This article is a little old, but it’s floated back to the front of my mind since we’ve been talking so much about atheism lately: Michael Gerson poses the question that atheists can’t answer:
So I merely want to pose a question: If the atheists are right, what would be the effect on human morality?
If God were dethroned as the arbiter of moral truth, it would not, of course, mean that everyone joins the Crips or reports to the Playboy mansion. [if the choice was between the Crips and the Playboy mansion, who would choose the Crips, seriously? – j]On evidence found in every culture, human beings can be good without God….
But there is a problem. Human nature, in other circumstances, is also clearly constructed for cruel exploitation, uncontrollable rage, icy selfishness and a range of other less desirable traits.
So the dilemma is this: How do we choose between good and bad instincts?
A good question. For my opinion on why we think good things are good and bad things are bad, check out my post on goodness.