William Lane Craig is a theologian and philosopher who argues that if God does not exist, then there is no solid basis for objective morality. Even if he was correct that without God, we'd be morally confused and directionless, this isn't evidence for God's existence; Craig is merely drawing attention to what he views as undesirable consequences of God not existing.
Craig's description of God as perfectly good, loving and kind doesn't match up with his many horrific actions described in the Bible, and thus calls into the question the idea that the moral guidelines coming from God would even be worth following. Divine command theory allows people to justify the worst atrocities so long as they're allegedly sanctioned by God, and the rich history of religious violence and immorality makes a mockery of the position that the best moral conduct stems from God and religion.
It would also be a very strange kind of objective morality that leads religious people to disagree with each other on virtually every single ethical question, with all parties involved citing scripture and the alleged opinion of God to back up their views. Without God, people are still capable of using reason and empathy to decide right from wrong, and even though it's not a perfect process, over time, moral progress is made. William Lane Craig, by pointing to an imaginary God, only pretends to have solved the difficult question of how to resolve moral disagreements.
Craig summarizes his position as follows in a ReasonableFaith.org article entitled "Can We Be Good Without God?". I meant to read the whole thing, but I kept getting distracted by my atheistic urges to go rape and murder people!
"Today I want to argue that if God exists, then the objectivity of moral values, moral duties, and moral accountability is secured, but that in the absence of God, that is, if God does not exist, then morality is just a human convention, that is to say, morality is wholly subjective and non-binding. We might act in precisely the same ways that we do in fact act, but in the absence of God, such actions would no longer count as good (or evil), since if God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist. Thus, we cannot truly be good without God."
We're gonna take his argument piece by piece and break down what he gets wrong here. He goes on in the article to write the following:
"To say that there are objective moral values is to say that something is right or wrong independently of whether anybody believes it to be so. It is to say, for example, that Nazi anti-Semitism was morally wrong, even though the Nazis who carried out the Holocaust thought that it was good; and it would still be wrong even if the Nazis had won World War II and succeeded in exterminating or brainwashing everybody who disagreed with them.
On the theistic view, objective moral values are rooted in God. God’s own holy and perfectly good nature supplies the absolute standard against which all actions and decisions are measured. God’s moral nature is what Plato called the 'Good.' He is the locus and source of moral value. He is by nature loving, generous, just, faithful, kind, and so forth."
I see so many problems with Craig's position that it's difficult to decide where to even begin.
I guess the first thing I should point out is that, even if we granted what he's saying here, this line of reasoning does absolutely nothing to establish whether or not a God exists. This argument can't at all be described as a proof of God's existence, because to even make the argument that he's making, Craig has to assume the existence of God. Craig himself quickly concedes this in his debate against Sam Harris:
"In tonight's debate, I'm going to defend two basic contentions: First, if God exists, then we have a sound foundation for objective moral values and duties. And second, if God does not exist, then we do not have a sound foundation for objective moral values and duties.
Now notice that these are conditional claims: I shall not be arguing tonight that God exists. Maybe Dr. Harris is right? That atheism is true? That wouldn't affect the truth of my two contentions. All that would follow is that objective moral values and duties would then, contrary to Dr. Harris, not exist."
Answer me this, Christians: If a good God truly does exist, why would he create a universe where neckties that hideously ugly are allowed to exist?
When you step back and take a birds-eye view of his argument here, Craig basically seems to just be arguing that if God does not exist, that would have undesirable consequences. Craig doesn't like the idea of morality not being objective, so he invokes God as a remedy for this unease that he feels. This becomes absolutely clear in the concluding section of his article:
"If God does not exist, then it is plausible to think that there are no objective moral values, that we have no moral duties, and that there is no moral accountability for how we live and act. The horror of such a morally neutral world is obvious."
Oh, the neutrality!
This is no way to arrive at rational beliefs. Imagine, by analogy, a child saying: "Look, if Santa does not exist, then that means there is no jolly old fellow watching over us as we sleep and preparing to send us gifts on Christmas as a reward for our good behavior. The horror of such a Santa-deprived world is obvious."
Ok, you might not like to live in a world without Santa Claus—and I personally have a very hard time falling asleep without creepy old men watching me—but your personal preferences on how the world and universe should be is a completely separate question from how the world and universe actually are.
