Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Be good for goodness sake

“Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake." This is the ad that will be appearing on Washington DC buses next week (CNN).

So “Why believe in a god? One answer is that incredibly complex life forms began to appear within a very short time (geologically speaking) after the appearance of water on this planet. Some scientists and philosophers say that it is scientifically impossible for this degree of complexity to have appeared so soon by chance, random mutations, or natural selection alone.

By itself, that doesn't prove God's existence. But it does seem to disprove atheism (Atheism and Monkeys, Hidden Face of God, The Way of the Cell).

And “Just be good for goodness sake?” Are you kidding me? I am very thankful that many atheists have chosen to be “good” people, but that is not necessarily the logical outcome of their atheism.

Many atheists logically conclude that if there is no God, the only limitations on their behavior are their own desires and what they think they can get away with. If they really want to rape or rob someone, for example, and they think they can get away with it, why not? Who are you to judge them or tell them anything different? (In fact, I suspect that many atheists have chosen to be atheists because of the freedom they think it brings).

Fortunately, many atheists don’t think this way. Many humanist atheists think they should be good because it is good for society. But other atheists logically think, screw society! The only thing that counts is me!

Either way, the idea that we should “be good for goodness sake” is just silly.