Today, we are back with Part 5 of our series on Richard Dawkins’s book, Outgrowing God. In this episode, we are tackling Dawkins’s question “Do Christians think Atheists can’t be good without God?” We think he is asking the wrong question. The question is not “Can atheists be good? Can they do moral things?” The real question is “How does someone know what good is without a moral lawgiver?”
Main Points Covered:
- Review of the last podcast
- “I’m sorry to say that lots of people seem to think that you need to believe in some sort of god, any kind of ‘higher power,’ in order to have any chance of being moral–of being good. Without belief in a higher power, you’d have no basis for knowing right from wrong, good from bad, moral from immoral.” – Outgrowing God, Richard Dawkins (beginning of chapter 5 – p. 96 Kindle, 68 Nook)
- Argue for a healthier approach
- Main problem: Laws imply a lawgiver. Good implies a standard and that standard cannot come within the system.
- Pleasure and Pain
- That which is good is that which causes the most pleasure, and that which is evil is that which causes the most pain. But is it, really?
- Dawkins on well-being: “Morality is nothing but disguised self-interest.”
- Well-being, flourishing. See debate between Ferrer and Dillahunty.
- Common sense – where did that come from? You still get back to something in nature or outside of nature
- Romans 2:14-15
- Reinforce through discussion, discipleship, and prayer
Outgrowing God by Richard Dawkins, Amazon
Atheist Debates – “Do we need God to be good?” with John Ferrer and Matt Dillahunty, YouTube (October 2018)
“Nature is a Jerk. Don’t Expect Morality from It.” Article by John Ferrer
Love Thy Body, by Nancy Pearcey, Amazon
“The Pre-Persons” by Phillip K. Dick, read online
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- Imago Dei
- Objective moral values
- Moral facts
- Grounding problem
- Pascal’s Wager
- No True Scotsman Fallacy
Hillary Morgan Ferrer is the founder of Mama Bear Apologetics. She is coauthor and editor of the Mama Bear Apologetics book, and has been married to her husband, Dr. John D. Ferrer, for over 12 years. She is working on her second master’s degree, and yet can’t seem to figure out the simplest cooking recipes.