Atheists and Humanists are fond of saying we can be good without God. This is in response to the assertion of many religionists — especially fundamentalists — that without God there is neither standards of morality nor incentive to be good. I have always thought the problem lies strictly in what one accepts to be true. And of course, since I left Christianity, I have found the arguments of the Humanists to be more compelling.
But in a sense, the theists are right. That is, by their definition of good, one cannot be good, nor does one desire to be good, without their religion. Because for fundamentalists — and this holds true no matter what religion it applies to — most of their “morality” is not about the things that most secularists hold dear, such as respect for individual rights, freedoms, and the importance of safeguarding the weak and marginalized. No, for the fundamentalists, morality is more about preserving their idea of what society should be based on ancient taboos, myths, and of preserving a certain social order.
So if that’s what they mean by being “good”, then yes — it is impossible to be good without their “god.” And I like it that way.