Alexa Rojas Ulloa - Education degree student
One of the most controversial questions of all time: can we be good without God? But, the truth is that there is still no straight answer for it. There are so many people with so many different beliefs, thoughts, and opinions about God and how to be good. Besides, there are several proofs that atheists and agnostic people are good without believing in God, so what is the exact point of asking the question? Above all, people have to know the meaning of being good, which has plenty of definitions that come from the Bible, and all of them say that only God determinates what is good and what is not, so people can’t, and that is why He gives people moral values to follow. So, can somebody be good without believing in God? Because if people can’t determine what is right or wrong due to the non-existence of God, as atheists recall, how can they know what are their moral values to be good? Indeed, God is the main reference for good, and people that believe in Him follow his paths; but, the ones that don’t believe in God can still be good, so the main point is that if people can be good without the existence of God.
First of all, the question isn’t “Can we be good without believing in God?” the question is, “Can we be good without God?” The answer is that people can’t be good without God because, without Him, they won’t have the basis to know what is good or bad. Certainly, if God doesn’t exist, there are no references for right or wrong; therefore, moral values don’t exist since He provides everything people know as good or bad through the Bible. In the Bible, there are a lot of points for moral values such as love, justice, patience, truth, kindness, and more. As a result, God is the standard of how all the actions and decisions are measured; therefore, if there is not God that provides these values, there would be only a human’s perspective for everything that happens. People’s point of view is subjective, which means that it is about what they prefer and what they like the most. Consequently, there would be a lot of viewpoints since everyone has a different opinion on everything, but anyone else’s point of view is not more valid than others, so how anything would be measured? Consequently, in a world without the existence of God, it can be as Dawkins (1995) claims in his book, “no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.” (p.150).
In other words, God provides the bases for people’s duties as human beings, such as love, the most powerful feeling. Besides, God serves as an example of how people should act, and those are the actions of generosity, self-sacrifice, equity; for evil actions, there is greed, abuse, and discrimination. This way, God shows people the two faces of life, and he makes them choose how to act, if good or bad. Along with it, God will something because He is good, and He is the standard of moral values, so people try to replicate the same actions just as a child trying to talk as their parents do. On the contrary, if atheism is true, there is no moral standard for anything, and there would be no moral obligations or duties to follow since, for them, God doesn’t exist. According to LeDrew (2012), Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution was a controversial idea, due to its unspoken challenge to religious explanations of human origins (p.6).
Similarly, Ruse (2010) recognizes the existence of God unnecessary when he said, “[Morality] is something forged in the struggle for existence and reproduction, something fashioned by natural selection.” (p.1), he was reinforcing the idea of a world that doesn’t need God to be good because people are originally good since they were born. Besides, for an atheist, humans are accidents of nature, and they are just highly evolved animals; but, animals don’t have moral obligations. When lions kill a zebra, they don’t feel that they have done something wrong, it is just their nature. Therefore, if God doesn’t exist, people cannot define what is morally right or wrong; the point is that right, wrong, good, and bad do exist. Likewise, when Craig (n.d.) said, “The horror of such a morally neutral world is obvious.” (p.1), he was explaining a world without moral values and God, a horrible place.
For instance, when people say that something is an injustice or not fair, they affirm the existence of objective moral values that God has created for humanity. There are child abuses, racial discrimination, terrorism, and people can say that those actions are wrong because they know their moral values and what is good or bad. Therefore, if God doesn’t exist, any moral values exist, but as they exist; then, God exists. Therefore, just the act of being and feeling someone great, point people directly to the existence of God. Then yes, people don’t need to believe there is someone up there, but they can only argue whether something is good or bad with the references of God existences. To conclude, people are good knowing their moral values which God created, and people can be good not believing in God, but they can’t be good if there was no God at any period in humanity.