Is God Necessary for Morality?

by leavingwt 73 Replies latest jw friends

  • leavingwt

    Is God Necessary for Morality?

    Below are videos of two debates on this topic. Each debate features Dr. William Lane Craig, an American Evangelical apologist, theologian and philosopher. Craig runs an Atlanta-based ministry called Reasonable Faith.

    William Lane Craig vs. Louise Antony

    William Lane Craig vs. Shelly Kagan

  • PSacramento

    Well, here is the thing, IF God created US in his image ( in the sense of qualities not visiual aspect), then if we CAN have morals then they are Of God.

    In THAT regards you can't have morals without God.

    BUT, if we do NOt believe that then we need to go to where our sense of right and wrong (morals) comes from and not so much the morals that are of benefit to US ( selfish morals) but why we are motivated to be moral to others when that could even be harmfull to us (unselfish morals).

    I think that "unselfish morals" comes from God in the sense of "higher ideals" ( higher than human nature) so I believe that Yes, We need God to have higher morals.

    Now, you may ask which God?

    The God that showed very little morals in the OT ( or at least the OT tales that man wrote about God) or the God of the NT that was the embodiment and source of all love?

    Well, My views are clear on that, but those are only my views and opinions.

  • blondie

    Romans 2

    14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,

    Evidently not per Paul though I'm sure the WTS does not "interpret" it that way.

  • gubberningbody

    If one believes in a designer, then the designer either intentionally or unintentionally was the prime mover in the materials which led to mans moral faculties. In that sense then would God be "Necessary for Morality".

    Does this mean that any designer would necessarily have the same morals as the designee?


    In fact I would argue against that likelihood for a number of reasons and especially so in the case before us.

    First, if the designer did possess the same morals, then the designer would need be incompetent insofar as the situation of a normal human with his or her conscience would not have designed a world in which the nature and scope of evil which prevails would even have been a possibility.

    Secondly, when we examine carefully all that we see, we see that the design is that of a life-death, pleasure-pain cycle with no apparent permanence of any sort, no matter that we wish for more pleasure and less pain and eternal permanence of consciousness and growth rather than oblivion.

    As regards the supposed "superiority" of God's morals to that of man's, we can easily reply that we would need be presented with an argument which would encompass and not supplant the morals of man.

    In other words, if we were to view morality as a Venn diagramm we would see that mans morality was wholly encompassed by the universal set of God's morality. This would indicate that there was harmony, not disjunction.

    At present we see only disjunction and it is up to the apologists to concoct an explanation which would make for harmony.

    If there IS no harmony and mans morality is entirely disjunctive with regard to God's, then there can be no way to reconcile the two and only an immoral man would accept God's morality.

    We would rightly condemn such a man.

  • superpunk

    Morality is rightly said to be nothing more than empathy - or that empathy is the foundation of morality.

    Sociopaths cannot feel empathy, and therefore do not share the morals of those who can.

    If God made us with empathy and morals, who made the sociopaths?

  • Mall Cop
    Mall Cop

    What is morality? It is a code of values to guide man's choices and actions, the choices and actions that determine the purpose and course of his life.

    So, God is not necessary for morality.

    Blueblades/Mall Cop

  • ZeusRocks

    I would say that "God" is a hinderance to a persons development of morality.

    In the Old Testament god commanded genocide (including elderly and babies). The laws given were completely immoral, slavery, rape victim marrying her rapist, all the unclean regulatory nonsense, the view of women as property etc.

    Things only improved slightly in the New Testament, even though slavery was still endorsed. God of the old testament and god of the new testament are still the same.

    If anyone says "oh the was the old testament", what they are really saying is because god said so, at one time it was completely moral to own and beat slaves to near death, rape then marry a woman, commit genocide. Were these things ever OK to do to other human beings? If a person answers "yes," then they have no moral compass. They are saying any action can be moral or immoral, all it takes is for god to say “do it” to make it “right.”

    A moral person would want to stop a person from beating another near to death as "property." A moral person would want to stop a person from slaughtering babies out of pure vindictiveness.

    Usually the Christian response is that god knows better, and when god tells people to do horrible things, there is a greater good at work. We're told we can’t recognize the larger plan, because we’re just humans, and not gods. But the problem there is: If you can’t tell a good action from an evil action, then how do you know it’s good if god says to go kill babies? It sounds evil—so what makes a person accept it’s good?

  • wobble

    I was always surprised at the number of JW's who, at the drop of a hat, or quite often a pair of knickers, could go against everything they were supposed to believe in.

    But I guess it comes down to the fact that they have no personal morality. only an imposed morality dictated by the WT.

    The same seems to be true of nearly all believers, they do not have a morality which they will stick to in all circumstances,they would have killed babies if they had lived in OT times, whereas someone who imposes his own on himself will, it would be too painful to deny himself and go against it.

  • PSacramento

    Well, let us also not forget the lack of morality of non-beleivers too.

    Stalin, Mao, Pho Pot and Hitler ( And no, Hitler was NOT a believer) just to name a few.

  • superpunk

    So now that we've established that believers and non-believers can both be similarly moral and immoral, and faith in God seems to have absolutely no bearing on whether or not someone is a moral person....

    ....can we conclude that God is completely unnecessary for morality?

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