I suspect that the main contribution of new atheism is going to be the attempted re-defining of the nature of reality and logic. And I don’t mean that as an insult- at least, any more than I would say: Most believers view the logical default of the universe as being ‘God exists.’ It would be why the fundamentalists and culturally ignorant among them are often surprised to find out that atheism exists.
But new atheism has created its own default on identical justification, near as I can tell. God must now be proven, yet atheism does not have to be. The problem is, God is a theological argument. Theological arguments are not provABLE, any more than atheism is provable- which they know(or should).
I’m against the need to prove beliefs, either way. I believe people are capable of believing any crazy idea they encounter. But when they try to claim that their crazy idea is the default or ‘logical norm’, then they must prove it. Why is subjective morality a more accurate or obvious truth than a single, objective morality(IE, Christianity)? Why is atheism preferable or more logical than theism? Why is no-God the default?
Until they can verifiably prove that, they can stick to making theological arguments like the rest of the crazy people.
I’m with you right up until you merge morality with religion, specifically calling Christianity an ‘objective’ morality. Further, you then say that atheism is a ‘subjective morality,’ when by definition, atheism merely means a disbelief in gods. Atheism does not nor cannot have a moral code. Atheists may adhere to a moral code, but like nearly all cultures and societies, this moral code is driven by culture.
Which is why Christianity doesn’t have an ‘objective’ morality, nor has it ever. One only has to flip through the stories of the Old Testament as well as the teachings of Paul to understand the ‘morality’ of the Bible (and therefore Christianity?) has been manipulated, morphed, and changed over time and place.
Which is why morality is a cultural construct, which historically has been tied to religion (not just Christianity or Abrahamic religions), as a means for the people in power to wield and yield that power. The things that religious leaders have decided God would want are reflections of culture. Humanity has managed to progress through a greater understanding of human rights, science & medicine, psychology, sociology, and other humanities, often no thanks to religion, specifically Christianity in the western world.
Further, I would argue the whole premise of Christian morality is driven by fear, fatalism, and dichotomies. We are born evil, and are hopeless slaves to our carnal nature. We are loved, but only if we repent. Every effort is made to ‘be in the will of God,’ which I observed as being a means to keep one self-absorbed in mental gymnastics of what that will might be.
I agree, it’s impossible to know for sure if there is a god, but I will say, IF there is a god, there is no way it’s a personal god. And for the Christian dogma that uses fear mongering as a tool for conversion, I’d argue it doesn’t matter if I accept or reject the idea of god since we possess free will and the Bible contains the symbolic Thomas.
Apologist Dr. Greg Boyd nearly argues this same premise: God set the world in motion for us to choose our own paths, and Jesus was the connection bridging man to the divine.
I choose atheism because the Christian community doesn’t share my core values, and I can do without the mental gymnastics.
Subjective morality in the sense that I’ve heard it phrased by most secular atheists- everyone is free to decide for themselves. Christianity would claim that everyone is -not- free to decide morality for themselves, but morality comes from God, and we should seek to obey Him. The details of how those two positions apply is another matter.
We are loved regardless of whether or not we repent. Love is a misunderstood concept in Christianity(even by Christians). God loves us in the sense that He will allow us to choose what we want from life, -even if- our choice may not be the best one. That doesn’t mean He’s punishing us when things go wrong, it means that sometimes we will choose wrong, and doing so leads to bad consequences, but He understands. To make things right again, all we need to do is ask.
If that were the true premise of Christianity, as you put it, I wouldn’t be one either. At one time it was understood that Heaven and Hell and God were taken for granted- our choice was of whether or not to be loyal to God. Society and culture have changed, however, but with them has not changed that understanding for many fear-based ministries. It’s not the whole story.
How do you define a personal God, and why is it impossible?