Here is a a very meaningful article by Archbishop Chaput that is pertinent to our times, and a quote from it:
“Most of us here tonight believe that we have basic rights that come with the special dignity of being human. These rights are inherent to human nature. They’re part of who we are. Nobody can take them away. But if there is no Creator, and nothing fundamental and unchangeable about human nature, and if ‘nature’s God’ is kicked out of the conversation, then our rights become the product of social convention. And social conventions can change. So can the definition of who is and who isn’t ‘human.'”
“If God does not exist, everything is permissible ” says Ivan in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s book The Brothers Karamazov. Jean Paul Sartre has said that his Existentialist philosophy is to be found in Ivan. Of course, Dostoevsky was defending the existence of God, while Sartre was reasoning out the true implications of a consistent atheism.
If there is no God, then who defines things objectively? Who gives them their nature? Humans, now become the highest being (although the question of human “nature” poses its own problems here) and everything else is just what use we make of it.
The NIV New Testament translates 1 Corinthians 10:23 as “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is constructive.
This certainly is not the same as “If God does not exist, everything is permissible,” but many have taken the freedom of 1Cor 10:23 and attempted to expand human freedom to that of Sartre. In seeking this “freedom,” we think we will be happier, but I think we will eventually find what Sartre did; that all existence will be pure nausea.