Can Atheism support such values? I don't see how, but not everyone agrees with me. In order to stimulate thought on this topic, two student groups at Columbia University (Columbia Faith and Action and the Columbia Humanist Society) hosted a short debate between me and Kile Jones, an atheist with a strong background in theology. Though time was short, we were able to lay out our basic positions. Here's the discussion:
The most interesting aspect of the debate for me was Kile's insistence, in his conclusion, that we shouldn't even ask where morality comes from. In my opening statement, I had pointed out that people often shift their levels of skepticism (I think all human beings do this) in order to reject certain beliefs while retaining others. Kile said that his skepticism level is high, and he is certainly correct when it comes to God, Christianity, etc. But if we can't even ask where morality comes from, how skeptical are we concerning morality? It seems, then, that we must accept the existence of objective moral values by faith, even though we demand hard evidence for the existence of other things.