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-‘You Can’t Be Moral & Believe in God’?

by Dr. D ~ June 7th, 2012

penn1

A quotes from an interview with Penn Jillette by The Blaze;

You can’t be moral and believe in God.

Occasionally Penn Jillette asserts that “you can’t be moral and believe in God” thus turning the opposing Christian argument (that there is no morality without God) on its ear. He usually says it with an obvious tongue-in-cheek affect and does eventually concede that in his understanding of morality even believers can be just as good as anyone else that belief in God has nothing to do with it. However, on another level he really does have an actual rationale to back up his controversial assertion:

The premise for this assertion, of course, is rooted in the fear that people have when they consider that a higher power is watching over their every move. Rather than finding motivation in doing the right thing simply for the sake of it, individuals may find themselves acting simply because they are being observed by God. This, in Jillette’s view, strips away the morality.

“My definition, for my children, for instance, is that I don‘t want my son to not hit my daughter when I’m watching, because he’s afraid of being punished,” he proclaimed in his booming voice. “I don‘t want him to not hit his sister when I’m watching, because he’ll be rewarded. I want him to not hit his sister, because hitting people is wrong.”

I have always appreciated Jillette’s candor and believe that he is actually trying to identify what is best for all and really does believe that atheism is the way to a better future. However I believe that his understanding of some kind of  a ‘universal’ morality’ without God is entirely mistaken when it comes to the origins.

My problem with Jillette and others who proclaim that morality is ‘universal’ is that they assume in that assertion that morality is not derived from any divine source like the Christian God or the Bible for instance. But from a Christian perspective, nothing could be further from the truth. It has long been a biblical teaching that all humanity was given by the Creator an innate ability to discern ‘right from wrong’ which is the foundation of all human morality and the actual source. So if there is some kind of ‘universal’ morality to be observed than the Creator was the ultimate source rather than some kind of cultural evolution.

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