In one form or another, I’ve been digesting Catholicism all day today. I spent the entire afternoon raking leaves and listening to Peter Kreeft lectures. (“Divine Truth—The Heart’s Deepest Longing” is particularly worth listening to.) This evening, since everyone’s gone to bed, it’s been Catholic blogs.
Throughout the day, I’ve felt a little like Paul in Acts 9.18: “And straightway there fell from his eyes as it were scales, and he received his sight.” Today I’ve heard and read much I’d heard and read before, but somehow it simply made sense today.
At Purify Your Bride, I read,
Many atheists are good people. They follow a conscience that was formed by a Christian society. Often they are better than many Christians who don’t take faith and morals too seriously. But then you have to define what you mean by “good”. For Hitler “good” meant killing Jews. Can “good” be simply re-defined like that? If you say Yes then you have to defend genocide. If you say No you have to say why not. Many atheists accept much of the Christian definition of “good”. That does not mean they have to. Can atheism work when people are actively questioning basic morality. The early returns are not good – no pun intended.
This line of reasoning is certainly not new (not to disparage Mr. Purify), but it seemed fresher this evening. In fact, I can think of a couple of ways to counter that argument, but they suddenly seem so silly, so superficial. It is, in fact, the Moral Argument (for God’s existence) at work in Mr. Purify’s comment, and out of the clear blue — or perhaps, given today’s activities, out of the leafy brown — it makes perfect sense and is quite compelling.