There is a Netfix show called “After Life”. Ricky Gervaise stars as a depressed widower who lost his wife to breast cancer. He also writes and directs the show. Like in real life, his character is an atheist, and does not believe in an afterlife. After telling a coworker he does not believe in life after death, and that when you die you are gone, finished, with nothing left, the coworker says ” If you don’t believe in an afterlife, then you could rape and murder whenever you want”. Gervaise’s character replies “I do rape and murder whenever I want, I just never want to”. The coworker walks away perplexed at that answer.
Is it possible to be good, to “do what is right” without a higher moral compass that is guided by belief in an afterlife, a supreme being, and the faith that you’ll be rewarded by your actions in this life?
As I wrote about a few months ago, one of the thoughts about why we have religion, is that once our ancestors started to live in larger groups due to the invention of agriculture, there needed to be laws to control the people. Civil laws and/or religious laws were created to keep everybody in order.
Are civil laws enough to keep people moral, or does there need to be a belief in God to really live a moral life? Can an atheist be moral?
Is it harder for Christians in general, and Mormon’s in particular to accept that an atheist could leave a happy, moral life, and not cheat on their spouse or rob from their employer?