The problem of Evil 4: The Atheists Dilemma part 1

So we’ve taken some time away from our discussion of the intellectual problem of evil and the emotional problem of suffering for matters. In quick review, we noted previously that these are, in fact, two separate issues. To answer the second problem, the emotional one, is the difficult one, but it is solved ultimately in bringing our feelings into line with out thinking. To answer the first question a Christian must only present a worldview that is self-consistent and flows naturally from its premise.

What I presented previously is an extreme reduction of the Christian answer that evil comes down to man’s misuse of the freewill God has given him This meets the test above.

Now, however, comes the other side of that coin, while Christians can present a self-consistent one that flows from the premises of the Christian worldview, the atheist is unsuccessful in that endeavor. It is no so much that atheists are necessarily more immoral than other human beings (as we are all fallen), but rather that they have no adequate basis in their philosophy for ethical decisions.

For Christians, morality is based in discussions of God’s holiness and love – for instance the concept of justice is based in holiness. Yet, naturalism believes that man is a cosmic accident as the result of another cosmic accident. As this is the case, human beings ultimately have no rights because there is nothing special about man. As such, it becomes difficult to find some transcendent basis for morality.

Some might argue moral ideas developed as a means of perpetuating human population groups, but this does not adequately explain concepts such as property rights, and even if we did accept this principle, does it really matter if human population groups survive a few more years, or more to the point the human race as a whole. After all, if naturalism is true, the question of human survival is not if humanity will survive, but for how long. Eventually man will die, the sun will burn out, and the universe will expand into cold death, therefore human survival cannot justify moral objective principles. Nor is there a compelling reason why anyone should practice the group morality, after all, individuals clearly have self-determination and to abide by societal ideals or reject them is ultimately a matter of personal preference.

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