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Can An atheist Be Moral?

Updated: Feb 17

To be moral is to be concerned with the judgment of right or wrong of human action and character arising from the conscience or the sense of right and wrong


Is it wrong to deny the existence of GOD?


Morality is defined as Character or virtue; it is concern with the distinction between good and evil or right conduct; the right principles of human conduct. It is the quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct (American Heritage Dictionary 5th ed. 2016).


Conformity to the rules or standards of right conduct; moral or virtuous conduct; a doctrine or system of morals (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, 2010)



To be moral is to be concerned with the judgment of right or wrong of human actions and character; arising from the conscience or the sense of what is right and wrong (American Heritage Dictionary 5th ed. 2016)


Someone who is moral is said to be one who adheres to accepted or established principles of right conduct; virtuous, upright (honest, honorable, just).


A Moral Life


A moral life is understood to be a life that demonstrates virtuous and upright behavior. One who conforms to the standards of what is right or just in behavior is confirmed to be one who leads a morally excellent life; a righteous life.


The standards of morality arise from the conscience, which among humans, is a common recognition of the difference between right and wrong. The conscience is a supposed universal faculty of moral insight (Collins English Dictionary 12th ed. 2014).


The conscience of man gives an awareness of morality in direct regard to one's choices surrounding thoughts and actions. It is a sense of right and wrong that urges one to act morally (in accordance with standards of what is right or considered good conduct).

Is Morality Relative?

Can this inner sense of what is right or wrong in one's conduct be something that is right for one person, but not for another? If, in terms of morality, it's wrong for one does that mean it's wrong for all?


Who originally determined the standards of the moral code?


If it is a universal code written within the conscience of man, how did it get there?


Is it inscribed upon the human genetic code?


When determining the possibility of an intrinsic standard of virtuous, right, and just human behavior, it must be an absolute standard that is maintained consistently across the human experience. If everyone chose their own standards of what morality consists of, the standard would no longer be absolute nor inherent.


The evidence of a universal code of morality that arises from the core conscience of man is often displayed through the generally shared sense of guilt that is experienced when acting in opposition to its promptings. Guilt is the painful emotion that is experienced when one believes one's actions or thoughts have violated a moral or personal standard (American Heritage Dictionary 5th ed. 2016).


We cannot know for certain the origin of this implementation of the conscience within the human system, but we can examine historical documentation surrounding this phenomena, and upon examination draw logical explanations surrounding its existence.


For example, morality is based upon certain standards that differentiate right from wrong. We can examine the first recognition of these standards by the human species, and in doing so, possibly determine who initiated or established these standards of right and wrong which have been engraved upon the human conscience throughout the history of the human existence as we know it.



Scientific studies are available, but unfortunately, these studies do not predate the ancient religious text that offers detailed explanations surrounding this phenomena, nor do the science arena provide spiritually based findings when seeking answers that are supernaturally rooted.





The Origin Of The Conscience


One of the two oldest religious texts offers intriguing answers concerning the origin of the conscience of man. The Hebrew Torah (meaning "Instruction", "Teaching", or "Law") is considered to be one of the very first accounts documenting the origin of the human conscience.


The Torah is a compilation of the first five books of the Bible, namely the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy (Wikipedia.org/wiki/Torah, 2023). It is in the book of Genesis that we find the story surrounding the awakening of the conscience in humankind.


According to this account, Adam and Eve were the original human couple; the parents of the human race. The two were persons of innocence until they yielded to the temptation of consuming a forbidden fruit. The fruit was from "The Tree of Knowledge of Good and evil". This tree was forbidden to be consumed by the CREATOR of man (Encyclopedia Britannica, Adam and Eve Biblical Literary figures, 2023). Being enticed, Adam and Eve consumed the forbidden fruit, and upon the consumption of the forbidden fruit, the ancient text conveys that their eyes were opened!


Genesis 3:7

"Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings"


It is at this moment in time that we observe the very first demonstration of guilt, as Adam hides and covers himself from the presence of the CREATOR!


We see the very first indications of an awareness that is implied through the explanation of their eyes being opened to see or recognize a perspective that was previously hidden from their intellect. This is a significant aspect of morality, indicating that there was not only an awareness of an offense, but a feeling of regret, remorse, or shame.


In careful consideration we see that the offense was predetermined by the CREATOR, for it is HE who not only instituted the command (Law), but also HE designed and constructed the tree, the fruit that it would produce, and ultimately its effect upon the human body. When Adam and Eve consumed the forbidden fruit, they brought into existence a supernatural awareness upon all of mankind! The engraving of the CREATOR'S laws governing the behavior of mankind now revealed (via the consumption of the fruit) upon the hearts of men. The spirit of man now sees the revelation of the elements that are directly related to the character, nature, and essence of GOD.


Man, now having the knowledge/awareness of good and evil, has now become equipped with the capability of steering his behavior in the desired direction of his will, be it good or evil according to the instructions and Laws instituted by the CREATOR. The man is aware and now capable of committing disobedience/rebellion against the order and rule of the CREATOR in awareness, and thereby must suffer the judgments associated with doing so.


Man now has the ability to discern and judge his actions as right or wrong from the perspective of GOD, the oracles now written upon his conscience; and he has the ability to choose his behavior, whether it be unto good (honoring the order and rule of his CREATOR, or unto evil (dishonoring and rebelling against the rule and order of the CREATOR). Either choice renders significant consequences that will impact the seed of the man throughout his generations.


