Meme Grinder #18 – ‘Moral Realism & Good Deeds.’


See Meme Grinder #17 – ‘The Bible/Spider-Man Fallacy.’
See Meme Grinder #19 – ‘Child Abuse? & Atheism.’

This shouldn’t take too long but there is a thing or two we can say here.

1. A Misrepresentation.

Firstly, this meme is a misrepresentation of Christians & their good deeds done in the world. Christians don’t only “try to do good in the world” because there is a reward in heaven for them, although such is promised (Matt. 5:12, 16:27, Luke 6:23, Rev. 22:12). Nor do Christians only do good because they fear hell. In fact, good deeds are a corollary of the ethic & legacy that Jesus left behind for his followers to emulate. Christians do good deeds for God’s people (which means all people since all humans are image bearers of God) because God did good for us – he sent his son Jesus to atone on our behalf. So, humans are clearly valuable in the eyes of God hence they ought to be valuable in our own eyes as well. Therefore, it is not about fear or reward – it is about what we are instructed to do, namely to love our neighbour as instructed by Jesus (Mark 12:31, Matt. 22:39) and elsewhere (Lev. 19:18, Rom. 13:8, Gal. 5:14). It is also not about doing good deeds that gets us entrance into heaven, instead it is accepting Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for our sins. Our good deeds should be done in honour of what God has done for us.

However, that is not to say that we always help people devoid of self-interest, namely, self-interest as in a reward in heaven or for material gains. All humans are sinful & thus pride can get the better of us, and our hearts can be in the wrong place as a result. But that just illustrates the need for the gospel message, namely that through Jesus we can be transformed by the renewing of the mind (Rom. 12:2). However, the critic should not overstep the mark here for it is fallacious to judge a philosophy by its abuse – in other words, don’t judge the abuse dealt by the Christian when determining the veracity of a worldview. Instead, what ought to be judged is the gospel message itself – namely that God gave us the ultimate gift in salvation even though he needn’t have had to.

2. The Problem for the Atheist Critic.

But here is the issue for the atheist, namely moral subjectivism as opposed to moral realism. We can clearly see this in the meme’s line: “It feels better not to be an asshole.” In other words, on an atheistic worldview we find a severe lack any binding transcendent moral law. When we rule God out of the picture we inevitably throw away a transcendent moral law with him; a law that is binding for all people at all times. In other words, helping the poor or avoiding doing evil things is merely subjective “feeling” for the atheist – at least the meme is honest here, although I suspect unintentionally so. That is because morality is merely relative on his worldview. Rape or torturing puppies are not intrinsically evil acts instead it is just the atheist’s opinion that they are evil. I might like vanilla ice-cream (torturing puppies) but the atheist might like strawberry ice-cream (rescuing tortured pets), it comes down to taste and to feelings. Who’s to say who is wrong in this situation? In other words, the atheist’s opinion by trying to tell me torturing puppies is wrong has no authority over me or anyone else.

However, the Christian has good grounds for accepting moral realism, namely, that some things are objectively good or evil. Torturing humans or puppies is evil – human beings are intrinsically valuable because they are image bearers of God (Gen. 1:27) & to violate them is to attack God himself. Not only is moral realism consistent with human experience but it is consistent with the way God made mankind, namely with a moral compass and a conscience to convict him of doing bad things (Romans 2:14-15). So, this meme seems to be more revealing of the lack of explanatory scope on the atheistic worldview – namely that atheism fails to account for unanimous human experience telling us that some acts are objectively evil or good. The meme is also a misrepresentation of why Christians assist in doing good in this world.

In short there is only one thing left to do here. And that’s to throw this one into the Grinder!

2 responses to “Meme Grinder #18 – ‘Moral Realism & Good Deeds.’

  1. Pingback: Meme Grinder #17 – ‘The Bible/Spider-Man Fallacy.’ | James Bishop's Apologetics.·

  2. Pingback: James Bishop's Apologetics.·

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