I discovered Unequally Yoked awhile back through Mark Shea’s Catholic, and Enjoying It! I found that I really liked this Leah gal. Maybe it was her geeky pleasantness in approaching issues, maybe it was her smile, or maybe it was the Holy Spirit. In any case, on Monday she announced “This is my last post for the Patheos Atheist Portal.”
Leah struggled with the problem of finding a solid ground for atheistic morality. I too have pondered what happens to objective morality if there is no God. As I see it, an atheist will readily say, “I don’t need a god or some holy book to tell me that murder is wrong. I can be good without god.” But then what is the basis for right and wrong besides how humanity thinks and feels about such things? Perhaps the rule: Human Flourishing = Good? But if atheists are going to be honest and hard-minded about what’s real, isn’t caring about human flourishing just a bias built into us by evolution and social conditioning? In cold reality, if the universe doesn’t care about us, then everything we think is so important doesn’t matter–then all perceived “meaning” is just a delusion, no less than believing in a non-existent fairy godfather in the clouds. As I see the problem, an atheist can know the good and do it, but he cannot justify doing it beyond human-centered biases.
The night before Palm Sunday last, Leah was having a conversation with a friend. In her words:
My friend pressed me to stop beating up on other people’s explanations [for grounding objective atheistic morality] and offer one of my own:
“I don’t know,” I said. ”I’ve got bupkis.”
“Your best guess.”
“I haven’t got one.”
“You must have some idea.”
“I don’t know. I’ve got nothing. I guess Morality just loves me or something.”
“Ok, ok, yes, I heard what I just said. Give me a second and let me decide if I believe it.”
It turns out I did. I believed that the Moral Law wasn’t just a Platonic truth, abstract and distant. It turns out I actually believed it was some kind of Person, as well as Truth. And there was one religion that seemed like the most promising way to reach back to that living Truth.
Leah is now enrolled in RCIA (i.e., becoming Catholic class) and busy posting about her move to this big, new worldview. When I read the happy post above, it made my day and I said a Gloria.
Post-Post: Her June CNN interview.