If there is no God, why be good?

As Einstein said, “If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.” Michael Shermer, in The Science of Good and Evil, calls it a debate stopper. If you agree that, in the absence of God, you would commit robbery, rape, and murder, you reveal yourself as an immoral person, ‘and we should be well advised to steer a wide course around you.’ If, on the other hand, you admit that you would continue to be a good person even when not under divine surveillance, you have fatallyl undermined your claim that God is necessary for us to be good. I suspect that quite a lot of religious people do think religion is what motivates them to be good, especially if they belong to one of those faiths that systematically exploits personal guilt.

It seems to me to require a low self-regard to think that, should belief in God suddenly vanish from the world, we would all become callous and selfish hedonists, with no kindness, no charity, no generosity, nothing that would deserve the name of goodness.”

Richard Dawkins
The God Delusion

Richard Dawkins Quote on Morality and God

  • Bill Perron

    Michael Shermer is the embodiment of the quote in Orwell’s 1984 “there are some ideas so stupid only an intellectual would believe them.” Shermer has called a failed pedophile magician as his “inspiration”, “spiritual leader” ‘hero” such nonsense can only come from those intellectuals who lack common sense. There are many folks who do need religion, it does give them something to believe in, to give them direction and grounding, as well as hope. Not everyone is as evolved as Dawkins or Shermer, and to ridicule those less evolved folks demonstrates a sick need in Shermer and Dawkins to feel superior.

    • Thom

      Are you planning on addressing the points made in the article at any point? No?

  • Bill Perron

    Thom… I already did, obviously you have a problem with reading comprehension.