Perhaps, in an atheistic universe, morality is fundamentally subjective? What if there really was no solid way for the atheist to condemn the serial killer as doing something wrong—and what if, as Craig argues, morality in an atheistic world is just different individuals arbitrarily deciding for themselves what's right or wrong? Even if all of this is correct, ok, so what? Perhaps we just live in an absurd universe? Perhaps we live in a world where morality is a confusing subject where no clear answers exist? Saying "I don't like the sound of that" isn't proof of anything and doesn't justify believing in a God.
By analogy, you could claim that in a godless universe where there's no afterlife, people's brains simply shut off when they die, and that's it for them. Such a prospect might terrify you, you might not like the idea of dying forever and never returning, but whether or not you're happy or comfortable with the way the world is doesn't really have any bearing on the way the world is. There's a term for what Craig is engaged in here, and that term is "wishful thinking": "I like the way things would be if there was a God, and I don't like the way things would be if there wasn't a God." That is really what his argument boils down to here, and thus, at its core, it's fundamentally illogical.
I also see a problem with the way that Craig characterizes God—and by extension, his moral views—as intrinsically good, perfect, and loving. Here's what he says in that Sam Harris debate:
"As Saint Anselm saw, God is by definition the greatest conceivable being, and therefore, the highest good. Indeed, he is not merely perfectly good, he is the locus and paradigm of moral value. God's own holy and loving nature provides the absolute standard against which all actions are measured. He is, by nature, loving, generous, faithful, kind, and so forth."
I find it weird that Craig describes God as "the greatest conceivable being" because we already know who the greatest conceivable being is: His name is Anton Dybal, and you can provide him with devotional offerings at Patreon.com/aSkepticalHuman. Supporters receive access to patron-only bonus videos.
When Craig uses all of these glowing terms to describe God's nature, all he appears to be doing is simply assuming that this is the way a God would be. He thinks he's describing the way a God necessarily must be here when all he's really doing is defining God in such a way that he finds acceptable.
If you look past Craig's "greatest conceivable being" sophistry, you'll find that it's very easy to imagine a wicked God who wants people to suffer and live miserable lives. How else could you explain the existence of Christian radio if it's not a diabolical God's best effort to torture you on your drive through Nebraska?
We could also imagine an indifferent God who simply doesn't care either way whether people suffer. Or we can imagine a polytheistic universe where different gods have differing attitudes towards the suffering of humans.
Craig might say: "Oh, well you just don't understand the nature of God. Such a being necessarily would have to be good and loving and kind."
Well I don't see how this is anything more than a bald assumption, and Craig's description here seems to be circular: "God is intrinsically good and loving because if you look at the way that I'm defining God, it's a being who's intrinsically good and loving."
I'm gonna try to use this technique the next time I'm on a date with somebody and they're rejecting my sexual advances—i.e., every single date that I go on. I'm like: "No, you don't understand: You have to suck my penis because I'm defining my penis as the thing that necessarily must be sucked by you."
It seems to me like Craig describes God as intrinsically good simply because that's how he conceives of God, and that's how he wants a God to be. Once again, this is nothing more than wishful thinking: "This is how I would like a God to be, this is how I conceive of the Christian God, therefore, I'm going to define him as necessarily possessing the attributes that I would like him to possess." This argument basically boils down to: "This is the way God is because I say so and because that's how I want him to be."
Also noteworthy is that the very description of God's nature that Craig provides us with—his "loving, generous, faithful, and kind" disposition—seems to get turned on its head when you simply read through the Bible or just imagine certain real-life scenarios that this God must preside over.
God is loving and kind? What is loving and kind about torturing and burning your children for an infinite period of time because of finite, theological crimes they committed? I know children are annoying but they're not that bad. What is loving and kind about God commanding Moses to kill every male member of the Midianites—including children—to kill all of the non-virgin females as well, and keep the 32,000 Midianite virgin women for themselves?
God is generous? Tell that to the countless, devoutly religious people who prayed for God to cure their illnesses—illnesses that this very God himself is responsible for creating in the first place—only to have their prayers fall on deaf ears despite the fact that this God would've heard their prayers, felt their pain, understood what they wanted, was capable of remedying the situation, and yet sat back and allowed them to die miserable, painful deaths. Doesn't sound very generous to me.
