Right Hooks

Atheism and the Moral Compass Conundrum

"Morality does not derive from the opinion of the masses," observes Dennis Prager.

Oct. 1, 2013

Faith & Family

Columnist Dennis Prager: “CNN conducted an interview with Richard Dawkins, the British biologist most widely known for his polemics against religion and on behalf of atheism. Asked ‘whether an absence of religion would leave us without a moral compass,’ Dawkins responded: ‘The very idea that we get a moral compass from religion is horrible.’ … To put this as clearly as possible: If there is no God who says, ‘Do not murder,’ murder is not wrong. Many people or societies may agree that it is wrong. But so what? Morality does not derive from the opinion of the masses. If it did, then apartheid was right; murdering Jews in Nazi Germany was right; the history of slavery throughout the world was right; and clitoridectomies and honor killings are right in various Muslims societies. … My reason says murder is wrong, just as Dawkins’s reason does. But, again, so what? The pre-Christian Germanic tribes of Europe regarded the Church’s teaching that murder was wrong as preposterous. … When self-interest and reason collide, reason usually loses. … [P]ernicious nonsense [is behind the idea] that God is not only unnecessary for a moral world, but is detrimental to one.”

Read the rest of Prager’s column.

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