The Moral Bankruptcy of Atheism

Let’s try this thought experiment:

On the side of the road is a man, his wife, and a child.  They are holding up a sign that reads, “We lost our home.  Help would be appreciated.”

Moved by their plight, I’m compelled to help them.  I pull my car over to an out-of-the way place.  I exit the vehicle and approach the family.

“Hi,” I call to them.

“Hello,” the man says.  His wife and daughter remain silent, though his wife offers me a tenative smile.

“I feel for your plight, sir,” I say.  “I’m going to give you $20.”

“Thank you,” the man says.  His wife smiles more broadly this time, and she extends a hand to thank me.

“But first,” I say, dangling a twenty dollar bill from my fingertips, “I want you to do a little something.”

The woman drops her hand to her side.  The man looks at me, while the woman raises a quizzical eyebrow.

Then I propose my deal.  “I have a hula hoop, clown shoes, and a colored wig in my trunk.  I want you to strip all of your clothes off–totally naked–and wear nothing but the wig and clown shoes.  Then, I want you to spin the hula hoop as many times as you can while chanting, ‘I can’t provide for the basic needs of my family, so I’m begging people for money instead of looking for a job!'”

Awkward silence.  I dangle the twenty dollar bill even closer to the man’s face.  “I don’t think so,” the man growls.

“I’ll make it $50 if you do this at the busiest mall in town,” I say.

The man just shakes his head vigorously.  His wife won’t look at me anymore.

In this example, I think that we can confidently conclude that I’m an asshole who should be shot.  Making the homeless jump through hoops for my own amusement is reprehensible behavior. People who engage in it deserve the label “asshole.”

Well, what have we here:

Though no one would praise my actions in the itallicized example, folks on are applauding the actions of the maker of that video.  Had the asshole done what I did above in the thought experiment, they (hopefully) would have universally condemned him.  Yet, when he asks the homeless person to deny God for money, that somehow is awesome.

To recap:

  • Make a homeless person jump through sadistic hoops for money = immoral.
  • Make a homeless person deny his Creator for money = strong commentary on religion.

Conclusion: Atheists have little moral compass, especially when it comes to making religion look bad.  Anything goes.  This is so disgusting that I can’t even come up with words for it.

Remember, the spirit is more important than the flesh.  Denying God has spiritual consequences greater than the physical consequences of turning down $20 from a complete asshole:

If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. (Phil 3:4-11)


Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. (Mt 10:29, 31-33)

About Cory Tucholski

I'm a born-again Christian, amateur apologist and philosopher, father of 3. Want to know more? Check the "About" page!

Posted on February 16, 2011, in God, Morality, Religion and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I like your reasoning.

    I once knew a family of theists who had a 16 year old daughter. They made her dig a hole behind their house, then they put her in the hole and buried her alive. they did this to her because she talked to boys.

    Conclusion: theists have little moral compass, especially when it comes to gender equality.


    I agree that that was an asshole thing to do.

  2. While I agree that the man in the video’s actions were deplorable, I also find your irrational generalization of atheists equally deplorable. I find it ironic that those who adhere themselves to a religion of love and benevolence are also among the most judgmental. I must ask that, instead of attributing the actions of one to a whole, that you actually think before you make such generalizations.

  3. “Make a homeless person deny his Creator for money = strong commentary on religion.”

    I haven’t watched the video (and can’t at the moment), but I thought he was just asking them to remove the word “god” from their signs. Is that the same as ‘denying their creator’? (And if I’m wrong about the video, let me know.)

  4. Being an asshole is not the same as being morally deplorable. There are assholes of every group, ever heard of Televangalists?

    Regardless, there is a difference between your example and the video. Your example shows that some people are willing to humiliate themselves for money by doing stupid stuff. We all know this. Pride sells for little when you are starving. The question in the video regards whether or not people are willing to forsake God for worldly comfort. When you are truly desperate, does even the fear of Hell trump the gnawing pain of an empty stomach?

    It may be cruel, and yes it is assholic, but it is still poignant.

  5. Asking the man to alter his sign is nowhere near any of the degrading actions you’re suggesting in your re-write. Your equivocation is dishonest and foolish, and betrays a bizarre perverted moral sense.

    That said, asking the man in desperate straits to alter his sign for money, on camera, is tasteless.

  6. Christianity has been erroneously labeled a religion of “LOVE” by some romantic people who think that “the Faith” consists of a 70s notion of “make me feel good God” commands and an application of life which consists of no pain or suffering. If this were true, and it isn’t, then the practice of Christianity could be had for 1.78 and a Cadbury chocolate bar or a glass of Merlot, both which produce euphoric states. However, Christianity has NOTHING to do with euphoria even though some people “claim” to “get high” on the HOly Spirit. We call them Charismatic Kooks for a reason. Christianity defines love as “self sacrificial” and looks to a cruciform life. It embraces the inevitable. That we all are going to suffer and die. In this life. We all are going to feel pain. So, give it meaning and purpose. Atheism only seeks to save its own skin. It has none of the self or other sacrificial elements of Christianity. It is cowardly and self serving or seeking. Patently narcissistic. As depicted in the posts above. Which only refer to the writer and are completely devoid of a worldview which Christianity holds in spades. A full house. A winning hand. Which one of you has already given to the 9 million children in 100 countries with your monetary gifts or time so they can have a present this holiday? Or given money to feed the homeless at the shelter? or gone through your closet and given away clothes and stuff for the needy? Or sewn gifts for people this holiday? Or do you all just sit on your computers and BLOG all day? When you find some time write a check or make an online donation to a charity for the holidays. If you can find time to put down your fat free muffin and latte. Your talk is insipid and vapid. I expect you will have to look up those two words in the online dictionary. There are no books in your house.

  1. Pingback: When I’m Wrong, I’m Wrong « Josiah Concept Ministries

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