It's like having somebody starving to death next to you while you're gluttonously eating a four-course meal, and despite them begging for scraps of food to save their life, you refuse to give them even the tiniest crumb—and then you turn around and see that people are praising you for your generosity. It's completely absurd.
Recall that Craig doesn't just describe God's nature as pretty loving or impressively kind; he talks about "God's . . . perfectly good nature." If it truly was the case that the Christian God Craig believes in was perfectly good, perfectly moral, perfectly kind and perfectly loving, wouldn't you expect perfect consistency with these traits and not see any deviation from them?
I see only two possible options here: Either Craig is mistaken and the God he believes in, as portrayed in the Bible, isn't perfectly good—and thus the morality that comes from his worldview isn't nearly as unimpeachable as he makes it out to be—or, alternatively, God is indeed perfectly good, and that applies to even the most wicked tales from the Bible and the most horrific Christian ideas like an afterlife in hell. Craig subscribes to the notion of divine command theory—whereby any of God's pronouncements or actions are, by definition, moral—so he would go with the latter option.
That means that when God, in the Book of Numbers, commands his followers to stone a man to death for the grave offense of gathering sticks on the sabbath, Craig would have you believe that this was a perfectly loving and kind action. When God floods the Earth and virtually every human being drowns to death, we're to believe that this was a perfectly good and moral action. When God commands his chosen people to invade, pillage, and massacre city after city in the Old Testament—brutally killing thousands of people each time over in the process—we are to believe that such commands were consistent with and illustrative of God's perfectly kind and good nature.
Could anything be more ethically backwards than this very idea? And if these are the sort of actions sanctioned by the God that Craig points to, doesn't this call into question the idea that this God's moral guidelines are even worth following? It's like, who invited the mass-murdering psychopath to the ethical roundtable?
The divine command theorist is the last person who should be giving you any lectures about morality: "Alright, now that I'm done apologizing for a horrible atrocity that's described in the Bible, it's time for me to explain to you what's wrong with your moral outlook."
Craig, in his article, cites Dostoyevsky who wrote that “If there is no immortality, then all things are permitted," arguing that without a God to guide them or deter them, who knows what wicked atrocities the atheist might commit? But what is divine command theory if not exactly this: the writing of an ethical blank check that applies to any action—no matter how horrendous, no matter how many people suffer and die as a result of it—as long as you can claim that God has signed off on it?
Sorry to break it to you, Craig, but it is with divine command theory that "all things are permitted," as the most cursory glance through the Bible and the history of Christianity makes clear to anybody who hasn't had their moral compass distorted by religion.
Here's how Christopher Hitchens responded to this quote in his first debate against Frank Turek:
"No, the decapitation on the bus is going to be done by someone who thinks God is telling him to do it. Smerdyakov is actually the stupidest character in Dostoyevksy’s novel and he's the one who makes this proposition. Everyone has to understand, everyone has to understand that it is those who feel that the divine is prompting them, who feel they are permitted anything and everything and it is those who are the leading, the most salient, most violent and vicious opponents of the values and civilization that Thomas Jefferson stood for and promulgated."
And while we're at it, presumably the neuromuscular disease that God created Craig with must also be in accordance with his loving nature. Should we therefore conclude that intentionally giving people diseases is an act of perfect kindness? Perhaps that lunatic who was sending anthrax in the mail was simply acting as an instrument of God's will?
"From birth [William Lane Craig] has suffered from Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome, a neuromuscular disease that causes atrophy in the extremities. He walks with a slight limp, and his hands often look as if they're gripping an invisible object. Growing up, he couldn't run normally."
Hey, well you know what? At least he could still walk to church to praise the God who created him this way.
No, one look at a picture of Craig in his favorite Sunday tanktop makes clear that his disability has not stopped him from tearing up the weight-room. He's like: "Accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior or I'm gonna smack the SHIT outta you!"
Craig, in that Harris debate, also says the following:
"In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the whole moral duty of man can be summed up in the two great commandments: First, you shall love the Lord your God with all your strength and with all your soul and with all your heart and with all your mind. And second, you shall love your neighbor as yourself."
You shall love your neighbor as yourself... Ah yes, because nothing says "love thy neighbor" like the Biblical accounts of raiding neighboring cities and killing all of their inhabitants. I don't know about you guys, but whenever I feel like expressing my love for somebody, I do it by thrusting a sword into their torso. No, the very Bible that Craig defends makes a mockery of every nook and cranny of his argument.
