I’ve seen the following proposed a number of times…
If there is no God then there is no such thing as good.
…and this common, and rather sad, counter argument…
Atheists can be good therefore there can be good without God.
I say this is a sad argument because it shows that the person didn’t understand the original proposition. And once this counter argument is raised the discussion centres around explaining the original proposition… but that is not what I want to address.
What I have been considering is this:- Can people be good without God? Is it possible to really be good without God?
God’s will is what good is.
For a person to be good they must act according to God’s will.
If a person is acting according to God’s will then they can’t really be said to be without God. Can they?
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.
The measure of our goodness is the measure of closeness to God.
People can be good to a degree and at the same time deny God but they are still with God (to the degree of their goodness) and He is with them.
We can not be good without God.
8 thoughts on “Good without God?”
Reed, this is brilliant. 🙂
I know a couple of heavy-duty philosopher-theologians. I’ll solicit their opinions.
Reed, here’s what heavy-duty philosopher-theologian #1 thinks of your argument.
(I think he slides between good in a non-moral sense in the first paragraph and good in the moral sense in the second.)
I wouldn’t and didn’t say that goodness is doing God’s will. But I agree that my language is not entirely accurate.
God is good.
God’s will is what goodness is.
We are good to the degree that we accept God and abide in His will.
Being good without God is like being wet without water.
I think HDPT1 is thinking of God’s will as entirely prescriptive.
Aha… this scripture makes sense now…
No one is good without [the one] God.
The Word of God is inerrant. His scribes, not so much.
You’re missing the point. Atheists don’t have to believe in receiving the ultimate reward (heaven) or any reward in order to do good. They don’t refrain from committing acts of evil because they fear Hell. Whereas theists do. Are you going to tell me that if it weren’t for God’s “will” you’d be out there committing crimes? Is God’s “will” the only thing keeping your from committing crimes? You don’t need God, you just need a conscience.
No, Juan. It is you who is missing the point.
No one said anything about moral motivation. That’s not what’s being discussed. You’re introducing a red herring.