This topic is mostly aimed at or addressing SkepticalOne (but other atheists may join in by defending their belief as reasonable as opposed to Christianity or the biblical God). I am looking for his justification for his belief, myself thinking what he believes is unreasonably based. I also understand that SkepticalOne is what I term an agnostic atheist. That is the nature of skepticism, the 'I don't know,' yet in not knowing Skepticism seems to put all his eggs in one basket, that of mythological naturalism. By default, one who claims to be an atheist would look for explanations that exclude God or gods.
Atheists, as people who have thought about existence, often make the claim that Atheism is an absence of belief in God or a deity. Does that argument work? I say no. I could claim theism is a lack of belief in atheism or an absence (not the presence) of the denial of God or gods. In either position, both the atheist and theist hold lots of beliefs about God or the lack thereof. An atheist not believing in God as Creator would have to believe something else as there cause, yet something about God too in their denial of Him. You can't deny something you have no idea of and SkepticalOne definitely has views about God. Thus, atheism is a worldview. It examines life's most basic questions and comes to a conclusion from a standpoint lacking God. It is a belief system in its own right usually with philosophical or methodological naturalism as one of its cornerstones or core tenants. But is atheism as justifiable or as reasonable as a belief in the biblical God? I plan to examine this in a number of areas. This topic is about one area of atheisms reason - morality. Can atheists reasonably justify morality in comparison to Christianity/Judaism? That last statement is a nutshell of the topic of debate.
First, what is the origin (reasoning the chain of events back to its furthest point possible) of moral conscious beings? Is such a causal factor intentional (thus mindful) or random, chaotic? A personal Being who has revealed Himself as omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent, immutable, and eternal would have what is necessary in determining what is moral because there would be a fixed measure or reference point in which a comparison can be made as to 'the good' (since there is a best). How does SkepticalOne arrive at best? What is the ideal, the fixed reference point? That necessary Being is reasonable to assume since we only witness or observe moral mindful beings deriving their existence from other moral, mindful beings. With atheism (no God or gods) what is left for the origins of morality and before that conscious beings? I say it is a blind, indifferent, mindless, random chance happenstance. How is that capable of anything, let alone being the cause of moral mindful beings?
Second, how do relative, subjective beings determine anything other than preference - what they like? IOW's, why is your 'moral' preference any 'better' than mine? Is it more reasonable? I say no. It does not have what is necessary for morality. Preference is just a like or dislike. What is good, morally speaking, about that?
Please take note of the difference between qualitative values and quantitative values. I describe what I like. That is. I do not prescribe what I like as a must that you like it too. I like ice-cream is a personal preference. I do not force you to eat it too as a moral must. If I liked to kill human beings for fun and believe you SHOULD too, that would be a moral prescription, although not established as an objective one. The words 'should,' 'must,' or 'ought' denote a moral prescription. No one will condemn me for my preference of liking ice-cream but they will in my preference for killing others and prescribing others should like it too. That is because there is a distinction between what is (liking ice-cream) and what should be, a distinction between the two that has been called the is/ought fallacy. There is no bridge between what is and what ought to be in that one is a mere description of what is liked or what is while the other is what should or must be the case. Whereas I believe I derive my moral aptitude from a necessary moral being, you believe you derive yours from chance happenstance. How is that more reasonable? Am I missing something here?
It takes faith to be an atheist, a blind faith if you look at the causal tree of blind indifferent chance as your maker. How is that reasonable in arriving at morality? Somehow, there is a giant leap from chance happenstance to uniformity of nature and sustainability of these natural laws. We discover these laws, not invent them. And, these laws appear to be a mindful thing because we can use mathematical formulas in expressing and conceptualizing them. Why would that be possible or probable in a blind, indifferent, random chance universe? Does SkepticalOne believe we just invent morality too, that there is no objective mind behind morals, just chance happenstance as the root cause? There is a giant leap between inorganic things and organic mindful, moral people. How does atheism transition between or scale this chasm?
Human beings are subjective relative beings in that we do not know all things and constantly revise and change our moral views. Once, not long ago, abortion was considered a moral wrong in America, except when the life of the mother was threatened with certain death, such as with a tubal pregnancy. Now, some even condone the abortion of the unborn right up to the time of birth and beyond by choice, by preference, and they pass laws to accommodate their preferences. Who is right? And once again, if there is no objective standard, what makes your view any better than mine? Force, duress? How does that make something good or even objective? So you get a bunch of like minded people to push your views and make it law by force. Dictators, benevolent or tyrannical, do the same thing. What is good about that? SkepticalOne says although he is an atheist he believes in objective morality. Is this reasonable from an atheistic standpoint? How is his view anything but subjective since he needs a true, fixed, unchanging point of reference for something to have objectivity? An objective standard is not subject to personal preference but to what is the case.