Sam Harris, in their debate, had what I think are some brilliant points of response to Craig's arguments in this area. Some of the points he makes here are a bit tangential to the core idea of objective morality from God, but they're nonetheless some very powerful hammer blows against a belief in god.
"So God created the cultural isolation of the Hindus, he engineered the circumstance of their deaths in ignorance of revelation, and then he created the penalty for this ignorance which is an eternity of conscious torment in fire. On the other hand, on Dr. Craig's account, your run-of-the-mill serial killer in America, who spent his life raping and torturing children, need only come to Jesus on death row, and after a final meal of fried chicken, he's gonna spend an eternity of heaven. One thing should be crystal clear to you: This vision of life has absolutely nothing to do with moral accountability.
And please notice the double standard that people like Dr. Craig use to exonerate God from all this evil: We're told that God is loving and kind and just and intrinsically good, but when someone like myself points out the rather obvious and compelling evidence that God is cruel and unjust, because he visits suffering on innocent people of a scope and scale that would embarrass the most ambitious psychopath, we're told that God is mysterious; who can understand God's will?
And yet this is precisely—this merely human understanding of God's will—is precisely what believers use to establish his goodness in the first place! Something good happens to a Christian, he feels some bliss while praying, say. Or he sees some positive change in his life, and we're told that God is good. But when children by the tens of thousands are torn from their parents arms and drowned, we're told that God is mysterious. This is how you play tennis without the net.
. . . And if God is good and loving and just and kind, and he wanted to guide us morally with a book, why give us a book that supports slavery? Why give us a book that admonishes us to kill people for imaginary crimes like witchcraft?"
I do have to say, though, that there were some very good rebuttals in the comments section to the points made by Sam Harris:
"atheist is devil"
"Harrris did not even was there."
I mean he's got you there, Sam.
Here's another major problem with Craig's position: there's no reliable method of ascertaining what it is that God does and does not view as morally permissible. Even if the Christian God does exist, it's not like when you come to an ethical fork in the road, you can just give God a phone call, ask what the best course of action is, and get a clear and detailed answer. No, we're left to ourselves to determine what's right and wrong in our everyday lives—so this kind of absentee moral guidance from a God who doesn't make any effort to actively communicate his moral ideas to us isn't particularly useful.
The best this God could apparently do is provide us with a very large and contradictory holy book that people can cherrypick from to support virtually any side of any ethical question. So when it came to slavery, you had people on both sides of the debate citing scripture to support their position. When it comes to gay marriage or abortion or premarital sex or vegetarianism or whatever the question may be, Christians on all sides of these issues will point to biblical passages that they claim support their views.
"[Christian 1]: Masturbation is unacceptable, as this passage makes clear!
[Christian 2]: Oh yeah? Well lemme show you another passage from my Bible which approves of masturbation... Sorry, hang on a sec, the pages are kinda stuck together..."
So it doesn't make sense to call the morality that comes from belief in the Christian God "objective" when you see that the moral conclusions that Christians arrive at are about as numerous and diverse as is possible. How is this any less subjective than what the non-believers do when they decide for themselves—and debate amongst themselves—about which positions are most ethical or not? Craig pretends like he has overcome the problem of subjective morality when all he's done is added a theological layer to it.
Craig might say, "Well, in the abstract sense, objective morality ultimately does exist within the mind of God." Ok, well that's assuming such a God even exists, which I've seen no convincing evidence for. Craig is basically arguing that objective morality exists within the mind of somebody that doesn't even exist.
On top of that, even if God did exist, unless we had direct access to the mind of God, the best we could do is use our own minds to debate amongst ourselves about which positions are moral and which positions are best supported by scripture. So according to Craig's worldview, yes, theoretically, objective morality might exist, but functionally speaking, it might as well not exist given that we don't have clear access to it.
In that sense, Craig's argument about objective morality coming from God is basically like a person recommending that we become wealthy by locating an imaginary pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. And if you saw how pathetically little I invest in my 401k, you'd suspect that that's pretty much my plan anyway.
I would also point out that just because a God orders or does something doesn't automatically make it an objectively moral action. Slaughtering noncombatants by the thousands, capturing slaves, brutally killing people on the spot for trivial theological offenses—claiming that a strongman requested these things doesn't make them right.
