Haha. Well, you are definitely an atheist. The hatred towards any notion of God is palpable here. We’ll probably have to agree to disagree in light of this, but I will remind you that this is not a Reddit forum.
My assertion had nothing to do with “civilization”. You’re moving the goal posts. We were talking about the continuance of our species. Indeed civilization is not necessary for species survival, or we would be the only living things on earth.
“Human advancement would be significantly stunted, were it not for reciprocity”
And... what was the point of this statement? You can find examples of creatures who practice cannibalism, and eat their own offspring. This is not reciprocity, yet the species continues to survive. I can see no reason to put a greater value on a large human population as opposed to a small human population in a world without God. In fact, larger populations often come with problems of their own.
“Any behaviour that threatens the human social fabric in turn threatens its constituent individuals”
This does not make it objectively wrong. If I choose not to care about those individuals or your “social fabric”, and choose to place zero value on their lives, I can kill without any kind of moral qualms. In fact, there may be instances in which it is advantageous to me to kill them. I may gain something from a murder. The social fabric in your world is a construct of man, and all men being equal, your regard for it is no more valuable than my potential disregard for it. Again, we just have a different opinion, and any belief that your opinion is superior to Bundy’s is merely unjustified moral elitism. You are essentially making a god out of yourself, deciding what is right and wrong.
“This is why disparate cultures evolved laws against murder and theft, against premarital sex and fatherless child-rearing”
This is perhaps the most shaky claim you just made. If “this” is an objective reality, true for all people, that actions not promoting reciprocity are not compatible with societies, then no society in the world would ever have done anything that didn’t promote reciprocity. This is a ridiculous claim to make. Since humans have walked on the earth, there have been large societies that have undertaken horrific practices. Just look at the sacrificial rituals in ancient American societies. These civilizations did not collapse because of a lack of reciprocity, in fact they functioned well without it. Other factors caused their demise.
When you descend into petty attacks on the Christian God as a murderer, you really exit the realms of logic and attempt to fight a battle occupying two worlds. You’re applying the judgements of a world without God to a world with God. In a world with God, no action taken by God could be evil, no matter how you might perceive it as a finite, non-transcendent being. Once you enter a world in which God exists, you cannot ignore the reality of such a being’s nature. How can I not excuse any evil action taken by Satan? You seem to misunderstand what Satan is. He is a creation himself. If he carries out an evil act, it is no different to you or me carrying out an evil act. He is not a god. Indeed, he got his ass kicked out of Heaven by God.
“You pooh-pooh it as a “warm, fuzzy feeling” out of your incapacity to recognise its importance in your life, because you don’t want your dogma to collapse under the weight of truth”
And you value it because of your incapacity to recognize that any importance you place on it is illusory. You might compare it to someone in the Matrix who does not even want to think that everything is virtual because the Matrix has a “social fabric” and the world outside does not.
Of course, this is in a world without god. A world in which you and I are no more important than the salmon, having evolved through biological accident. Our species will eventually become extinct, if not through our own doing or some cataclysm, then in the heat death of the universe.
I would also like to point out that this isn’t something I am just concocting, this is the opinion of atheist scholars! It’s part of a very popular theory of ‘metaphysical naturalism’. Alex Rosenberg in his works argues that nothing has any meaning, even sentences, and any apprehension of morality or “right and wrong” are illusions of the human mind. Michael Ruse has also argued that “morality has no foundation”. There is a reason intellectual atheists are roughly split on whether to acknowledge objective morality or not. Those who don’t want to have to defend its incompatibility with atheism, often abandon it.
I would go on, but I fear I may be wasting my time. I have a feeling that you could witness a miracle first hand and you would still not believe in anything beyond the “social fabric” which must be maintained for unknown reasons. Have a good day, man. :)
1 Samuel 15:3.
You conveniently skipped it.