Many years ago Christopher Hitchens issued a challenge to theists: “Name a morally act, or a moral statement, that could not have been made by an atheist?” Christian apologist Mike Winger seems to think that he has an answer to that challenge: The theist can love God.
Right off the bat I have an objection to this answer, because Winger assumes that loving God is an actual moral good. I do not grant this and it is not because I do not accept that God exists. I could grant that God exists and I don’t think it follows that loving God would be a moral act. If God is as described in the Bible I would go so far as to say that loving, and submitting to, God may actually be immoral in much the same way that loving mass murdering dictators would be immoral.
I do have to wonder if part of the problem comes down to what is understood about something being morally good. When I speak of an act being morally good I am saying that such an action provides some benefit(s) to some other sentient being(s). But now we have a problem: Even if God exists, me loving a perfect being cannot provide God benefit since God is already perfect. Perfect beings cannot be made more perfect by my actions, nor can they be harmed by my inaction. So what exactly is good that comes from loving God? How is loving God a moral good?
If Winger believes that loving God has some benefit to other humans then we’re kinda back to the reason for the wager in the first place. Belief in God does not seem to be necessary to do good, and nobody has ever been able to show that loving God helps other humans, or is a necessary precursor to being able to do a morally good action.
Long story short, I don’t see that Winger has offered anything credible as an answer to Hitchens wager. Sure, a theist can love God, but they still have yet to show that this is actually good in any meaningful sense. I can believe that doing a snow dance for Santa Claus is good, but that doesn’t actually make it good. I still hold a burden of proof to establish that it actually is good and that I’m not just asserting it as such.