

It is obvious to the Christians that God either does good because it is good whether he sees it as good or not or he does what he pretends is good. They know fine well that there is nothing else on the menu but the two options. To invent a third option that doesn't exist is just vicious and underhand and insulting to atheists. And it is intolerant for it expresses the view that you need to believe in God before you can really believe in morality or in right and wrong. Nobody in their right mind would expect you to tolerate somebody that holds views that threaten the whole fabric of decency. Tolerance has to have a limit. The teaching subtly incites to hatred against atheists and doubters. Believers do say that unbelievers can be good but they deny that unbelievers are being rational or consistent when they are good. But how can your good be really good if it makes people feel accepting of your unbelief - an unbelief that endangers and undermines morality? Praising fake good is toxic for then the person becomes unable to see how bad it is. It is worse than praising evil.


No Copyright