Richard Dawkins writes the following in his book The God Delusion:
"God ordered Abraham to make a burnt offering of his longed-for son. Abraham built an altar, put firewood upon it, and trussed Isaac up on top of the wood. His murdering knife was already in his hand when an angel dramatically intervened with the news of a last-minute change of plan: God was only joking after all, 'tempting' Abraham, and testing his faith.
. . . By the standards of modern morality, this disgraceful story is an example simultaneously of child abuse, bullying in two asymmetrical power relationships, and the first recorded use of the Nuremberg defense: 'I was only obeying orders.'"
Source: p. 274–275, The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins. 2008.
The other main part of Craig's argument is that:
". . . if God does not exist, then we do not have a sound foundation for objective moral values and duties."
Craig elaborates on this point as follows:
". . . if atheism is true, objective moral values do not exist. If God does not exist, then what is the foundation for moral values? More particularly, what is the basis for the value of human beings? If God does not exist, then it is difficult to see any reason to think that human beings are special or that their morality is objectively true. Moreover, why think that we have any moral obligations to do anything? Who or what imposes any moral duties upon us?"
So the main question for the atheist to answer is: Where does morality come from without God? I think it's pretty simple, actually: It comes from us. Humans are social creatures hard-wired to feel empathy for others. We feel bad when we do people wrong in some way, and we feel good when we help them in some way. We can think rationally about the consequences of our actions and we can put ourselves in other people's shoes to decide on what's right.
Human beings have an innate, built-in sense of morality that I think is a natural part of being human. It also is partly shaped by our environment and upbringing—and humans certainly aren't perfect moral creatures—but I think overall, we do a pretty good job of deciding what's right, and over time, the human species collectively has been making moral progress and moving in the right direction.
I should also point out that this process of using your inner moral compass to tell you what's right or wrong is something that the Christian also does. It's not like we're just groping around in the dark, utterly clueless about what's ethical, until and only until we have a chance to consult the Bible on a given question.
You're like: "Ya know, I was gonna murder this guy, but then I flipped open the Bible like 'Ohhhh! Thou shalt not kill! Ok, gotcha.'"
Sam Harris makes this point in his Aspen Ideas lecture:
"The basic fact is, on this point of morality, is that we decide what is good in our Good Books. We come to the Bible and we see that it says in Leviticus, if a woman is not a virgin on her wedding night, you're supposed to stone her to death on her father's doorstep. We choose to reject this pearl of ancient wisdom, and then we choose to emphasize something like The Golden Rule. So the guarantor of our morality is in our brains, not in our books."
Craig seems to almost concede this point by accident when he says the following:
"The fact is that we do apprehend objective values, and we all know it. Actions like rape, torture, child abuse, and brutality are not just socially unacceptable behavior—they are moral abominations."
My question is: If all of us know it, deep down, that these things are morally unacceptable, why argue that we need a God to tell us what's right and wrong?
Craig goes on to write the following:
"'Sexual Assault: No One Has the Right to Abuse a Child, Woman, or Man.' Most of us recognize that that statement is evidently true. But the atheist can make no sense of a person’s right not to be sexually abused by another."
You know what? I think he's right here, and that's probably why we've heard so much about those groups of atheists who've sexually abused large numbers of children and then tried to cover up the crimes instead of facing justice. Oh wait! That was actually the Catholic Church, wasn't it? My mistake.
William Lane Craig is the theological equivalent of the person who puts a bunch of rakes in his yard that he then proceeds to step on. Seriously, when talking about the alleged superiority of Christian morality, could any example be more short-sighted and historically illiterate than the sexual abuse of children?
And I have to ask, if it is true that Christians are the ones who are fortunate enough to be following the perfect moral guidelines of God himself, how is it that Catholic priests so reliably find themselves molesting children? Since these priests apparently have such a close relationship with God, wouldn't we expect their moral conduct to be exemplary?
At this point, I have to share a hilarious Jimmy Carr joke about growing up as a Catholic:
"I was raised Catholic, and the thing that used to annoy me about church was all the standing up and sitting down and kneeling: I wish the priest could just pick a position and fuck me!"
The real cherry-on-top of Craig's article is when he argues that the atheist has no solid basis for condemning the Holocaust:
". . . if there is no mind distinct from the brain, then everything we think and do is determined by the input of our five senses and our genetic make-up. There is no personal agent who freely decides to do something. But without freedom, none of our choices is morally significant. They are like the jerks of a puppet’s limbs, controlled by the strings of sensory input and physical constitution. And what moral value does a puppet or its movements have?
