ATHESIM-No Moral Motivation in a God less World

Even if we were to grant the mind-independent existence of moral facts in a godless universe, this would hardly ennoble the moral life. Iris Murdoch, for example, calls us literally to be good for nothing. By so doing, we are not pleasing a Perfect Being (there is none), nor fitting into the moral plan for the universe (there is none); neither can we expect any assistance in the moral life (since none is available), nor is it assured that good will ultimately triumph over evil (who knows?). Further, there is little or no incentive to do what is right when it counts against our own interests. The call to altruism or self-sacrifice is decidedly strange in such a world; it seems not to fit a cosmos of impersonal moral facts that are impotent to reward virtue or punish vice.

Yet if God exists as a personal and moral agent, morality rests secure on the divine character. The moral life, no matter how demanding, ultimately fits the contours of the divine creation and providential history—and eternity. God himself is available for both moral direction (through natural law and special revelation) and moral strength through the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit.

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