I am often perplexed by other’s perplexity. In this particular case, it’s the oft-repeated, “I can’t see how science can explain where goodness comes from,” or “Evolution just can’t account for morality.”
Well, first, several good books explain the connection between evolutionary theory and morality (the last one I read was The Moral Sense, by James Q. Wilson), but even at an intuitive level, morality just makes sense when you consider humans are social by nature.
To ask the question, “Why be moral if there is no god?” Is to misunderstand that we don’t have a choice in whether we “should” or “shouldn’t” be moral — we are moral, and we are moral because we have had to be moral, otherwise we would not be here. Now there are clearly some folks who are “more moral” than others, but how do we judge what is more or less of a moral act?
Here’s a list. On the top is really bad stuff, and on the bottom is the not so bad…