Thus, if naturalism is true, it becomes impossible to condemn war, oppression, or crime as evil. . . . That means that an atrocity like the Holocaust was really morally indifferent. You may think that it was wrong, but your opinion has no more validity than that of the Nazi war criminal who thought it was good."
One problem I see is his assumption that in an atheistic universe, free will can't exist in humans. I see no reason why that's necessarily the case. Even if no gods exist, why couldn't there be creatures with sufficiently advanced brains that allow them to think, feel, deliberate, and consciously make decisions? To say that the only way we could have free will is if a supernatural being magically implanted it within us strikes me as just silly and lacking in imagination.
I also feel like to even make the point that he's making here about the Holocaust, Craig has to intentionally play stupid: "Gee, without God, how will I know that it's wrong to kill 6 million Jews?"
Like, really dude? Is it that hard to figure out on your own? Needing divine permission to be able to decide what's right or wrong says a lot more about your broken moral compass than it does about the failings of atheism.
I'd also love to see somebody try to use this defense in a court of law:
Judge: "So, Mr. Dybal, it says here that you tried robbing the bank, whereupon you were immediately tackled by security, causing you to piss your pants and start crying. How do you plead?"
I'm like: "Well, let's get one thing straight here: I didn't piss my pants. There was just a little bit of urine that dribbled out. But without a God to tell us right from wrong, who are you to throw me in jail for what I did? On what objective grounds is attempted bank robbery an immoral action? In my view, what I did was perfectly justified, so our arbitary disagreement here is mere subjective opinion."
The judge is like: "God damnit, he's right. Release this man! He's done nothing wrong. Or maybe he has? I just don't know anymore..."
Contrary to how Craig portrays it—where moral disagreements are just arbitrary differences of opinion or preference, like country music or rap, vanilla ice cream or strawberry—people actually can reasonably condemn other people for their immoral actions.
"Who are you to say that the Nazi gas chamber operator did anything wrong? He would argue he was doing a moral good!"
Yeah, well the thing is, his moral ideas were grounded in fundamentally incorrect ideas about the allegedly evil and inferior nature of Jewish people—anti-Semitic ideas, I might add, which have been widely held and promulgated by religious people for centuries.
We can evaluate the underpinnings of people's beliefs and actions to help us decide whether they're justified or not. The easiest cases are those where people's beliefs are just factually wrong, like with Nazism. More difficult cases are those where people simply reason differently and reach different conclusions.
Still, even in those cases, certain arguments are going to be more reasonable than others, and certain justifications will have more flaws and deficiencies than others. By exposing certain beliefs as foolish and unsound, we can make moral progress, just as we've been doing over time: eliminating slavery, granting equal rights to minorities and women, regulating factory farms to reduce animal suffering, and so forth.
You might wish there was a better solution—and I'm sure it's nice to imagine some divine, moral law-giver cartoonishly coming down from the clouds and providing us with a perfect set of moral guidelines—but things in the real world aren't that simple. Ethical debates are had, minds are changed, our sphere of moral concern gets continually expanded, and over time, progress is made and we, as a species, become better. Pretending like you have a better moral methodology by invoking imaginary gods really adds nothing to the real process by which moral progress is made.
So as we've seen here, William Lane Craig's argument that objective morality comes from God is severely flawed in many important ways. It's silly to call such morality "objective" when it allows for religious people to take every side of every moral issue—and the actions and commands of God, as portrayed in the Bible, make clear that his moral viewpoints wouldn't even be worth following even if he did exist.
But even if Craig was right that objective morality could come from God, this wouldn't give us a good reason to believe that this God exists. Craig basically just argues that without God, deciding moral questions would be an absurd and confusing process. Perhaps that would be the case. This doesn't justify invoking the existence of God, and Craig's argument here is little more than an appeal to undesirable consequences.
In a godless universe, people can use empathy, rational thought, and constructive debate to decide on the right answers to moral questions. Even though disagreements may exist, and even though humans aren't perfectly moral creatures who always agree and always get it right, over time, we do move in the right direction and we do make moral progress. Adding non-existent gods into the equation doesn't help this process, and even if it did, it would still be fundamentally illogical.