Answering a listener’s question about atheists and agnostics who claim religion “is unimportant,” conservative writer and radio host Dennis Prager argued belief systems are critical to upholding functioning societies.
So many, he said, claim they “don’t need God to have morals.” If that’s the case, though, “Why do we have laws in general?” Prager asked. “Why are there any moral laws? Why are there laws about theft?”
“If people are gonna be so good without religion, why do we have any laws at all?” he continued. “People could figure out you don’t cheat your fellow person in a business dealing. If you get extra money back or they added your bill up incorrectly, you tell them.”
That perspective, however, is very naive, Prager said.
For people to believe they are good sans any sort of external moral compass requires quite a bit of hubris. Rather, Prager said there “is a need for a judge for all of life.”
“You wanna see the results of the death of God and religion, take a look at Europe when Christianity died,” he explained. “We got fascism, Nazism, and communism. That doesn’t mean every single European became a fascist, Nazi, or communist, but that’s what we got.”
“You wanna see the death of God and religion,” Prager continued, “take a look at Chicago, take a look at Minneapolis, take a look at Seattle. These are not religious people. It’s an amazing thing to me that people don’t realize the consequences of the death of a law giver and a divine judge of behavior.”
Prager, an Orthodox Jew, was, of course, careful to say the presence of religion isn’t a failsafe; it doesn’t guarantee, as we know, that all people will make morally upstanding decisions. It does, though, make it easier “if people believe in a code and a code giver.”
The conservative talker’s comments came not long after theologian Bruce Gore told podcast host Lucas Miles that the progressive left’s revisionist history is sending American culture into an “intellectual collapse.”