More on morals

Richard Carrier has penned an interesting article for

Why I Am Not a Christian

It’s long but worth the read. Here’s one interesting piece of reasoning.

Conversely, any excuse that could ever be imagined for God’s inaction must necessarily apply to us as well. If there is a good reason for God to do nothing, then it will be just as good a reason for us to do nothing. The same moral rules that are supposed to apply to us must apply to every good person–and that necessarily includes the Christian God. God cannot have more reasons to do nothing than we do–to the contrary, it must be the other way around: only we have limitations on our abilities, creating more legitimate reasons for inaction than can ever apply to God. So if it is good for me to alleviate suffering, it is good for God to do so in those same circumstances. And if it is good for God to refrain from acting, it is good for me to do so in those same circumstances.

Since some Christians insist that you cannot have morals without a belief in God, this provides an interesting counter-claim. If we are indeed made in God’s image, should we not follow his example?

Next time you stumble across someone in need, just pass them by. Sure, you could argue that ‘God works in mysterious ways’, or that he is helping them but through us. This is of course ad hoc reasoning with no basis in fact. If you claim that actions of a good Samaritan are inspired by God, you could claim the same of a vicious attacker.

Remember that doing nothing can be just wrong as doing something bad. If ignore a drowning child, are you any better than the person who threw the child in the lake? How many times has God ignored a drowning child?


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