The doctor tells her, “Before we proceed with the examination, I would like to talk to you about your husband first.”
The old woman says, “Oh no, it’s his heart. I told him to lay off the eggs.”
The doctor says, “No, physically he is OK, but I’m worried about him mentally.”
The old woman questions, “Whatever do you mean?”
The doctor says, “Well I asked your husband how he is feeling and he told me he felt great. He said that when he got up to go the bathroom, he opened the door and God turned the light on for him. When he was done, he would shut the door and God would turn the light out for him.”
The old woman responded, “Son of a gun, he’s peeing in the fridge again!”
Ok, the Joke had nothing to do with this post but I bet you laughed.
Usually when a Christian responds to an atheist with something like “You have no morals” they are not prepared for the response they will get. First, it is just not true and second the atheists have given this subject a lot more thought than most Christians have.
Anyone can have morals. They are just an individual’s unique standards for behavior they hold themselves to regarding what is and is not acceptable for them to do. So atheists indeed do have morals. They get morals from diverse places. Some of the most common responses I have come across as to where atheist get their morals are the golden rule, society as a whole determines correct morals and they are innate and a result of the evolutionary process.
I think what Christians should really be saying to the atheist is “You have no basis for holding other people to your standard of morals.” They cannot know ultimately if their morals are right or not. In their worldview, morals are neither right nor wrong but a subjective opinion of what is right and wrong. There is no absolute right or wrong. They can have reasons or a basis for saying that murder is wrong but if no ultimate authority exists then they really cannot say if murder is morally right or not.
Christians believe the bible teaches morals that come from God the ultimate authority because He made the cosmos. He, as the creator, gets to decide the morals and what is acceptable behavior or not instead of the made thing. Many atheists and some Christians for that matter may have an objection or even an abhorrence to some of the morals taught in the bible. I get that, but that is a different discussion not related to what behavior is acceptable.
Before I was a Christian I believed same sex marriage was ok. Now as a Christian I believe the bible as it says same sex marriage is a sin. I really only hold to that view because I trust the bible to be the very word of God. The ultimate authority. So Christians should not rely on themselves to decide morality. They should rely on God’s word. And when you think about it no atheist in good conscience should call a Christian a bigot because they disagree with same sex marriage. They can only honestly say “I disagree with you on this issue but you are just as right as I am.” But that rarely happens.
The issue is who has the authority to decide right and wrong. For the atheist it is only the individual that needs to come to that conclusion themselves. For the Christian it is God’s word. So when atheists expect others to behave in a way that is against their particular morals they are being irrational and prideful. I, as a Christian, can say to a murderer that what they did was absolutely wrong, all the atheist can honestly say is that they think what the murderer did was wrong but the murderer’s opinion is just as valid as theirs. Atheists will use a lot of words and arguments to wiggle out of this but ultimately they cannot get away from this problem. They cannot decide for everyone else what is morally acceptable.
But never tell an atheist “You have no morals”
Image courtesy of patpitchaya at FreeDigitalPhotos.net