It is a common belief in Christian apologetics that atheists somehow have no grounds for morality, or that only Christians can justify “absolute morality” or “absolute truth,” and that this is a decisive argument against atheism.
To this, there are many valid and fatal responses:
* One can argue that they simply assume that no secular philosophy can justify morality, which is an argument from ignorance.
* One can point out that when Christians are pressed on any moral rule in the Bible, they will immediately retreat to moral relativism (“that rule was only for those people at that specific time!”), thus proving that Christians don’t have an absolute morality.
* One can argue that even if true, it would only justify those assumptions of Christianity that make morality possible, not all of Christianity.
* One can point to the moral track record of Christianity, both in the Bible and in real life.
What I do want to talk about here, however, is a sort of paradox that arises from the refusal to acknowledge evolution.
As I’ve pointed out many times on this blog, morality resulted from the evolution of social structures and the necessity for hardwired rules to override the short-term interests of the individual. We know that sociopaths, who are born without hardwired moral rules, hurt others at will for their own short-term interest, without any guilt or realization of having done wrong.
Now, consider that Creationists constantly remind us that they refuse to believe in evolution not only on factual grounds but also on moral grounds; that if we teach school students they evolved from other animals, they’ll eschew moral values and become criminals.
This might seem as a contradiction of the fact that evolution is the basis of morality. But that’s the paradox: because they don’t accept evolution, they can’t understand where morality comes from, but because they don’t understand morality, they can’t accept evolution!
This is only a paradox in theory. In reality, people reject evolution first, because they are taught that believing in evolution is sinful. The moral issues come afterwards and, I think, mainly come into play as a way to explain how atheists can still appear to be moral. They’re really borrowing from the Christian worldview, doncha know.
A popular argument against the problem of evil is to point out that atheists have no standard on which to declare what is good and what is evil, thus “proving” that they are borrowing from the Christian worldview. This is the one argument they cannot stop using. They use it again and again, at every opportunity and at all opportunities.
So the question we must ask is, why do they hold on to it so much? What is the big secret they are hiding? Like 90% of religious tactics, it’s an act of projection, but also an act of personal insecurity.
They know that they are basically relying on a moral vacuum, that the Bible is not a reliable guide, and this is proven by how fast they go back to moral relativism whenever the Bible is challenged on any moral issue. Furthermore, they were indoctrinated to believe that without moral absolutes they would go apeshit and kill everyone. Therefore they are scared shitless of themselves, because they know they really have no moral absolutes and faith alone is keeping them from becoming monsters.
Their only viable solution, from a psychological perspective, is to project their failings on their opponents and preserve the illusion that their faith rests on a solid foundation. This is why it is absolutely essential that they keep maintaining the belief that the atheists are the ones who are relativists.