Believers say that if you want a reason to be moral, to be loving and just, you need God.  Otherwise your morals are not morals but mere opinions.

So they say the question is, "Why should we regard morality as valid and true?"

Believers only accept that God is the answer through a process of elimination.  Some realise that is what they are doing and others do not.

If you want to avoid saying morality is opinion and you need God to validate morality then you are eliminating a suggestion you don't like.  You are choosing in favour of the God theory.  It is your prop.

It is obvious that that cynical scheme is not very respectful of God!

They say that if we have no free will, which they say is a creation of God, then we are just machines and you cannot expect or ask machines to be moral or to do good. But even if we are programmed the fact remains that we know from experience that asking people to be good works. That is all that matters.

They agree with the "if we are animals then we cannot have a genuine morality" so they think that proves that you must ground morality in God in order to really believe in it and follow it.

If man is nothing but a superior animal how ultimately do we distinguish good from evil? If man is superior then there is a distinction between man and animal even if man is an animal. That gives us an important clue.

The Christian reasoning is that if we are animals, there is no reason why we cannot be non-moral like dogs are non-moral. So Christians say the answer is that God helps us to be moral and he teaches us morality and morality comes from God. This creates a dichotomy - animal nature theory means we are not really moral versus God theory which says we are.

This is a morality of the gaps argument. It sees a hole and fills it with cosmetic filling. Instead of seeing morality as valid in itself, it sees what it wants to see in the hole. But wanting to see something in a hole and telling yourself it is there is no solution.

They feel compelled to see morality in the hole. But morality needs to be recognised freely to be morality. If you hurt a child you need to see it as wrong. A morality of the gaps means, "I do not see it as wrong but have to figure out that it is wrong for lots of harm will ensue if I don't". There is something brutal and oppressive and bigoted and inhuman about such a "morality". It is a good counterfeit for morality but it is not morality.

If there is a problem with how man can have a real morality, it is not worth worrying about for you know you do have this morality. And religion only makes the problem worse.


Harm can only be understood as follows: if action x makes the person worse off than if some other action had been done, then the person has been harmed.

Philosophers debate something called normative authority. They mean normative moral authority. This authority is independent of anybody's rules even God's. You are to do good because it is good. Religion opposes this though it is plainly correct.

Just see diminishing suffering and increasing happiness as important. Make that your main value. Forget about God. Even if we make mistakes in trying to help people, at least we are still true to our value. The value matters more than any rules about how to implement it. If you have to love values or rules about the values and it has to be one or the other then you know what you must choose.

If a mind could only choose one thing it would not be God or rules it would be a value such as kindness or justice or affinity. The notion of God is nonsense for it implies God alone matters when he simply cannot.