According to this ancient religious text, the moral code was established not only through/by the consumption of the Tree of knowledge of good and evil, but also by the command of the CREATOR. Remember, It was the CREATOR who placed the tree in the garden, which HE designed to contain the components therein. Perhaps as a conditional element determining their stay within the Garden of Eden contingent upon their adherence to HIS instructions and guidance.



Nonetheless, it was the CREATOR of man that is documented as being the sole proprietor in determining what is considered good and evil among humanity. The source of morality begins with HIM.




The Purpose of Morality


Is there an ultimate purpose to morality? Does it matter if the human is moral or immoral? What is the purpose in doing what is right?


The purpose in doing what is right in direct accordance with the written Laws and elements of the conscience is explained within the Original Hebrew text. According to the ancient Hebrew religious writings, doing what is right, as defined by the established Laws and Commands of the CREATOR, are demonstrations of respect towards the governance and rule of the CREATOR as being the rightful authority. HE is the One who designed and created the earth and all living creatures, including mankind. In addition, the adherence to these Laws and Commands equally provides somewhat of a blueprint to assist in navigating through the basics and sometimes complexities of life.


For example, the written Laws in direct relation to the civil construct of humanity, governing human interactions and behaviors that facilitate a just and fair societal system, Laws pertaining to cleanliness and care of the body, or dietary Laws and instructions that assist in the health of the body.


A man who states that he does not accept nor acknowledge the ONE who instituted the Laws governing his existence and the world by which he lives demonstrates an immense display of disrespect and irreverence for the ONE who created and governs them both!


Shall a man dwell within a kingdom, utilizing all of the King's resources and yet do not acknowledge the authority of the King?


The man who declares to abide by the established dictates (morals) of the King and yet does not acknowledge the existence of the King, is still deemed as one who disrespects and dishonors the King.


The atheist does not necessarily follow or abide by the moral code instituted by the CREATOR. In fact, the atheist has constructed his own idea of morality. He decides what is acceptable behavior based upon the influence of his own unique experiences and emotions. Oftentimes the conscience of the atheist is morally corrupt in accordance with the spiritual dictates of innocence that are determined by the CREATOR.


For example, an atheist demonstrates measures of morality congruent to his personal experiences and judgments. His behavior is governed by what he chooses to do at any given moment in direct correlation by which his behavior benefits him or those he cares about in some form or another. His behavioral choices do not reflect a respect for the authority of the CREATOR. He observes and makes his judgments in distinct correlation to its benefits or pleasures suitable to him. The judgment of the CREATOR is irrelevant to him.


The ancient scriptures convey that the wicked man does not care about the CREATOR; in their pride and arrogance they think that HE doesn't care or does not exist.


Psalm 10:4

"In his pride the wicked does not seek after GOD; GOD is not in all of his thoughts"


The atheist demonstrates his desire to exercise his own will and authority apart from his MAKER; it is a demonstration of rebellion against the rightful RULER and KING over all of the earth!


If there is an act that the atheist finds acceptable, beneficial, or desirable to engage in, he will carry out that act, irrespective of the offense it may have against the CREATOR. The atheist is demonstrating blatant disregard and a crass arrogance in the assumption of authority. It is the idea of coming into someone else's kingdom and attempting to establish your own rules and laws. Equally so, the atheist presumes to establish his own "code of morality"; governing right and wrong behavior and the goodness or evilness of human character by his own perceived judgments and not the established judgments of the CREATOR.


If the promptings of the conscience do not agree with the desired behavior, it is often suppressed by the atheist. The feelings of guilt, remorse, or shame are ignored, disregarded, and subdued. The atheist is governed by his own personal standards or beliefs concerning what is and is not acceptable for him to do based upon his unique judgments, irrespective of those defined by the CREATOR.


The atheists code of ethics is predominantly defined by them.


This is a gross assumption of authority on the part of the atheist, given that they did not design nor create the reality in which they inhabit. Even in the mystery of mans existence, the fact remains that the earth and the inhabitants thereof does not belong to him by right; he does not own nor rule the earth, and neither does he own or rule the creatures therein.


If, in fact, it is the CREATOR who has determined, defined, and established what is right and wrong concerning human behavior, including the moral rightness of acknowledging HIM as the rightful KING, true Creator, and authority governing the earth and all of its inhabitants...


all concepts of which the atheist rejects...


How then can he be moral?


The very ONE who has defined morality (the dictates of what is right and wrong) has deemed such a man to be immoral. This is HIS earth, HIS breath of life, HIS judgment. HE has determined the atheist to be wicked and immoral and thereby such a man will face the consequences of his decision.


QUESTIONS:

  1. How do you suppose an earthly King would perceive a man who dwells within his kingdom utilizing his resources, and declaring, "there is no King!", worse, speaking insults and ridiculing the King!

  2. If you awoke in an unfamiliar house, having no recollection of how you've arrived there, but there is visible evidence of an owner. While there are no visible pictures of the owner, there is food available in the pantry, a prepared hot dinner set upon the table, clean fresh linens, and supplies available for basic survival; there is even a list of written rules pinned on the door instructing the upkeep, management, and order of the house. Would you presume the house is yours and do with it as you please despite the instructions, or do you keep a measure of awareness and respect that it rightfully belongs to someone else and thereby governing your behavior regarding the management of the house?

  3. Who establishes the order and regulation of a given creation-the creation or the Creator of the creation?

  4. Are the rules and regulations still established despite one's awareness of the rules? What if you do not know the One who instituted the rules; are you then able to disregard them?



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