Can we be “good” without God?

There has been an excellent exchange going on at Christianity Today’s website between Christopher Hitchens and Doug Wilson over issues related to atheism and morality. Wilson is giving a fine example of presuppositional apologetics and this exchange should be studied by seminarians and pastors who want to see how such an approach is practically fleshed-out with an actual warmblooded atheist. For my money one of the touchstones of such a conversation is how the atheist can justify morality in a universe that is conceivably without God. Wilson puts his finger right on the pulse of this issue and so far Hitchens has been unable to get anywhere near an answer to such a dilemma (and to be consistent, he wont be able to). Hitchens’ argument is that “morality” comes from what he calls “innate human solidarity.” Here’s Wilson’s response:

“You say in passing that ethical imperatives are “derived from innate human solidarity.” A host of difficult questions immediately arise, which is perhaps why atheists are generally so coy about trying to answer this question. Derived by whom? Is this derivation authoritative? Do the rest of us ever get to vote on which derivations represent true, innate human solidarity? Do we ever get to vote on the authorized derivers? On what basis is innate human solidarity authoritative? If someone rejects innate human solidarity, are they being evil, or are they just a mutation in the inevitable changes that the evolutionary process requires? What is the precise nature of human solidarity? What is easier to read, the book of Romans or innate human solidarity? Are there different denominations that read the book of innate human solidarity differently? Which one is right? Who says?

And last, does innate human solidarity believe in God?”

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Common grace…

  2. Common grace…what?

  3. Abraham Kuyper is my homeboy…

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