I’ve already finished “The God Delusion” by Dawkins, and I’ll be resuming the breakdown of the book later. However, I would like to make one observation about materialism and atheism.
I’ve heard many atheists and agnostics say that they can be “moral” even if they don’t believe in God. In other words, they can believe that they can act morally even though they do not believe in God. I believe this claim is self-contradictory and false. One cannot deny the existence of God while at the same time believe that they are moral.
If one does not believe in God, I would argue, one is a materialist by definition. If there is nothing spiritual or supernatural, everything has only a material dimension contained within. Since everything is believed to contain only material essence, only material causes can determine how everything acts. Since only material manipulates material, there is no basis for morality since morality presupposes that there is a free will contained in some material in some fashion. In other words, in order for a material human to be moral, more than just internal material processes must determine any action taken.
For an atheist to be non-contradictory, there can be no morality since only material processes determine causes and ends. Therefore, one cannot believe at the same time that God does not exist and that they are moral.
On the other hand, as a Christian, I believe free will is a spiritual construct that comes from God since humans were specifically chosen to be made in the image and likeness of God. Theists, and even Deists can be moral since they believe that morality has a basis in God, in whatever form. Further, Christians can acknowledge that Atheists are moral or immoral since Christians have a non-material basis for morality. However, to be consistent, Atheists can never see anyone as moral, otherwise they will be indirectly acknowledging a moral Creator of the moral universe.