Not much to write about today. I have been reading a little on how a person can be a non-theist (not believe in a god) and still have what the majority of Westerners would call good morals. Surprisingly to some of my readers I will agree that a person can be an atheist and still be considered morally good in their actions and how a society could be formed from an atheist moral code. Does that mean that there is no God who has standards for people to follow that might differ drastically from what atheist might come up with? No.
I don’t find this argument from either side very important from the standpoint of determining the existence of God (which is the root of the issue when it comes to faith, religion, atheism, theism, etc…). I think the main question that everyone should ask is, “if there is a God and this God does want me to know something either about God or about myself or the world around me, then how is this God trying to talk to me?” It is kind of like a scientific experiment. The hypothesis is that God exists and wants to communicate with me, so there must be some substantial evidence of this in the world. Then we start the experiment testing various theories or belief systems. I would not do this based on experience but on reason.
If the history of a religion cannot be backed archeologically (Mormonism for example) then that religion is ruled out. I would want solid evidence that what is considered to be a message from God or a writing that talks about God is backed with historical proof that the event(s) did happen, that the person or people did exists, and that the religion has stayed fundamentally the same for its entire existence. It would need to be the same standards that contemporary historians use to determine if a document can be trusted as a source of antiquity and whether we can then teach it to our kids as history.
I believe Christianity has the historical proof needed to prove its authenticity and more importantly the resurrection of Jesus (to which some people would immediately say that it cannot be proven historically). Gary Habermas has written an excellent book regarding the historical proof that shows the resurrection did indeed take place and even does it without considering the Christian Bible as inspired or divine. I think that is what makes his work so compelling is that you don’t have to believe in the Bible in order to see that Jesus was real, that He did die, and that He did rise from the dead.
I would also look at other religions with the same reasoning. Where do Hindu’s get their writings and what do they believe? What about Buddhist, Wicans, Muslims, African and American tribes, and any of the other religions out there? If you are finding yourself overwhelmed then that is okay. I get overwhelmed all the time but that is no excuse for giving up entirely. Take a break and just start one-by-one. Don’t let experience be the deciding factor, but let reasoning show that the experiences are validated. For example, everyone has heard the phrase “what goes up must come down”. What if you believed that but gravity did not exists? Then your experience tells you that the statement is false. It is way more complicated than that but you get the point, I hope.
I think the point is that almost any society that has rules, laws, social norms, etc… which are consistently applied, can be a functioning society. But, if there is a God and that God wants to communicate with us then surely there would be evidence of it; and if there is, then wouldn’t it be important to find out all we can about what that God said and desires of us?