half_my_own_man (half_my_own_man) wrote in hitchens,

Source of morals

The third part of Christopher Hitchens' exchange with Douglas Wilson is up, and Mr. Wilson asks a question which went unanswered when Mr. Sharpton asked it earlier this month:
You say in passing that ethical imperatives are "derived from innate human solidarity."  A host of difficult questions immediately arise, which is perhaps why atheists are generally so coy about trying to answer this question.  Derived by whom?  Is this derivation authoritative?  Do the rest of us ever get to vote on which derivations represent true, innate human solidarity?  Do we ever get to vote on the authorized derivers?  On what basis is innate human solidarity authoritative?  If someone rejects innate human solidarity, are they being evil, or are they just a mutation in the inevitable changes that the evolutionary process requires?  What is the precise nature of human solidarity?  What is easier to read, the book of Romans or innate human solidarity?  Are there different denominations that read the book of innate human solidarity differently?  Which one is right?  Who says?

And last, does innate human solidarity believe in God?

Or, to put it briefly, where do atheists get our morals?

I think this is the chief fear that the faithful have of atheists.  I suspect that the answer is very complicated, as is most of science's answers compared to the glibness of religion's answers.

My dad always had a strong sense of morals, and was and is usually outraged about something or other.

Does anyone have any ideas here?
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