God’s Not Dead, Chapter 3 – Without God, All Things Are Permissible (pt34)
WITHOUT GOD, ALL THINGS ARE PERMISSIBLE
The author quotes Jean-Paul Sartre who seems to claim, by quoting Fyodor Dostoevsky, that “without god, all things are permissible”. While technically this statement is true, everything is permissible, in reality it is not. We as a society have developed laws and the atheist morality that would be in charge “without god”. Secular morality isn’t a ‘do what you will’ morality, we hold ourselves responsible for ourselves and our society.
Dostoyevsky’s [sic] own suffering led him to a religious awakening that gave him relief for the rampant despair of the age. While in prison he read the New testament and discovered the difference between a dead religion and a relationship with Christ.
Dostoevsky was in prison in Siberia from 1849-1854 and reportedly was only allowed to read the New Testament. He was a part of a Christian socialist group at the time of (and the cause of) his arrest and the Bible was likely the only reading around while they were captive. The fact that faith gives people hope in desperate times is not on debate, the problem lies in the actions surrounding this “awakening”.
Not to get too far into history, because I’m not really a fan and haven’t done much research on it, but Dostoevsky had been in financial ruin after many failed writings, was a part of a social group that disbanded, went further into debt, connected with the Petrashevsky Circle, and lived slightly better due to the group’s socialist support system. The “awakening” could easily be called deceitful after learning about the events surrounding it. It isn’t that surprising that the author makes no mention of these events, only of the “religious awakening that gave him relief for the rampant despair of the age.”
The rationale that if you eliminate God, you’ve taken away the foundation of morality still must be addressed. In an almost blind leap of faith, by denying God, atheists simply assert that they are moral and have a basis for morality without God. The problem is, they never identify it.
I think I have done enough to identify where my morality is based, I will not restate it all here to save space. The author then goes beyond saying this and quotes Dawkins in a failed attempt to make it seem like he contradicts himself and/or the secular morality. I see no way for the author to use this statement in a negative way.
I cannot conceive of a logical path that says because I am an atheist therefore it is rational for me to kill or murder or be cruel.
And yet, he somehow does.
It was precisely this fact of the logical movement of atheism toward violence and cruelty that made the twentieth century the bloodiest in history. The godless regimes of Stalin, Hitler, Mao Zedong, and Pol Pot eclipsed the horrors of previous centuries primarily because the moral restraint was removed when God was eliminated from their thinking.
The author brings up the four horsemen when wanting to show the worst of the unbelieving but cries foul when an atheist brings up suicide bombers or the Crusades, double standard anyone? From pg.13 of this book and pt9 of my blog review:
Maher often takes the worst parts of anything associated with religion (suicide bombers, priests who abuse children, and especially anyone who refuses to accept evolution as fact) and paints them all in the worst possible light. He then announces, “Religion must die.”
The author often takes the worst parts of anything associated with atheism (socialists, scientists, etc) and paints them all in the worst possible light. He then announces, “Religion is true.”
I do not attempt to make light of what the four horsemen did but I must make clear that they didn’t take their actions because they were atheists, they did bad things and they were atheists. While the Crusades were bad and the actions were taken because the crusaders were believers. The difference may be subtle but it is distinct.