I will, as with Socrates in Euthyphro, ask what is good.
The author of can you be good without god wants us to believe that without following his holy book we are incapable of being good. And good, he tells us is what the Koran says is good. He tells us reason or ends are not required, blind obedience is what counts.
What is needed in a system of morality is not the end goal, but actually clear directives on which actions are right and which are wrong, covering all conceivable contexts. This is what the Qur’an in particular, claims to achieve.
Had this been the case with the Koran or any
holy religious book, interpretation or exegesis would be unnecessary. If the bible directs you to kill your neighbour for working on Sabbath, there is no debate. If the Koran says kill the infidel, it is absolute.
I, for the life of me, do not know how one can arrive at a conclusion that
Humanism is therefore no more than a formalised system of convincing yourself that what you are doing is for the betterment and wellbeing of others.
Maybe this fellow understands humanism to mean something different from what I know it to mean or represent. Put simply we are capable of solving our problems and no god above will do anything to improve our lot.
But he lies when he writes
People try to claim that it is religion which is utilised as a pious front for the doing of evil, and that more people do evil in the name of God than for any other reason. This may be the case but there is a difference here – people do evil in the name of God, in spite of the clear teachings of various religions on which actions are right and which are wrong. Humanism on the other hand has no teachings which could act as a buffer against the evil done in its name.
For example, the directive in the bible to not suffer a witch to live was used as a justification for the witch burnings and similar commands appear in the Koran as justification for jihad, which is English for killing for god or is it Allah! And humanism has many teachings that one could look to if one were interested. And these go thousands of years before some pedo dreamed the Koran into existence.
When our author writes
It is also worth asking the question that “what makes a good, moral person?”
it is evident, at least in my view, that they are asking the wrong question. The question that ought first to be settled is what is good, what is moral. The question Socrates wants dispensed with in the Euthyphro. And I don’t think this author has addressed this small matter of definition.
What is instinct? Is there a difference between when a person acts instinctively and when they just act? I am even confused here.
It may be true, I don’t know, that
Humanism gives no directives and no instruction on what action is right in which context and which action is wrong in which context, it totally falls short of defining morality.
but I will say without fear of contradiction that neither does the Koran nor any religion for that matter deal with all available scenarios or even any scenario. All we have from the hot heads who make religious proclamations is don’t do this or that and why because god, speaking through me commands it. If any precept is empty in directing human conduct, religion must be the most empty.
When our author writes
Humanists can also look to the human conscience, but in doing so, they are admitting that morality is a universal and absolute concept.
I am convinced he failed his philosophy classes. The conclusion that morality is universal and absolute is not arrived at by admitting human conscience as a guide. And while still on it, if human conscience is the guide, the it makes moot any need for gods and proves the case of the humanist.
I am yet to read a religious book that has as a context a starving mother forced to steal to fend for her starving children. If there is, I am open to correction.
There is a lot of material on the internet dealing with this question. Anyone with an internet connection has access to so many, it is depressing that most people with such access write such silly things about atheism.