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Expanding on the Critique of Atheistic Moral Philosophy

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(Last Updated:  24 Aug 2000 )

I have received a number of letters about my article on some of the consequences of atheistic philosophy, enough that it seems some further clarifications and expansions of the article are warranted.   Perhaps the biggest weakness of the article is that much of what it contains appears to be supposition on my part, rather than rigorous argumentation.  My article draws a number of conclusions from circumstantial evidence; I believe they are reasonably well-founded, but the conclusions do not all necessarily follow. Hence it seemed wise to accumulate more evidence before continuing with my assertions.

It should be remembered that in the article I was responding to the contention that "Without necessarily being evil or even wrong in themselves, they [religion and superstition, particularly Christianity], are used to justify, promote and enable the worst kinds of evil humans can inflict upon each other."  My response was a quick attempt to point out that political considerations, based in part upon a worldview of godless nihilism, with no God and no objective morality or moral accountability, have also been used to justify, promote, and enable evil.

The underlying premise in my argumentation, which perhaps was not made explicitly enough, is that without an objective standard of morality, grounded in the character and nature of a holy God, man becomes "the measure of all things".  I will expand on this below.  This essay is based on my response to several particularly thoughtful letters critiquing my original article, which should probably be read first before looking at this page.  The words of my correspondents, which I have occasionally edited or paraphrased, are highlighted below >like this<.

Stalin, Atheism, and the Soviet Purges

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Random Quote: "In essentials, unity, in doubtful matters, liberty; in all things charity." - Pope John XXIII, Ad Petri Cathedram and popularly attributed to St. Augustine