We will be meeting again before the regular ACSJ meeting in the back corner of the banquet room, at 6:00pm to 7:00pm with a discussion of a specific topic. We will start with a couple of statements of position, and then open up to a general discussion of the issues. Come join in and make this a spirited discussion in depth on a specific topic! This week’s topic is:

— Where to morals come from? —

I am sure you have heard it: “You’re an atheist, so you have no morals, so why don’t you go around murdering people all the time?” Sometimes they even have a serious look on their faces.

* What are morals?
* Why do Christians think that a God is necessary for morals?
* Why do Christians wonder this about atheists?
* Where (psychologically) might this come from?
* Is this just cultural warfare? vilification of the enemy?
* What is the best response?
* What is the best evidence that you can be good without god?
* What evidence is that there are objective morals without God? Does it matter?
* Did morals evolve?
* Is there any way to persuade a Christian they might be mistaken?

We are not normally trying to change a theist position, however this one is an insult, and it can have serious ramifications: half the states do not allow atheists hold public office, and it is justified (either openly or privately) on the basis of this feeling. The question itself is so off-putting that I am sometimes make a flippant angry remark. I would rather explore a rational, considered, and practiced response to have the most effect.

The point of this discussion is to understand where this idea comes from, and to practice the best response.

Please comment before the meeting so we can be sure to include everything and everyone in the discussion.

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