This week’s quick challenge question was, “Atheists don’t need God to be moral. Any moral action you can do as a Christian, the atheist can do as well.”

Handling this objection is a little bit different than most because it’s usually based on a misconception. One of the common arguments used by Christians for the existence of God is from objective morality. Something like, objective moral laws cannot exist without a moral lawgiver. Every system that tries to explain morality without God ends up being relative. Examples like morality being a product of evolution or a cultural creation, are ultimately insufficient to explain the world.

The argument that you can’t have morality without God is interpreted as you can’t be moral without belief in God. They often take great offense at that, perhaps rightfully so. Generally speaking, the challenge is correct. Atheists can do good and moral actions without any kind of belief in God. But this is a straw man logical fallacy, responding to an attack that is not being made. Our argument is that they don’t have an objective standard for their actions. To think of it another way, they acknowledge that laws exist, and that they can follow them as well as anyone, but they choose to believe that nobody wrote those laws.

This objection does not need a traditional answer, but it does need to be clarified. While some may intentionally misconstrue your statement to score some debate points, give them the benefit of the doubt. The last thing you want is for someone to reject Christianity due to a misunderstanding.

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