Hover over Romans 1:20-22 for proof of God's existence, and over Matthew 5:27-28 for Judgment Day’s perfect standard. Then hover over John 3:16-18 for what God did, and over Acts 17:30-31 for what to do.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Is My Conscience Broken?

“The thing is, Ray, I have a perfectly functional conscience. It nags me when I don't give time and money to charity, it demands that I tell the truth when telling a lie would be more convenient, it (for the most part) holds me back from saying cruel-yet-witty things even when I dearly want to . . . And yet, oddly enough, my conscience has absolutely nothing to say on the subject of my atheism. Now why is that, Ray? Is my conscience broken, or is your definition just bogus?”

This is a very good question because it brings out a very good point. You are acknowledging that the conscience addresses you in the area of morality. It excuses you of selfishness (failing to fulfill the Law that says you should love your neighbor as yourself--giving to charities, being kind, etc.). It accuses you when you lie--violating the Ninth Commandment. This is because God has written “the work of the Law” on your heart, so that your conscience will accuse you of transgression of that Law (see Romans 2:15).

However, the reason your conscience has nothing to say about your atheism is that atheism is not a moral issue. It’s an intellectual issue. If I were to lie or steal, my conscience would scream at me. But if I said something that was intellectually stupid, like one and one make five, the conscience remains silent. The same applies with the foolishness of atheism.