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Good Without God?

Ft. Worth Bus
You may have heard or read the media hype about the ad campaign on some of Fort Worth, TX, buses placed there by the Coalition of Reason. The banner on the side of the bus reads:

Millions of Americans are Good without god.

Some Christians are outraged and plan to boycott the buses. Others have mounted their own campaign that follows the atheist-sponsored messages in an ad-bearing truck that reads, "I still love you." [signed] God.

The ads actually are true! Millions ARE "good" without believing in a deity. According to acceptable norms of behavior in our society, people can be called "good" without believing in a god.

The problem is not their belief or disbelief in a god. I am not a philosopher or ethicist, but my question would be "Where do you get your definition of good?" In our culture, that source is the Judeo-Christian tradition. We define "good" from the historical truths of Scripture, and our entire system of morality is founded upon that.

I agree, you can be "good without god," but, I would argue, you wouldn't know you were "good" if God had not revealed what good is for us and we had not adopted that definition as the way we define the category. (I know philosophical ethics has other ways of getting there, but that's  not my arena of engagement.)

This is not a new issue for Christians. Paul acknowledged there is a futile way of thinking that leads to a denial of God (Romans 1:21), and Peter wrote a second letter to ensure Christians were thinking clearly. (2 Peter 3:1-3)
I wouldn't get too riled up about the ads. I would invite you to engage a friend in the conversation about how do they come up with what is "good" in his or her life, and to share the source of your values.

[A Late Addition]

I have been reminded that the first argument C S Lewis espoused for the possibility of God was his first chapter title, "Right and Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe," in Mere Christianity.

Lewis concluded,

"First, that human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it. Secondly, that they do not in fact behave in that way. They know the Law of Nature; they break it. These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live it." (1952, 21)

I wonder if the Coalition of Reason has thought through that?

We have begun our Advent Conspiracy at Legacy Church. Check it out and join us in the revolution.