Rav Avigdor Miller on The Good Atheist

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Q:
Why isn’t it good enough to just be a decent and good person? Why do I have to follow all the rules in the Torah?

A:
The answer is, why must we keep traffic laws? Isn’t it good enough to be decent and good person? Do you realize how many good people go through red lights?! Do you realize how many good people have killed innocent persons by driving while drunk?! Good intentions are not enough to make you a good person. A man must be bound by a code, and if he’s choosing a code, he may as well take the very best code there is. Don’t fool yourself; there’s no such thing as a good person without Torah. A good person can be a homosexual who is a pervert. A good person can be a mercy killer – he kills his own mother because he cannot bear to see her suffer. A good person can be a selfish man who thinks he’s doing good, when the reality is that he’s only helping himself, because he’s blinded by his own desires.

We have to know that nobody is able to live with the standards that he himself creates. You see that fifty years ago, the Reformers, the Reform Jews, had certain standards that they considered good and moral (This shiur was recorded in 1986). And yet today, they have changed entirely. So whatever people consider the standards of good and decent in one generation can change in another generation. It’s only those who live by the eternal standards of the Torah who remain good forever and ever.

TAPE # 598