One of the comments I see from atheists on social media all the time has to do with their views on morality. Christians who have studied some philosophy will tell them that, if God did not exist, then objective morals would not either. Since we all know there are real good and evil, then at some level we all acknowledge that God must exist.
Atheists will return with some annoyance, saying that they can determine right and wrong on their own without any god. Often they appeal to empathy. We don’t want to be killed, so we should not kill others. We don’t want to be robbed, so we should not rob others. In short, atheists reject Jesus and then appeal to the golden rule taught by Jesus.
Is that Irony?
I realized that the problem in this conversation has to do with the use of and misunderstanding of the word “morals.” We Christians tend to add the word “objective” to clarify the fact that they are real, outside of us and would continue to be true if no one on earth believed or obeyed them, just as laws of physics would be. If every person on earth rejected “though shall not steal” it would still be wrong to steal just as if everyone on earth rejected the law of gravity, they’d still fall if they jumped off of their roof in a cape and brightly colored underpants.
Thus, I am suggesting that Christians begin to refer to Objective Morals as God’s Moral Law. When we say objectively wrong, we mean it violates the law of God, just as when we say something is illegal that it violates the law of the state. If there is no state there is no law of the state and thus no speed limit or misdemeanors. If no government then no law of man. Similarly if no God, no objective morals because objective morals are the law of God.
As an example- suppose you and a group of friends are exploring the moon on those cool moon buggies. As you prepare to head out, you discuss how fast you can go. Now, mechanically speaking, you can go 200 miles per hour, but if you did, you would surely flip over in the low gravity and die. But what is the speed limit? Very simply, there is none. No government owns or controls the moon. Thus, there is no speed limit. Each astronaut can decide for himself how fast he will go, but none of them can tell the others how fast they SHOULD or SHOULDN’T go. They can give advice based on how fast they can go before it becomes unsafe, but they cannot appeal to the speed limit because there is none and none of them has the authority to impose one on the others.
When an atheist tries to appeal to morality, they are like a driver on the moon. They can pretend there is a speed limit, but there is not. There are physical limitations and potential consequences for different choices, but there is no shouldn’t or should. There is no speed limit. There is no law. There is opinion only. However, we all KNOW that there is good and evil, right and wrong, lawful and criminal. Thus, even the self-professed atheist acknowledges the existence of God, just as a man arguing that words don’t exist must acknowledge in some way that words do exist.
Think about it, won’t you? And don’t forget to wear your seatbelts – it’s the law.