Christianity
Atheism

If there is no God can I do whatever I want so long as I don't get caught?

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09/25/2015

Your conditional question requires your first proving to yourself that it can stand as is - 'there is no God' - and if that is the conclusion you come to, I submit you have dozens of new questions to answer. Living in the 21st century gives you many resources to assist you in this quest. I would suggest studying Genetics well at least the summary aspects of DNA and ask how something so complex and perfect could come about by mere chance. Then I would look at the Universe, particularly Earth and ask why it is the only perfectly placed and balanced planet out there as far as we currently know. It is as if it was purposely designed for humankind. Now with just these few topics to delve into, it would be hard to believe it just happened and was not designed by a higher intellect - God if you will.

Bridging this 'Creator' to the Scriptures of the Bible would take a bit more work but in the end it will pay off in my opinion. If you come to the new conclusion that the God of the Bible is the higher creative intellect, then you would have to note His physical laws for all creation, as well as His Commands for all humankind. Doing things against Him has a price spelled out in said Scripture. Most religious people today have confused the clear teachings of the Bible to allow for an easier way to satisfy their wants and desires. They have forgotten what it means to be Jesus' disciple - an imitator of all His words and ways.

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09/23/2015

No. For those that don't believe in the moral standards of God, there are laws that provide specific does and don'ts as to what is allowed.

God has no relation to the moral standards of humans. Christians are taught to believe in biblical morals, which some interfere with secular and humanistic morals.

Answer If you have morals, then no it is not OK to do whatever you want. Libertarianism is a good way to stand up for doing many things and yet at least retain SOME morals. Remember, morals are a personal thing and no one can tell you which ones you should have. But you learn from living and your own experience to devise your own ideas of what you alone think is good and bad and in-between.

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  • Aldous Huxley, himself an atheist had this to say."I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently (I) assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics, he is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do, or why his friends should not seize political power and govern in the way that they find most advantageous to themselves....For myself, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation, sexual and political."

Thus wanting to have a philosophical basis for avoiding moral sanctions and/or accountability to a higher being indeed motivates some although they may not be as frank as Huxley was. This is why so many seem particularly keen to cast moral doubt upon certain actions of the God they don't believe in. If He exists and if He is a moral being then they may have to answer to Him. Thus behind much atheism is rebellion, although certainly not all. But as Rocket Scientist Joe Sabeney put it, they "look in the mirror and see their god," thus they will not be accountable to a higher power and can essentially do as they please.

The way the question is put indicates that this is indeed a motive here. 'It's OK if I don't get caught' is indeed how many people think - until perhaps someone who has the same motive as they do rips them off. Then their own cry of indignation will condemn themselves and their hypocrisy. This motivation to get rid of God to avoid accountability is a common theme. Some do it consciously, others unconsciously as they are taught that the universe evolved and has no ultimate meaning and that this is just 'tough luck' and so draw their own conclusions and write their own morality. No wonder the world is in a mess.

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There was a time when a sinner would be considered a Christian as long as he believed in God and in Jesus as his son. We are now seeing that Christianity rejects sinners because they can not enter the kingdom of heaven. But they are not atheists either, since they still believe - even though they may not meet the moral requirements being set for Christians. We obviously can not say that they do whatever they want because they believe there is no God - the subject of this question. The recognition that there are so many sinners, even though they believe in God, means that belief in God, the acceptance of divine rules and even the threat of divine retribution have little effect on many people's behavior. The one thing that ensures that people behave morally and ethically is to have high moral and ethical standards. This applies equally whether they are Christians (or Jain, Jews, Muslims, etc.) or atheists. It clearly also applies whether there is a God or not. The broadest possible answer to this question is that it is not OK to do whatever you want as long as you don't get caught, whether there is a God, many gods, or no God.

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09/23/2015

The best Christianity can offer is that you will get caught (by their God). And even Christians don't seem to really believe this, given that the crime rate among those who see themselves as Christians is at least as high as among atheists. If Christians see themselves as accountable, it does not seem to worry them. Perhaps it is the comfort of being able to obtain absolution or forgiveness, just by confessing to a priest or praying to God - a way out that is not available to atheists.

Atheists are accountable to some things more real than God. They are accountable to their consciences and to society. It is not OK to do whatever you want as long as you don't get caught. If that is the only reason you have for considering conversion to atheism, I recommend you remain a Christian.