Some attempt to argue that they don’t need God to have morality. They can live a moral life even though they don’t believe in a divine being. But no one argues that an atheist can’t behave in a way one might call moral. The real question is, Why ought he? Trappist monk Thomas Merton put it this way: “In the name of whom or what do you ask me to behave? Why should I go to the inconvenience of denying myself the satisfactions I desire in the name of some standard that exists only in your imagination? Why should I worship the fictions that you have imposed on me in the name of nothing?”
— Greg Koukl and Francis Beckwith, from Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-air, p. 169
Why think humans have rights and dignity if they’re products of valueless, physical processes in a cause-and-effect series from the Big Bang until now? The more plausible scenario is that human value and moral responsibility come from a good God who created us as intrinsically valuable, morally responsible creatures. We function properly when living morally. We glimpse something of a personal God in the world’s moral order: without a personal God, no persons would exist at all. If no persons would exist, then no moral properties would be realized in our world.
— Paul Copan, from Loving Wisdom, kindle location 1304
If we have a decently functioning conscience, we can recognize that Jesus or Mother Teresa is morally superior to Hitler—and that basic moral values aren’t invented but discovered.
— Paul Copan, from Loving Wisdom, kindle location 1293